The British government signed the Balfour Declaration on 2 November 1917, announcing support for establishing a “national home for the Jewish people” in Palestine, then an Ottoman region with a minority Jewish population. It read:
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.
Banksy commemorated the Balfour declaration with an apology on the segregation wall a few meters from his Walled Off Hotel and a small ceremony with a Queen Elizabeth impersonator.
An official statement from Banksy read:
“This conflict has brought so much suffering to people on all sides – it didn’t feel appropriate to ‘celebrate’ the British role. The British didn’t handle things well here. When you organise a wedding,” referring to the promise of a Jewish national homeland in Palestine, “it’s best to make sure the bride isn’t already married.”
Inside the Walled Off Hotel is an interesting museum on the situation created by the Balfour Declaration, curated by the Banksy team and Dr Gavin Grindon from Essex University.