Palestinian court rules Balfour Declaration invalid, urges UK apology

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Palestinian court rules Balfour Declaration invalid, urges UK apology

Nablus judge's verdict holds Britain legally responsible for consequences of statement, which paved the way for the creation of the Jewish state

Balfour Declaration and a portrait of Arthur Balfour
Balfour Declaration and a portrait of Arthur Balfour

A Palestinian court has ruled that the British Government’s Balfour Declaration of 1917 is invalid, calling on London to issue an apology to Palestinians.

The ruling, which was delivered in the Court of First Instance in the West Bank city of Nablus on Sunday, also held Britain legally responsible for the consequences of Lord Balfour’s statement that Britain supported “a national home for the Jewish people”.

Balfour was British foreign secretary as the First World War drew to a close, and the future administration Palestine was on the Government’s agenda. After a period of lobbying from Zionist activists, Balfour wrote his now-famous letter to Lord Rothschild.

More than a century later, the Palestinian court has said that Britain’s declaration of support for a Jewish homeland in November 1917 violated international law, and that London is therefore responsible for the consequences.

Palestinians see the Balfour Declaration as a precursor to the expulsion of 750,000 people by armed Jewish groups in 1948, known as the ‘nakba’ (catastrophe).


Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...


Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.


There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.


In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.


Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more: