- One hundred years ago, on November 2, 1917, Arthur Balfour, foreign secretary of Great Britain, issued the Balfour Declaration, announcing that the British Empire supported an end to the Jewish people's 1,800-year exile and its return as a free nation to its homeland - the Land of Israel. "His Majesty's government view with favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this object."
- The Palestine Arab leadership at the time rejected his statement. Shortly thereafter, the Arabs initiated a terrorist onslaught against the Jewish community in the Land of Israel that has continued, more or less without interruption, ever since. Indeed, the Palestinians have not moved an inch in a hundred years. PLO chief and PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas now demands that Britain officially renounce the Balfour Declaration and apologize for having issued it.
- The Balfour Declaration did not change the way the world viewed the Jews, but it changed how the Jews viewed themselves. After 1,800 years of dispersion and hopelessness, here was the British Empire saying that the time had come for the Jews to reconstitute themselves as a free nation in their land.
- Until Great Britain announced it supported Zionism, the vast majority of Jews thought the national liberation movement was doomed to fail just like all of its messianic predecessors. Now, under the League of Nations Mandate, Jews were given an international charter for the reconstitution of their national homeland.
- Just as important, the Balfour Declaration ignited the imaginations and passions of Jews throughout the world. For the first time, Jews, dispersed throughout the nations, dared to believe that the reconstitution of Israel could happen in their lifetimes.