AT THIS the centenary of the Balfour Declaration there seems to be general agreement that it led to the foundation of the state of Israel, though this doesn’t prove any such causal connection.

For those who appreciate Britain on that assumption, well and good. For those who blame us, let us consider what intermediate steps may have linked these events.

I can think of two. The second is that we maintained law and order, preventing the native population from driving out the new settlers by force. That is no less than should have been expected of whoever was mandated to govern the territory.

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The first is that we failed, until the late 1930s, to implement effective control over entry, allowing in a substantial number of immigrants. That is something we have seldom attempted to do anywhere and rarely with any success.

Some would argue that it is impossible to achieve or that it would be morally wrong. I don’t hold that view, but those of the left or liberal persuasions who do profess to tend also to be the ones who would castigate us for the role that Britain played.

Are they saying that limiting immigration is legitimate for the protection of the Palestinians and others but not for the British?

John Riseley, Harrogate