BETHLEHEM – An ironic tea party out side the West Bank separation barrier recently marked the 100th anniversary of the Balfour agreement of 1917.

Banksy organized the tea party, outside his Walled Off Hotel, to commemorate the Balfour declaration. The agreement was a public statement issued by the British government in World War I. The government announced support for the establishment of a “national home for the Jewish people” in Palestine.

In an Instagram post, Banksy said, “This conflict has brought so much suffering to people on all sides, it didn’t feel appropriate to celebrate.”

The agreement was a 126-word letter by British Foreign Minister Arthur Balfour to Lord Rothschild, leader of the British Jewish community, in 1917.

The letter said:

“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.”

British leaders hoped a statement supporting Zionism would help gain support from the Allies. Their support for the Zionist movement was borne from their concern about the direction of the First World War. Zionism was a movement for the development and protection of a Jewish nation in what is now Israel.

An HRH Queen Elizabeth II impersonator graced the tea party with her presence. She unveiled Banksy’s apology carving “Er Sorry” in the separation wall.