A debate was organised by the Palestinian Return Centre (PRC) on Tuesday evening at the British House of Lords under the patronage of Baroness Jenny Tonge to discuss underway arrangements by the UK government to mark the notorious Balfour Declaration.
The event, held under the slogan “No for Celebration . . . Yes for Apology”, was chaired by Lord Norman Warner. A number of academics were in attendance.
A minute of silence was held at the onset of the event in memory of the victims of the Westminster terror attack and of the departed pro-Palestine MP Gerald Kaufman.
Keynote speaker Professor Salman Abu Sitta held the UK historically responsible for the fallouts of the Balfour Declaration, which resulted in the influx of thousands of Jewish immigrants and Zionist gangs to Palestine.
Speaking on behalf of AlSabil Friends NGO, Mark Pattison highlighted the key role played by the British Church in ongoing campaigns promoting Palestinians’ infringed rights.
Palestinian writer, Dr. Ghada Karmi, stressed Palestinians’ inalienable right of return to their motherland and the tragic upshots of the Balfour pledge on the refugees’ cause. She slammed the international community for their apathy as regards the status quo.
British author and journalist David Cornin briefed the audience on the finding of his book Balfour’s Shadow: British Support for Zionism and Israel, slated to be published in the near future. The book covers the repercussions of the Balfour pledge on the entire region and the wars sparked by the declaration.
PRC’s head Majed AlZeir concluded the seminar with an extensive note on PRC’s efforts to urge the British government to apologize for the Balfour Declaration and to pin down the ad hominem campaigns waged by the Israeli lobby against the center over the past few months. AlZeir further underlined the findings of a report by the Parliamentary Inquiry Committee acquitting Baroness Tonge of anti-Semitism allegations.