London, November 2nd, 2020 – The European Coalition for Israel co-hosted a virtual dinner event in honour of those British government leaders who paved the way for the rebirth of Israel in issuing the Balfour Declaration one hundred and three years ago on 2nd November 1917 which called for the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.
Participating in the celebration and in a dinner conversation about the role of their ancestors in the issuing of the Balfour Declaration were Roderick Balfour, the 5th Earl of Balfour, Robert Lloyd George, and the host of the evening, Simon Rufus Isaacs, the 4th Marquess of Reading, who all shared family tales about their renowned ancestors and their passion for the restoration of Israel.
In a recorded message to the private dinner, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu noted that it was in the San Remo Resolution of 1920 that the Balfour Declaration was adopted as the official policy of the League of Nations and became the precursor to the 1947 United Nations Partition Plan that called for the creation of a Jewish state.
Speaking on behalf of the British government, UK Envoy for Post-Holocaust Issues, Lord Pickles, quoted Prime Minister Boris Johnson in stating that “the UK will remain steadfast in its commitment to Israel and its people”. He was full of optimism as he noted how the Abraham Accords are in fact opening the way for the recognition of the rights of the Jewish people living in the Arab countries, something that was agreed upon already in the Mandate for Palestine in 1922, but which is only now being gradually understood and implemented.
Commenting on the legal significance of the Balfour Declaration and the San Remo Resolution, he reminded the audience of the fact that the Jewish right to the land of Israel is not limited to agreements made over the last one hundred years. Quoting the late Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli (1839-1872), who was of Jewish descent, he said: “At a time when there were only mud huts along the Thames river, thriving Jewish communities already existed in Israel.”
This private event, which brought together friends of Israel from four continents, was convened by Tomas Sandell and Cary Summers and hosted by the European Coalition for Israel in partnership with the Marquess and Marchioness of Reading.