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Lord Arthur Balfour’s Speech, July 12, 1920, Excerpt from Palestine Royal Commission Report (Peel Commission) (Cmd. 5479) – July 1937.

Arthur Balfour

Lord Arthur Balfour

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Among these difficulties I am not sure that I do not rate highest, or at all events first, the inevitable difficulty of dealing with the Arab question as it presents itself within the limits of Palestine. It will require tact, it will require judgment, it will require above all sympathetic goodwill on the part both of Jew and Arab. So far as the Arabs are concerned – a great, an interesting and an attractive race – I hope they will remember that…the Great Powers, and among the Great Powers most especially Great Britain, has freed them, the Arab race, from the tyranny of their brutal conqueror, who had kept them under his heel for these many centuries.

I hope they will remember it is we who have established the independent Arab sovereignty of the Hedjaz. I hope they will remember that it is we who desire in Mesopotamia to prepare the way for the future of a self-governing, autonomous Arab State; and I hope that, remembering all that, they will not begrudge that small notch—for it is no more geographically, whatever it may be historically—that small notch in what are now Arab territories, being given to the people who for all these hundreds of years have been separated from it, but surely have a title to develop on their own lines in the land of their forefathers, which ought to appeal to the sympathy of the Arab people as it, I am convinced, appeals to the sympathy of the Arab people as it, I am convinced, appeals to the great mass of my own Christian fellow-countrymen.

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