The Balfour Declaration was a letter from the United Kingdom’s Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour to Walter Rothschild,, a leader of the British Jewish community, for transmission to the Zionist Federation of Great Britain and Ireland.
His Majesty’s government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.
The text of the letter was published in the press one week later, on 9 November 1917. The “Balfour Declaration” was later incorporated into both the Sèvres peace treaty with the Ottoman Empire, and the Mandate for Palestine.
The declaration was in contrast to the McMahon-Hussein correspondence, which promised the Arab independence movement control of the Middle East territories “in the limits and boundaries proposed by the Sharif of Mecca” in exchange for revolting against the Ottoman Empire.