The Balfour Declaration was an important event in Jewish, Arab, and world history. But it was a flimsy document—"declaration" is a somewhat grandiose misnomer—and its importance should not be fetishized. It did not create the Zionist movement or overdetermine the destiny of the Arab-Israeli conflict; many, many other choices on all sides have been made since. And though the Declaration was certainly part of the imperialist world order, so were many of the Arab forces who opposed it.


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