British Prime Minister Rejects Call to Apologize for Balfour Declaration

(Prime Minister's Office-UK) Prime Minister Theresa May - Prime Minister Theresa May addressed a dinner in London on Nov. 2 to mark the centenary of the Balfour Declaration. In 1917, "with Britain still embroiled in the midst of the First World War, the idea of establishing a homeland for the Jewish people would have seemed a distant dream....Yet it was at this very moment that Lord Balfour had the vision and the leadership to make this profound statement about restoring a persecuted people to a safe and secure homeland." "When some people suggest we should apologize for this letter, I say absolutely not. We are proud of our pioneering role in the creation of the State of Israel. We are proud to stand here today together with Prime Minister Netanyahu and declare our support for Israel. And we are proud of the relationship we have built with Israel." "It is only when you witness Israel's vulnerability that you truly understand the constant danger Israelis face - as I saw on my visit in 2014, when the bodies of the murdered teenagers Naftali Frenkel, Gilad Shaer and Eyal Yifrah were discovered. So I am clear that we will always support Israel's right to defend itself." "As we work together towards Balfour's vision of a peaceful co-existence, we must be equally clear that there can never be any excuses for boycotts, divestment or sanctions: they are unacceptable and this government will have no truck with those who subscribe to them." "Neither can there ever be any excuse for anti-Semitism in any form....And yes, this means recognizing that there is today a new and pernicious form of anti-Semitism which uses criticism of the actions of the Israeli government as a despicable justification for questioning the very right of Israel to exist." "This is abhorrent and we will not stand for it. That is why the United Kingdom has been at the forefront of an international effort to create a new definition of anti-Semitism which explicitly calls out this inexcusable attempt to justify hatred....Criticizing the actions of Israel is never - and can never be - an excuse for questioning Israel's right to exist."

2017-11-03 00:00:00

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