On November 2nd 1917 Arthur Balfour, then Foreign Secretary, wrote to Lord Rothschild to say that the British Government viewed with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people. It was a statement the consequences of which have reverberated throughout the world in a crescendo of bitterness and violence ever since. It interposed a European (mainly Russian) Jewish cultural idea in an Arab land and it led eventually to the Arab-Israeli conflict. Eleven years before his declaration, Balfour had met the passionate Zionist and

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