The Balfour Declaration of 1917 was one of the most controversial and important decisions in the early twentieth century. The modern
middle east and geopolitics have been influenced by this declaration. This short document which was issued during the darkest days of World War One attracted little notice at the time but it undoubtedly changed the modern world and the merits of this policy can still generate some heated debate some 100 years after its publication. This article will outline the Balfour Declaration and its origins and aims. Then it will provide the context for the issuance of the Declaration and then identify its impact on the Middle East. It will argue that the Declaration of 1917 was very important in the founding of the modern state of Israel and that it was one of the root causes of the intractable Arab-Israeli conflict.
[[File: Balfour five.jpg|200px|thumb|left|A copy of the Balfour Declaration]]