The Balfour Declaration:

An Essential Document that Led to the Establishment  of Israel or to Conflicts in the Region - or Both?

Ralph Nurnberger
Jewish Culture & History / History

Course Description

It is impossible to comprehend the current conflicts in the Middle East without an understanding of the Balfour Declaration as well as other events that took place during World War I. On November 2, 1917, British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour signed a one sentence letter containing 67 words, declaring that “His Majesty’s Government view with favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this object …" Palestine was then an Ottoman region with a minority Jewish population. In what can be described as double, triple and quadruple dealing, the British also made promises to Arab leaders; French diplomats and even sought a deal with the Ottomans. This presentation will cover the fascinating cast of characters involved in the secret negotiations and pledges, as well as how the results directly affect the current conflicts in the region.

About the Instructor

  • Dr. Ralph Nurnberger taught History and International Relations at Georgetown University for 38 years. He received the Excellence in Teaching Award from the Graduate School of Liberal Studies in 2003. Dr. Nurnberger served on the professional staff of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Legislative Liaison for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). He received his BA from Queens College, his MA from Columbia University and his PhD from Georgetown University.