The Balfour Declaration was a public promise by the British government during World War One, announcing support for the establishment of «a national home for the Jewish people» in Palestine. Palestine was still a part of the Ottoman Empire at the time, with a minority Jewish population.
The 67-word document, in the form of a letter from British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour to the prominent British Jewish figure, Lord Rothschild, dated November 2, 1917, read:
His Majesty’s government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.
Whatever its real intentions, the declaration has had a profound impact on the Middle East and its people; and its effects still resonate across the region today.