Balfour Declaration

Several SNP MPs participated in the Balfour Declaration debate in Parliament this week. (click here for the transcript in Hansard)

Whilst the historical context is complex, we have stressed the need to learn some important and relevant lessons from the Balfour Declaration. We deeply regret that the UK Government did not fulfil its commission in the Declaration that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, and the consequences of this failure remain all too clear. We hope that the centenary of the Balfour Declaration will serve as an opportunity for reflection and an impetus for a reinvigorated peace process across the Middle East.


The SNP supports the position of a two-state solution and we encourage Israel and Palestine to reach a sustainable, negotiated settlement under international law, based on mutual recognition and the determination to coexist peacefully. The SNP and the Scottish Government have consistently condemned obstacles to progress in the peace process, such as the indiscriminate rocket attacks on Israel or the continued expansion of illegal settlements in the occupied territories.


The First Minister has been very clear that we condemn anyone who threatens the existence of Israel. Israel has a right to exist and a right to exist peacefully and, whatever the rights and wrongs of the Israel-Palestine situation, it should never be used as justification for attacks on Jewish people or abuse towards Jewish people.


We have also repeatedly called on the UK Government to use its influence to help to revitalise the peace process, break through the political deadlock and bring an end to the conflict.