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The event dedicated to the Balfour Declaration Centennial was held at the platform of Virginia Commonwealth University. The participants were provided with a discourse on the significant historical occurrence that had affected the lives of many people around the world. Noura Erakat and Hillel Gruenberg were invited to give a speech on the Balfour Declaration and dwell upon its significance for the modernity. The purpose of this paper is to reflect on the event and discuss the reaction of the author in regard to the statements made by the two guest speakers.
Reflection and Reaction
The Declaration was a short letter from “Minister Arthur James Balfour to Lord Lionel Rothschild” (Virginia Commonwealth University). Lord Rothschild was one of the leaders of the Jewish community in England, and the purpose of the letter was to attain the support of the community representatives to create a national Jewish hearth (Virginia Commonwealth University). Some researchers believed that the main motive of the Declaration was linked to the desire to gain the support of Jewry at the end of the First World War; however, another part of the scientific community suggested the opposite. According to the document, the leaders initiating the Declaration targeted at establishing a state for the Jewish people in the Palestine terrain.
Notably, the two speakers addressed different aspects of this historically significant document. Mr. Gruenberg provided the audience with an overview of the Declaration. He discussed the setting before the document was delivered and how the environment and the climate had changed after it was introduced. It was done to stress the way the letter had altered the world for the Jewish people (Virginia Commonwealth University). In her turn, Ms. Erakat addressed another side of the issue. She talked about the aftermath of the document. Apart from that, the speaker discussed the Palestinian resistance linked to this historical event (Virginia Commonwealth University). Importantly, the guests stressed the connection between the document and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
One of the queries proposed by Ms. Erakat has resonated with the author greatly. The scholar wondered, “What will it take for Palestinians to recognize that America’s help is not going to lead to meaningful dignity, liberation, and liberty?” (Virginia Commonwealth University). It is reasonable to state that this question did not leave anyone indifferent and provoked speculation on the way the document informed the occurring resistance.
The importance of the event held on the basis of Virginia Commonwealth University should not be underestimated. It provided the possibility not only to commemorate the centennial but also to reiterate the significance of the historical document for the contemporary world. The effects of the Declaration are experienced at present, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict still affects the lives of thousands of people fighting for territorial sovereignty (Virginia Commonwealth University). After the speakers had finalized their performance, the participants had a chance to discuss their questions with the guests, which had enhanced the effect of their speeches. Such a learning experience was indeed valuable since every individual received an opportunity to share his or her thoughts and concerns with the esteemed scholars. It has also provoked the further interest of students in the subject since the conflict between the two groups is ongoing.
Thus, “The Balfour Declaration Centennial” was an important event. It has enriched the learning experience of students while allowing them to discuss the issues that are urgent and require their attention as future scholars. The guest speakers had reiterated the significance of the Balfour Declaration and highlighted its influence on the Palestinian resistance.
Virginia Commonwealth University. “The Balfour Declaration Centennial: How a 1917 Proclamation Shaped Israel and Palestine.” VCU, 2017, Web.