On the 25th of October, the Palestinian Return Centre hosted the launch of the Balfour Apology Campaign inside a packed out room in the House of Lords. The event was hosted and chaired by Baroness Jenny Tonge.
Balfour Apology Campaign is a UK based campaign launched by the Palestinian Return Centre (PRC) in 2013 to urge the British establishment to apologise for the 1917 Balfour Declaration. Britain’s legacy in Palestine marked an historical breach against the aspirations of the people of Palestine and shattered its hopes for freedom and self determination.
Baroness Jenny Tonge introduced introduce the evening stating “Tonight is the beginning of the apology” as she provided some background on the origins of the campaign and its significance for Palestinians.
First speaker of the evening was Majed Al-Zeer, President of the Palestinian Return Centre. Mr Al-Zeer. In regards to the launch of the Balfour Apology Campaign, he stated that “We want official recognition of Palestinian suffering”. Mr Al-Zeer continued “We are committed to fight for the self-determination of Palestinians”.
The next speaker, Karl Sabbagh, British Palestinian Historian and Writer, discussed the three conditions that need to apply in order to seek an apology – harm caused, responsibility of the apologiser, and whether the original event was avoidable.
Last speaker of the evening was Betty Hunter, Honorary President of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign discussed the importance to unite works towards changing British policy on Palestine. For Hunter it is fundamental to do so because “The Palestinian catastrophe is still ongoing” and the “International community must stand with Palestinian refugees”.