Published: 2017-10-26 13:27
Last Updated: 2017-10-28 10:24
Palestinian Foreign Minister, Riyad Malki, has criticised British Prime Minister Theresa May for her “offensive and unacceptable” remarks about the Balfour declaration.
On Wednesday, May said that her country would celebrate the centenary of the Balfour declaration, which established the State of Israel, “with pride.”
Speaking in the Commons, the Prime Minister said: “We are proud of the role that we played in the creation of the state of Israel and we will certainly mark the centenary with pride.”
“We must also be conscious of the sensitivities that some people do have about the Balfour declaration and we recognise that there is more work to be done. We remain committed to the two state solution in relation to Israel and the Palestinians.”
Her remarks have been met with backlash from Palestinians.
“Most disturbing is the British Prime Minister's tone of condescension,” Malki said in an official statement.
“Even when attempting to sound mindful of what she called 'sensitivities’, Ms. May failed to acknowledge the Palestinian people and their suffering or recognize their inalienable right to self-determination, which Israel continues to deny.”
He added that May’s eagerness to celebrate the declaration “is a testament to the colonial, racist mentality that exacted injustice and suffering on peoples around the world. That mentality rationalized Britain's illegitimate gifting of another people's homeland to a third group and simultaneously disregarded the indigenous people's national identity and rights.”
“The legacy of injustice and suffering of the Balfour Declaration runs through the generations and has touched the lives of every Palestinian for the past hundred years. This is a shameful legacy; one that Britain must acknowledge and make right,” Malki concluded.
The Balfour declaration a letter dated 2 November 1917 from the United Kingdom's Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour to Lord Walter Rothschild, a leader of the British Jewish community, for transmission to the Zionist Federation of Great Britain and Ireland.
Palestinian and international forces have called for mass protests across the world on the 100 year anniversary for the infamous declaration, demanding the recognition of the state of Palestine.