Pro-Palestinian activist filmed slashing, spraying historic Cambridge painting in anti-Israel protest

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In a video that has since gone viral online, a protester spray-painted and slashed a portrait of Lord Balfour at Trinity College, University of Cambridge in England. 

Lord Balfour was the architect of the Balfour Declaration and was a prominent advocate for a Jewish home in Palestine. 

In a letter from Nov. 2 1917, Lord Balfour told Lord Rothschild that the British government looked favorably upon "the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country."  

Balfour, who was Foreign Secretary at the time, also served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1902 to 1905. 

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An activist group called "Palestine Action" posted a video of the vandalism on Instagram and spoke directly to the historic significance of the Balfour Declaration in creating a Jewish state. "Written in 1917, Balfour’s declaration began the ethnic cleansing of Palestine by promising the land away — which the British never had the right to do," a caption for the video of the destruction of Lord Balfour's portrait reads. 

"After the Declaration, until 1948, the British burnt down indigenous villages to prepare the way; with this came arbitrary killings, arrests, torture and sexual violence including rape," the caption continues. "The British paved the way for the Nakba and trained the Zionist militia to ethnically cleanse over 750,000 Palestinians, destroy over 500 villages and massacre many families."

The caption claimed that the "genocide" in Palestine is "rooted and supported by British complicity." 

Other posts by the activist group appear to reference American politics

"Palestine is not going to be liberated because the Democrats suddenly have a moral awakening & decide to go against their AIPAC & weapons industry donors," the screenshotted post reads

"Palestine is going to be liberated by Palestinians' relentless resistance, & those around the world who resisted with them," the post continues. 

The group's Instagram page describes itself as a "direct action network dismantling British complicity in Israeli apartheid." 

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In the United States, the debate over the Israel-Hamas war continues to divide the Democratic Party, with protesters harassing Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and her fiancé outside a movie theater in Brooklyn and demanded that she call Israel’s offensive in Gaza a "genocide."

"You refuse to call it a genocide," one of the protesters can be heard saying, to which Ocasio-Cortez fires back: "I need you to understand that this is not okay." 

"It’s not okay that there’s a genocide happening and you’re not actively against it," the protester said. 

President Biden has also been shouted down in speeches by pro-Palestinian demonstrators.

A Trinity College spokesperson told Fox News Digital in a statement that the police were made aware of the vandalism of Lord Balfour's portrait. 

"Trinity College regrets the damage caused to a portrait of Arthur James Balfour during public opening hours," the statement reads. "The police have been informed. Support is available for any member of the College community affected."

Palestine Action did not respond to a request for comment from Fox News Digital. 

Fox News' Bradford Betz contributed to this report.

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