100 Years Since Balfour

100 years ago today, on November 2 1917, Lord Balfour, the Foreign Secretary, wrote a letter to Lord Rothschild, a Zionist & Jewish community leader, declaring:

“His Majesty’s Government view with favour 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.”

Alongside the official commemorations, the Balfour centenary is a moment to take stock, to consider where Israel is today and where Israel is going. It is a time to marvel at the sheer vitality & vibrancy of the Jewish national home, whilst refusing to blind ourselves to 50 years of a military occupation that both infringes the basic human rights of Palestinians and puts Israel’s long-term future & security at risk. It is a chance to celebrate international recognition of the basic tenet of Zionism – that the Jewish people have a right to a state of their own in their historic homeland – whilst, at the same time, affirming the urgent need for a political resolution to the conflict and an independent Palestinian state.

On 16 November in London, join Yachad & New Israel Fund for our Balfour 100 event. Click here for more details.

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