5. Close-up detail of draft with Churchill's name visible
6. Close-up pan detail of draft
7. Close up detail of draft with date
8. SOUNDBITE: (English) David Redden, Sotheby's Vice Chairman:
"We have an extraordinary collection of archival material that comes from ultimately one of the members of the British Zionist Committee, Leon Simon, and among that archival material is a draft, possibly the only surviving draft, of what the Zionist committee recommended for the British government, and which finally became, eventually, the Balfour Declaration."
9. Early draft of the declaration with notes in Sacher's hand
10. Close-up, pan detail of early draft of declaration with notes in Sacher's hand
11. Still photograph of Lord Balfour
12. Mid shot Leon Simon's draft on hotel stationery
Two original drafts of the Balfour Declaration - a key document in the recognition of the national aspirations of the Jewish people - will be auctioned by Sotheby's in New York City on June 16.
The drafts and other documents are part of the archive of Zionist leader Leon Simon.
Sotheby's estimates the documents, which are being sold as a collection, will fetch between five-hundred and eight-hundred-thousand US dollars.
The collection documents many of the leaders of the Zionist movement and the major milestones that led to the establishment of the state of Israel.
Sir Leon Simon was an English Zionist leader, Hebrew scholar and civil servant, responsible for much early Zionist pamphleteering.
His papers cover the era of upheaval towards the end of World War I.
One of the documents included in the collection shows Sir Winston Churchill's name as an intended recipient.
The concept of Zionism as a political movement to establish a "home for the Jewish people in Palestine secured under public law," was a formulated of the First Zionist Congress, organised by Theodor Herzl in Basel in 1897.
World War I shook up the established geopolitical world and gave the Zionists an opportunity to promote their vision to European and American political leaders.
The charismatic scientist and Zionist leader Chaim Weizmann, took advantage of his contacts in the British establishment to seek a formal expression of sympathy for a Jewish homeland from Britain.
In 1917, Lord Balfour, the new Foreign Secretary, was sympathetic and asked Weizmann for a draft declaration which would express the sentiments of the Zionist Organisation. Weizmann assigned the drafting job to Harry Sacher and the British Palestine Committee.
Simon's archive begins with the formation of the British Palestine Committee (items 1-7), the Manchester-based group formed from the informal circle gathered around Weizmann.
Weizmann and others formed a Political Committee in London to continue the drafting. A meeting was set up at the Imperial Hotel on Russell Square for July 17, 1917 where the final details were hammered out and recorded on the documents now up for sale.
When the final formulation was reached, Simon, who was present at the meeting, took a piece of hotel stationery to note the final wording and the names of the members present.
On November 17, 1917, the Balfour Declaration was published and became a cornerstone for the eventual creation of the State of Israel.
It stated: "His Majesty's Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people."