Letters Discussion Forums

Smuts was the driving force behind the Balfour Declaration

  • 2b-Letter7
The report of the Balfour Declaration - intrigue and providence - by Rabbi Ramon Widmonte (SA Jewish Report, October 27), makes interesting reading.
by Ralph Zulman, Johannesburg | Nov 02, 2017

It is perhaps worth noting that South Africa's prime minister, General Jannie Smuts, always harboured an affection for the Jewish people, whom he regarded as similar to the Afrikaners, in being godfearing, hard-working and without a homeland to call their own.

Smuts was the driving force of what became known as the Balfour Declaration of 1917, which became one of his dearest causes. He encouraged (British Prime Minister) Lloyd George and his foreign secretary, Arthur Balfour, to issue the Declaration.

The Declaration contained an although ambiguously worded promise, that in the event of an Allied victory, Britain would establish a national homeland for the Jews in Palestine. In 1926 in fulfilment of the Balfour Declaration, a Jewish national home was (in fact) established in Palestine.

Many years later, disregarding what many believed would have disastrous consequences, Smuts wrote a letter in 1948 to Colonial Secretary Leo Amery, lamenting Britain's fumbling of it redemptive cause in Israel. (See Richard Steyn - Unafraid of Greatness p 86 and Churchill & Smuts also by Richard Steyn pp 237/8).




  1. RadEditor - HTML WYSIWYG Editor. MS Word-like content editing experience thanks to a rich set of formatting tools, dropdowns, dialogs, system modules and built-in spell-check.
    RadEditor's components - toolbar, content area, modes and modules
    Toolbar's wrapper 
    Content area wrapper
    RadEditor's bottom area: Design, Html and Preview modes, Statistics module and resize handle.
    It contains RadEditor's Modes/views (HTML, Design and Preview), Statistics and Resizer
    Editor Mode buttonsStatistics moduleEditor resizer
    RadEditor's Modules - special tools used to provide extra information such as Tag Inspector, Real Time HTML Viewer, Tag Properties and other.

Follow us on