The elusive British street artist Banksy has apologised for the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration outside his hotel installation ‘The Walled-off ‘ in the occupied West Bank.
The faux event was organised around 50 children with a masked double dressed as Queen Elizabeth II. Modelling it on an English-style tea party. Helmets with British flags and bullet holes were worn along with moth-eaten Union Jacks waved by the guests.
A double of the Queen unveiled a plaque behind velvet curtains revealing the message “Er, Sorry,” a play on her initials Elizabeth Regina. The party was in response to the celebrations in London commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Balfour declaration, a declaration which paved the way for the creation of Israel. The event invited dozens of children from a nearby refugee camp to enjoy a cake decorated with the Union Jacks.
“We came because we didn’t like the use of the British flags or the way they were using Palestinian children,” activist Munther Amira told the Guardian. Amira, a refugee from the Aida camp, had pierced the cake with a Palestinian flag, drawing cheers from the crowd. The camp lies steps away from Banksy’s Walled Off Hotel, an installation of his work unveiled last spring.”
The tea party artwork was staged as a performance piece in response to the celebrations in London commemorating the ‘low-keyed’ anniversary culminating in a formal dinner between British officials and the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“The Balfour Declaration, which paved the way for Israel’s establishment 30 years after its writing by the Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour had not taken into account a homeland for the Palestinian people. Jorden was created along with Israel without planning for the creation of a Palestinian State.
The UK refuses to acknowledge any role in injustice towards the problem in the region. In April, the British government issued a statement making clear that it does not intend to apologise and is “proud of, our role in creating the State of Israel.”