A panel at the House of Lords, chaired by controversial anti-Israel peeress Baroness Tonge, applauded a man for declaring, “If anyone’s anti-Semitic, it’s the Israelis themselves,” at a launch event for the Balfour Apology Campaign on Tuesday.

Another man was applauded for suggesting the Holocaust had “justified Zionism” and that Jews were responsible.

The event took place under the auspices of the Palestinian Return Centre and was timed to take place ahead of the 99th anniversary commemorations of the Balfour Declaration, on
2 November.

Among those on the panel were the Palestine Liberation Organisation’s diplomatic representative, Manuel Hassassian, Betty Hunter, honorary president of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, writer Karl Sabbagh, and the president of the Palestinian Return Centre, Majed al-Zeer.

Plans have been in place to “demand” an apology from Britain for the Balfour Declaration since 2013, calling for the government to regret “its past colonial crimes in Palestine” and insisting that the Declaration “had no basis of legal authority”.

The renewal of the Balfour Apology Campaign is intended to coincide – and scupper – next year’s centenary celebrations, which are due to be marked jointly by Britain and Israel.

The UK government, under David Cameron, rejected any suggestion that any apology would be made.