100th Anniversary of the Balfour Declaration: Arab Cartoons Show Continued Refusal to Recognize Jewish Self-Determination

  • November 7, 2017

November 2, 2017 marked the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, a letter signed in 1917 by British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour expressing his country's support for the establishment of a national Jewish home in Palestine. While the UK and Israel celebrated the anniversary of this Declaration, which has become a symbol of international recognition of the Jewish right to self-determination, Palestinians and others have used the occasion to protest, and demand an apology from the British government. Some Arab media outlets published anti-Semitic and anti-Israel cartoons illustrating their refusal to acknowledge the Jewish state even a century later.

Main themes include demonizing Israel and the Balfour Declaration by depicting them as a scorpion threatening Al-Aqsa Mosque and a monstrous plant devouring all of Palestine. These cartoons further reinforced the denial of the Jewish historical connection to the Land of Israel, a hallmark of modern day anti-Semitism, as expressed in the recent infamous UNESCO resolutions.

Examples include:

Al-Jazeera, November 6th, 2017 (Qatar)

Being watered by the British figure, the Balfour Declaration is depicted as a monstrous plant about to devour Mandatory Palestine. This, while the Arab figure representing "Arab Zionists" is saying to him "Let me do it for you, brother."

Al-Arab, November 2nd, 2017 (Qatar)

Israel and the Balfour Declaration are depicted as a scorpion making its way toward Al-Aqsa Mosque, while a Palestinian representing "the resistance" is preparing to attack it with a stone.

Al-Khalij, November 2nd, 2017 (UAE)

The Balfour Declaration is depicted as two devils instigating a medieval stereotypical Jew representing Israel to stir the pot representing "Palestine."

Al-Watan, November 2nd, 2017 (Oman)

A hand marked by a Star of David is shown operating the UK as it's signing the Balfour Declaration, while a Palestinian youth is torching it in the backdrop of Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Al-Quds Al-Arabi, October 27th, 2017 (UK)

In a paraphrase of the Balfour Declaration, this cartoon is titled "The Justice Declaration… Soon." It shows a medieval stereotype Jew leaving "Palestine" carrying the Balfour Declaration and a book of "forged history."

More from this Section