Senators Lankford and Manchin Introduce Resolution to Commemorate Anniversary of Balfour Declaration
This World War I-era Declaration Supported Establishment of Nation for Jewish People
WASHINGTON, DC – Senators James Lankford (R-OK) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) today introduced a Senate resolution to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the Balfour Declaration. The Balfour Declaration was public statement issued by Great Britain on November 2, 1917, during World War I, announcing support for the establishment of a nation for Jewish people. This declaration set into motion a series of events that led to the reestablishment of the State of Israel in 1948.
“It is entirely appropriate for the United States Congress to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, a statement that ultimately led to the reestablishment of the State of Israel in 1948,” said Lankford. “Israel is one of our closest friends and allies, and it is important that we stand with her and honor this important milestone.”
“The Balfour Declaration of 1917 represents a pivotal moment in Jewish history and the creation of the modern State of Israel,” said Manchin. “I am proud to join Senator Lankford as we introduce this bipartisan resolution commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the Balfour Declaration. This resolution reaffirms our support for one of our strongest allies and most steadfast friends in the region as we remember an important moment in their history."
A PDF of the letter is available here, and the full text of the resolution is below:
Whereas the Jewish people have had a homeland in modern day Israel for more than 3,000 years;
Whereas on November 2, 1917, United Kingdom Foreign Secretary Lord Arthur Balfour wrote to Lord Walter Rothschild, to be declared to the Zionist Federation, a letter declaring, on behalf of the Government of the United Kingdom, support for a home for the Jewish people in the former Ottoman district of Palestine;
Whereas this letter, known as the Balfour Declaration, was ratified into international law by the League of Nations on July 24, 1922;
Whereas on September 21, 1922, President Warren G. Harding signed House Joint Resolution 322, after unanimous support from the House of Representatives and the Senate, favoring the establishment, in the former Ottoman district of Palestine, of a national home for the Jewish people;
Whereas the Balfour Declaration clearly recognized and sought to uphold the ‘‘civil and religious rights of the existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine,’’ as well as the ‘‘rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country’’; and
Whereas the Balfour Declaration was a significant part of the chain of events that led to the establishment of the modern State of Israel on May 14, 1948:
Now, therefore, be it resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives concurring), That Congress—
(1) commemorates the centenary of the Balfour Declaration;
(2) affirms its commitment to maintaining the strongest of bilateral ties with the State of Israel; and
(3) recognizes the importance of the establishment of the modern State of Israel as a secure and democratic homeland for the Jewish people.
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