Protesters gather at UC Berkeley on 100th anniversary of Balfour Declaration

Karim Doumar/Staff

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More than 40 students gathered on the steps of Sproul Plaza to protest and mourn the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration on Thursday afternoon.

The declaration, written by former prime minister of the United Kingdom Arthur Balfour, affirmed the British government’s support for a Jewish state in Palestine. The rally began at 11 a.m. and was organized by Students for Justice in Palestine, or SJP.

“The letter served as a legal document and represented the de facto colonial transfer of historic Palestine to an explicitly eliminatory movement without the consultation, or even pretending to consult the Indigenous Palestinian inhabitants,” SJP wrote on their Facebook event page.

Members of SJP declined to comment out of fear of their members being doxed.

Protesters chanted “¡Viva Viva Palestina!” and held an open mic for people to discuss their thoughts and feelings about Israel’s occupation of Palestine.

At the same time, pro-Israel student groups Tikvah and Bears for Israel counterprotested on the steps behind SJP, holding signs reading “Ask a Zionist” and “Zionism: Self-Determination for the Jewish People” along with the flag of Israel. The groups dispersed when pro-Palestine rallies began marching to California Hall.

Campus junior Sophia Gluck, co-president of Bears for Israel, said the group came out to counterprotest because it believes it is important to have people from multiple opinions represented at protests and events concerning Israel and Palestine.

“I support everyone’s right to protest, but the wants and needs of Israelis and Palestinians are very different, but also overlap,” Gluck said.

Once the pro-Palestine protesters reached California Hall, they provided a list of grievances, including the campus and city’s use of police force. Protesters also condemned campus administration for inadequately denouncing threats made against Palestinian students and staff. In September, posters were distributed by the David Horowitz Freedom Center near Barrows Hall alleging that certain campus community members were terrorist sympathizers, several of whom were known supporters of Palestinian divestment from Israel.

They ended their list by chanting, “Resistance until liberation, resistance until return, free Palestine.”

Protesters then marched back to Sproul Plaza while waving the flag of Palestine and chanting, “Hey hey, ho ho, the occupation has got to go!” before dispersing.

“On November 2nd, Palestinians around the world will be remembering and mourning this day as the symbolic beginning of their colonial dispossession and uprooting from Palestine,” SJP wrote on their Facebook page.

Jessíca Jiménez covers schools and communities. Contact her at [email protected] and and follow her on Twitter at @jesscajimenez_dc.

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  • SamXie

    40 students protested the establishment of the state of Israel? Who are the students with the Israeli flags then? Was there a counter-protest? Was that not worth a mention? Who organized it? Why weren’t they interviewed? Why does the Daily Cal repeatedly silence the voices of the pro-Israel students on campus?

    • Jon Skeed

      Daily Cal – Please publicly respond to these questions. We expect journalism that is not one-sided? Then again, this is the paper that issued a blood-liable cartoon of Alan Dershowitz. We should not expect very much.

  • Shlomo Ben Hungstein
  • Shlomo Ben Hungstein
  • zzz

    It’s strange how certain groups of people believe the whole agenda, “¡Viva Viva Palestina!”

    It’s impossible to take these agenda progressives seriously when they all share the same uni-mind.

  • Helen4Yemen

    ““Hey hey, ho ho, the occupation has got to go!” before dispersing.”

    European Jewry – totally European – simply faked their way to Palestine as “returning”.
    Theft by any other name is theft. Ukraine now has a Jewish PM and there is no more
    persecution the Europeans now in Palestine face. They can easily go back and start
    a peaceful life with people who look like them and act like them – other Europeans.
    The theft of Palestine is simply indefensible. Saying a guy in the sky gave me other
    people’s land simply is not going to word in the 21st century. That fairy tale belongs
    in kindergarten.

    It is not “the occupation” that has to go but Palestine in its entirety belongs to
    its natives and not to total foreigners from Lithuania, Hungary, Germany!

    • Pietro Gambadilegno

      As I said before, close to half the Jews in Israel are from Muslim countries, not from Europe.

      Eg, number whose lineage traces back to Germany: 70,800
      Number whose lineage traces back to Morocco: 484,500
      So much for your lie that they are all foreigners from Lithuania, Hungary, Germany.
      In total, 1,648,000 trace their lineage to Europe and 1,571,800 from Muslim countries in Africa and Asia.

      Maybe you should take your own advice: go back to where you came from and give the United States back to the native Americans. Weren’t your ancestors total foreigners who stole America from the natives? Go back to Europe or wherever your ancestors came from, and start a peaceful life with people who look like you and act like you.

      • Helen4Yemen

        1) How many of them are descendants of Jews who fled Spain and settled in Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Egypt, Turkey?

        2) How many of them are Ashkenazi Jews who settled in that region during the Ottoman period?

      • Helen4Yemen

        I am Middle Eastern which no Ashkenazi would ever dare say it!

      • TecumsehUnfaced

        So what? How does that excuse the savage Zionist invasion from Europe? Note that the Moroccans are still invaders. Sorry, peering back to other times for excuses for barbarous behavior only establishes you as a barbarian. See if you can’t find anything genuine.

    • Jon Skeed

      Dear Helen4Yemen: Your entire comment shows your complete ignorance concerning Jews, Israel, Palestinians, and related topics. Go read a book!

    • Saulo Villatoro

      Helen, Can you answer these questions about the Palestinians?
      Who are the main heroes or Palestinian heroes before 1948?
      What was the basis of its economy?
      What was the name of its currency?
      What was its capital?
      Through history I don’t see any “Palestine country’

  • Helen4Yemen

    ““Zionism: Self-Determination for the Jewish People”

    A “people” have certain things in common that make them a ‘people”. Tell me what the European Ashkenazi has in common with the people of the Middle East?

    1) language? No!
    2) alphabet? No!
    3) music? No!
    4) dance? No!
    5) appearance? No!
    6) DNA? No!
    7) clothing? No!
    8) food? No!
    9) art? No!
    10) history? No!


    It sounds so strange for a European people to do their self-determination on stolen land. That has never happened before.

    • Pietro Gambadilegno

      Go to Israel, and you will see that they do have common language, alphabet, appearance, food and so on. About half of the Jews in Israel come from the Muslim countries of the middle east and north Africa – not from Europe.

    • SamXie

      Wrong. Historian Barbara Tuchman once described the Jewish people as having the same land, the same language, the same religion for 3500 years.

    • Jon Skeed

      You are wrong on all 10 counts, Helen

      • Helen4Yemen

        I am Middle Eastern. Go ahead and tell me what an Ashkenazi Jew has in common with a Yemeni or Ethiopian Jew?