President Trump versus the Balfour Declaration?

May 21, 2017

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Coming on for 100 years ago, The Balfour Declaration stated that the area of Palestine should be the “national homeland” of the Jews.

The Zionist movement of a century ago did not need the British to tell them that our national homeland was situated in the area known as Palestine. The Balfour Declaration is celebrated to this day because a world power had publicly acknowledged this connection. Jews knowing that the Land of Israel was ours, allowed us to dream. But when a superpower let everyone know the Land of Israel was ours, it allowed us to plan.

Recently this tension between what the Jewish People knows as the Land of Israel, and what the world recognises as the State of Israel, has come to the fore in extraordinary fashion.

President Trump became the first American president to visit the Kotel, the Western Wall. But in so doing President Trump’s  advance staff pointed out an inconvenient truth: The Kotel is on the “other” side of the Green Line. As such, it is not within Israel’s internationally recognized borders.

While every Jew would remind us that Jerusalem, and the area of the ancient Temple in particular, is at the beating heart of the Biblical Land of Israel, the President of the United States reminded us that it is outside the internationally recognized borders of the State of Israel.

Bearing in mind that in the Balfour Declaration we celebrate the international recognition for what we Jews have always known, how should we engage with this current rejection of Israeli sovereignty over Zion itself?

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