The Balfour Declaration, signed on 2 November 1917, may have only been less than 130 words, but has changed the course of Palestinians ever since. The declaration had offered a “home for the Jewish people” in what was then the entirety of historical Palestine, New Arab reported.
A century later, the descendents of the Palestinians forced out of their homeland before and during the build-up of the state of Israel have still not been able to return to their homes. Around 2 million Palestinians besieged in Gaza. Meanwhile Israeli settlements and a policy of apartheid have drained the life out of the West Bank.
For Palestinians, Corbyn’s boycott shows that not everybody in the UK political establishment is proud of the historical Balfour document, which has affected the lives of so many Palestinians to this day.
Corbyn is no stranger to Palestine. A huge part of his grassroots activism revolved around the issue of Palestine and the Israeli occupation.
Even since he became leader of the opposition in 2015, the Labour manifesto has promised the “immediate recognition” of the state of Palestine should his party govern the UK.
His decision to decline the Balfour invitation has undoubtedly sparked controversy. Jonathan Goldstein, chairman of the Jewish Leadership Council, described Corbyn’s action as “deeply unfortunate”.
In contrary, for the Palestinian diaspora in the UK, this means more than a symbolic form of solidarity or a political statement.
The fact that Corbyn has mirrored the views of a great portion of UK public opinion adheres to in the current political position he is in has expanded the debate in more elitist paradigms of British politics and society.
Source/Fars News Agency