November 2

This Day in History

General Interest

Nov 2, 1917:

Britain supports creation of Jewish homeland

British Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour submits a declaration of intent to establish a Jewish homeland in Palestine. The British government hoped that the formal declaration would help garner Jewish support for the Allied effort in World War I. The Balfour Declaration was included in the British mandate over Palestine, which was approved by the League of Nations in 1922. Arabs opposed the Balfour Declaration, fearing that the creation of a Jewish homeland would mean the subjugation of Arab Palestinians.

After World War I, the Jewish population in Palestine increased dramatically, as did Jewish-Arab violence. Arab resistance and failures to reach a compromise led Britain to delay deciding on the future of Palestine. In the aftermath of World War II and the Holocaust, much of the international community took up the Zionist cause, and in 1948 the State of Israel was declared.

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