Speaking at a dinner held yesterday to mark the centenary of the Balfour Declaration, Theresa May said:
“When some people suggest we should apologise for this letter, I say absolutely not.”
She acknowledged that the letter containing the declaration remains very sensitive for many people today, but stated that the British Government at the time was not ignorant of those sensitivities.
A chance to inspect the original Balfour Declaration letter (photo: JC News).
The curernt Prime Minister continued by saying that the declaration was
“A letter which gave birth to a most extraordinary country.
And finally opened the door to helping make a Jewish homeland a reality.”
She went on to highlight the declaration’s explicit statement 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.’
In doing so she drew attention to something that many people miss today.
Whilst the so-called ‘Palestinians’ are claiming that there is unfinished business with the Balfour Declaration, because, they say, their civil and religious rights have been prejudiced; it was actually hundreds of thousands of Jews in other Middle Eastern countries who lost their rights and status in those countries completely.
Many of them were greatly relieved to find a homeland of their own, and will be pleased that Theresa May said:
“We are proud of our pioneering role in the creation of the State of Israel.”
At the same dinner, Israel`s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu told the guests that:
“It was the Balfour Declaration that galvanised international support for Zionism
as never before and paved the path for Zionism’s entry on the world stage.”
“Now, a once stateless and powerless people has found its place among the nations.”
“The Balfour Declaration puts Britain on the right side of history.
In marking that declaration today you are keeping Britain on the right side of history.”
“On behalf of Israel and the people of Israel I thank you.”