The momentous statement made on behalf of the British cabinet on November 2, 1917 by Arthur James Balfour, His Britannic Majesty’s Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, is usually regarded in light of the interests and designs of the great power that issued it, or in terms of its ostensible subject, a “national home for the Jewish people." What the sixty-seven words of Balfour’s statement actually meant for the Palestinian people, and how the latter perceived this and other British declarations involve a perspective that is rarely considered, and will be the topic of this presentation.
Rashid Khalidi is the Edward Said Professor of Modern Arab Studies and chair of the Department of History at Columbia University. He is past President of the Middle East Studies Association and is editor of the Journal of Palestine Studies. Khalidi has authored seven books, including most recently, Brokers of Deceit: How the U.S. has Undermined Peace in the Middle East (2013); Sowing Crisis: American Dominance and the Cold War in the Middle East (2009); and The Iron Cage: The Story of the Palestinian Struggle for Statehood (2006).
Sponsored by the Princeton University Department of English, Department of History, PIIRS and the Princeton Committee on Palestine