No Apologies: UK to Celebrate Centenary of Balfour Declaration

Sajid Javid
AP/Jon Super

The centenary of the signing of the Balfour Declaration, the document that recognized the creation of the Jewish State of Israel, will be celebrated and applauded in Britain.

British Cabinet Minister Sajid Javid gave that assurance while meeting a visiting World Jewish Congress delegation in Westminster. The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government stated:

Someone said we should apologize for the declaration, to say it was an error of judgment. Of course that’s not going to happen. To apologize for the Balfour Declaration would be to apologize for the existence of Israel and to question its right to exist.

Mr. Javid’s public commitment to remembering the document’s signing – 100 years ago in November – follows British Prime Minister Theresa May who last year hailed it as an expression of the “UK’s support for the establishment of a national home for the Jewish people.”

The May Conservative government’s strong support for the right of the modern state of Israel to exist stands in stark contrast to other lobby groups in the Middle East.

As Breirtbart Jerusalem reported, the Palestinian Return Center rights group has called for the UK to apologize for the Balfour Declaration and pay reparations to those it says are affected by it.

In February, the group launched a petition on the British Parliament website calling on Britain to “openly apologise to the Palestinian people for issuing the Balfour Declaration. The colonial policy of Britain between 1917-1948 led to mass displacement of the Palestinian nation.”

As Mr. Javid outlined, there will be no apology or backing away. He told the visiting delegation:

I’ll be 100 percent clear… I do not support calls for a boycott, my party does not support calls for a boycott. For all its bluster, the BDS campaign is most notable I think, for its lack of success.

Trade is booming, tourism is soaring. The media campaign is full of sound and fury, but to the majority of Britain today it signifies nothing.

As long as I’m in government, as long as I’m in politics, I will do everything in my power to fight back against those who seek to undermine Israel.

The British Royal Family has also been invited to visit Israel to help mark the centenary commemorations.

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin extended the invitation in Jerusalem during a meeting with UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson earlier this year.

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