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Anti-Israel protester destroys painting of Lord Balfour, who paved way for modern Israeli state

Palestine Action said the slashing and spray painting aimed to "highlight Britain's historic and current role in the colonization of Palestine which roots back to the Balfour declaration."

Screen capture of widely-circulating video footage of an anti-Israel activist slashing a 1914 painting of Arthur Balfour, of Balfour Declaration fame, at Trinity College, part of the University of Cambridge in England.
Screen capture of widely-circulating video footage of an anti-Israel activist slashing a 1914 painting of Arthur Balfour, of Balfour Declaration fame, at Trinity College, part of the University of Cambridge in England.

A woman apparently associated with the anti-Israel group Palestine Action is depicted in video, which circulated widely on social media, slashing a 1914 painting of Arthur Balfour, the first earl of Balfour, and defacing it with paint.

“Normally our direct action campaign is focused on Israel’s weapons trade in Britain. However, it’s necessary to highlight Britain’s historic and current role in the colonization of Palestine which roots back to the Balfour declaration,” the group posted on social media.

The painting, by the Hungarian painter Philip Alexius de László, is part of the collection of Trinity College, part of the University of Cambridge in England.

Balfour wrote to Baron Rothschild on Nov. 2, 1917, on the advice of Chaim Weizmann and Nahum Sokolow, in what came to be called the Balfour Declaration, paving the way for the modern State of Israel.

“Written in 1917, Balfour’s declaration began the ethnic cleansing of Palestine by promising the land away—which the British never had the right to do,” stated the anti-Israel group that took credit for the vandalism.

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