Social media posts claim Israel has ceased to exist as a nation, linking it to the alleged expiration of Britain’s support for a Jewish national home in Palestine more than a century ago.
This is false. Israel’s sovereignty was never dependent on the 1917 Balfour Declaration, which does not have an expiration date.
The baffling claims can be traced back to a QAnon conspiracy theory.
This Facebook post is typical of many others, citing the declaration and claiming it expired on October 31, followed by confused claims about Israel being registered as a corporation, which has also expired.
But the Balfour Declaration was not a lease or contract with an expiry date.
It was a statement of British support for the establishment of a Jewish national home in Palestine, made in a November 1917 letter from then British foreign secretary Arthur Balfour to Anglo-Jewish community leader Lionel Rothschild.
But the social media posts ignore history, claiming Israel registered as a corporate entity in 1947 and this corporation expired on October 31.
AAP FactCheck followed links in several posts to find the source of the claims.
Similar posts appear online elsewhere with the same text, such as here and in this YouTube video. Some of the posts, such as here and here, link to a Cairns News article, which links to another video discussing similar claims.
That video also quotes from a text post by “Earnest J. Pfeifer”, which interprets a recent QAnon claim “Israel will be last”.
The post states: “‘ISRAEL WILL BE LAST’ What Did That Q-Drop Mean? It’s All About A Contract! Israel was created by The Khazarian Rothschild Mafia Banksyers in 1948 but their contract as an independent sovereign nation expires the end of October 2023 … They are registered as a corporation address is next to Kensington palace.”
Israel is registered as an overseas entity in the UK for trade purposes. But this is not evidence of it being a corporation.
“(The Balfour Declaration) is not the source of legitimacy for the existence of the State of Israel,” Dr Porat said.
“But it’s definitely the first major basis for international law that was created in the modern era supporting Israel’s right to exist.
Dr Porat said UN Resolution 181 solidified the idea Israel had international backing.
He said the idea of a lease played no part in the Balfour Declaration and had no standing in how the mandate prepared for a Jewish national home.
Jewish immigration to Ottoman areas involved the purchase of land from landowners, he added.
“There’s no question that this particular territory that was purchased by Jewish settlers, by Zionists, was a complete purchase – it was ownership, it was not lease. So there’s no grounds for that argument whatsoever,” Dr Porat said.
Dr Porat verified the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, was still fully operational and there were no changes to Israel’s status as a nation on October 31.
The claim the 1917 Balfour Declaration expired on October 31, meaning Israel has lost its sovereign status as a nation, is false.
It is a baseless conspiracy theory which ignores the history of the British Mandate and the formation of the State of Israel in 1948.
An expert in Middle Eastern affairs told AAP FactCheck the claim has no legitimacy and Israel has not been dissolved.
False – The claim is inaccurate.