Palestine FM responds to Theresa May’s pride in Balfour Declaration

PNN/ Ramallah/

Palestinian Minister of Foreign Affairs. Dr. Riyad al-Malki on Thursday said that The Palestinian side is following with great caution and deep concern the statements of British Prime Minister Teresa Mae, in which she declared her country’s pride in the establishment of the Israeli occupying state, and its insistence on commemorating the centennial of the Balfour Declaration.

Al-Maliki told Voice of Palestine radio on Thursday that the British official’s position reflected the British government’s persistence and indifference to the crime committed 100 years ago, and reflects a challenge by Britain to Palestine and the international community.

In an official statement, Maliki said:

“We consider the remarks of British Prime Minister, Theresa May, on 25 October regarding the centennial of the Balfour declaration to be offensive and unacceptable. Ms. May boasted about this declaration, which willfully and determinedly disregarded the existence of the Palestinian people and denied their national rights.

“Most disturbing is the British Prime Minister’s tone of condescension. 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. In line with the Balfour Declaration’s original racism and disdain for the Palestinian people, Ms. May glossed over the reality and facts and consciously chose to refrain from addressing the continued injustice that the Palestinian people suffer because of the chain of events that this declaration set off.

“This document, which the British Prime Minister is so eager to celebrate with pride, 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.

“If Prime Minister May wants to show British sensitivity to the ongoing pain and suffering of the Palestinian people, she should start out by acknowledging Britain’s culpability for this ongoing injustice and recognize the Palestinian people’s inalienable 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.

In an interview with Voice of Palestine radio, Maliki called on the international community to move from statements of condemnation to taking practical steps to pressure the Israeli government to stop settlement.

He added that the absence of Arab, regional, European and international stances gave green light to Israel to accelerate expansion of settlements, in order to break the road to a two-state solution and the possibility of a contiguous Palestinian state.

Maliki called for taking steps by international community, boycott of Israel and punitive measures for violating international law, and blacklisting  names of settlers to prevent them from entering several countries.

On the position of the US administration on settlements, al-Maliki said that Washington has not yet taken a clear and public position in particular and claims that it talks with Israel by diplomatic means, which encourages Tel Aviv to continue its settlement actions.

The Fatah Movement General Commissioner of Mobilization and Organization condemned Teresa Mae’s remarks, saying it reflects real bias towards the racist occupation state.