FACT CHECK: Did The University Of Edinburgh Put Out A Statement Apologizing To Palestinians?

Anna Mock | Fact Check Reporter

A post shared on Facebook allegedly shows an apology letter to Palestinians on behalf of the University of Edinburgh. 

Verdict: False

This is not a genuine letter, a spokesperson for the University of Edinburgh told Check Your Fact in an email.

Fact Check: 

The Palestinian death toll in Gaza has reached at least 20,000, including at least 8,000 children and 6,200 women, Al Jazeera reported. Nearly 2 million people have been displaced, with minimal access to food, clean water or sanitation, according to The Guardian.

A Facebook image purports to show a letter from the University of Edinburgh to the Palestinian people. The alleged letter is dated Dec. 14, 2023 and labeled “public apology” and appears to apologize to Palestinians for the Balfour Declaration, a 1917 statement expressing British support for “the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people,” according to Britannica.

“Super proud of Edinburgh University for this public apology to the Palestinian people and for the measures they are undertaking as a consequence!” the caption reads. “They felt obliged to apologise on the grounds that Balfour, who wrote the Balfour Declaration 1917, granting Palestinian lands to the Zionists, was the longest serving Chancellor of the University (1891-1930).”

This is not a genuine letter, however. The person who originally created the letter, Palestinian dance artist Farah Saleh, made a post on X giving context. “To clarify, the apology letter below is fiction. It is part of my performance lecture ‘Balfour Reparations (2023-2043),’ which was developed during my post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Edinburgh.” (RELATED: Video Shows Children In Syria, Not Palestine)

Saleh further explained that the letter was based on an official statement from University of Edinburgh staff showing support for Palestine and calling on the university to protect free speech about the conflict.

“This is not an official statement from the University of Edinburgh. It is a fictional text that was created for a private theatre event,” a University of Edinburgh spokesperson told Check Your Fact in an email. 

Note: Check Your Fact is working to debunk false and misleading claims from the recent event. Please send tips to [email protected].  

Anna Mock

Fact Check Reporter