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What was the Balfour Declaration?
The Balfour Declaration, published on 2 November 1917, was conveyed in a letter addressed by Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour to the Zionist Federation. In the letter, Balfour proclaimed that Britain would support Zionist aspirations by facilitating in the territory of Palestine the establishment of “a national home for the Jewish people.”
By declaring Britain to be Zionism’s patron, Balfour’s signature completed a process begun twenty years earlier at the First Zionist Congress, held in 1897 in Basel, Switzerland. The Balfour Declaration led the League of Nations to entrust the United Kingdom with the Palestine Mandate in 1922.
Israel declared independence on May 14, 1948, a day before the British mandate was set to expire.
We have launched the #IAmBalfour campaign to provide a way for supporters of Israel around the world to make a declaration of solidarity, which recognises 100 years after the 1917 Balfour Declaration that the Jewish people have a right to live in the ancient land of Israel and to honour the support Britain has given to Israel over the years.
One hundred years after the historic signing of the Balfour Declaration, the State of Israel is thriving. However, Israel continues to face a very real threat from terrorism that is undermining its right to exist. Terror organisations such as Hamas and Hezbollah as well as the leadership of Iran claim to want to see Israel destroyed. Closer to home, anti-Israel groups seek to delegitimise Israel through the discriminatory Boycotts, Disinvestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. In July the Palestinian leadership asked the Arab League for support in filing a lawsuit against the British Government for publishing the Balfour Declaration in 1917. In September, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas told the UN General Assembly that Britain should apologise for the Balfour Declaration and more recently Palestinian officials, journalists and activists in the UK met at the launch of a campaign that is set to include a series of events over the course of the year, pressuring the British Government to apologise for Balfour.
Israel stands as a beacon of light in a very dark region of the world. It has changed the world through innovation and technology and stands as the only true democracy in the Middle East. It is surrounded by enemies that want to physically destroy her and anti-Israel groups around the world attack Israel from every angle.
The latest move to force Britain to apologise for the Balfour Declaration is just another weapon in the anti-Semitic arsenal and we are countering this hate with #IAmBalfour. Through this campaign we are declaring that we support the nation of Israel and that Britain should be proud of its role in paving the way for the establishment of the State of Israel and its ongoing support for Israel – without apology.
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