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Dr Peter Shambrook, a reputed historian specialising in Middle Eastern  history, 
gave a talk to WSPSC about the historical roots and consequences of the Balfour 
Declaration on Friday 22 October which enlightened and delighted a large 
audience at St Nicolas Church in Guildford.

He spoke about the role of the UK and quoted from a speech by the well-known 
Anglo-Jewish historian Sir Martin Gilbert (famous for his biography of Winston 
Churchill among other works) given in Israel in [2006?} when he said that:

/"The cornerstone of British mandatory policy was the withholding of 
representative institutions for as long as there was, in Palestine, an Arab 

This neat summary of British policy between 1916 and 1948 exposes its 
fundamental hypocrisy and largely explains why the Palestinian people have 
suffered from its consequences for the last 100 years.

Organizers of the famed Italian cycling race Giro d’Italia have announced the start of the 2018 edition from Israel, starting in Jerusalem followed by stages from Haifa to Tel Aviv and in the Naqab (Negev). 

The race will ‘celebrate’ the 70th anniversary of Israel’s establishment on the ruins of the Palestinian homeland and through the ethnic cleansing, or Nakba, of a majority of the indigenous Palestinians.

We have to act to stop this sports-washing of Israel’s occupation and apartheid, dubbed by the media as “a big political coup for [Israel], which has been striving to paint a picture of 'normal' life.”

Read more and sign the petition here.

There are several events planned both locally and nationally to mark the centenary of the Balfour Declaration in November.  We are pleased to have two separate events in Guildford.  The first is a talk and film by Dr Peter Shambrook and the second is an event together with the Guildford Amnesty International group as part of the Guildford Book Festival with the author and journalist David Cronin.  Although both examine the history and impact of the Balfour Declaration, they approach the topic from different perspectives and we would strongly encourage you to attend both events if possible.  You can find further details below.


“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.” The Balfour Declaration November 1917

This year marks the centenary of the Balfour Declaration, the document penned by the then British foreign secretary which paved the way for the foundation of the state of Israel. Despite reassurances to the Palestinians, it led to the occupation of their land and denial of their rights through to the present day. Peter Shambrook will analyse both the historical significance and the lasting impact of the Balfour Declaration on the region.

Dr Shambrook has a PhD in Modern Middle Eastern History from Cambridge University and has spent many years studying 19/20th century British involvement in the Middle East. He is currently Historical Consultant to the Balfour Project

Friday 22 September 2017, 7.30pm
St Nicolas Church Hall, Bury Street,
Guildford GU2 4AW