Yair Lapid praised Boris Johnson as a “true friend of Israel” and hailed Britain’s role in the founding of the Jewish state at a dinner to mark the signing of the Balfour Declaration.
Speaking on Monday night, the Yesh Atid Party leader said the document, signed in 1917, was “a historic moment of British support for Zionism, and there is no-one more fitting to receive our gratitude on behalf of Britain, than Boris.”
He said the signing of the declaration was “a moment of political kindness. A moment in which empathy overcame interest”, in support of a Jewish state.
Contrary to popular belief that countries only help each other due to mutal interest, Lapid claimed: “You will find far more friendship, empathy, shared values and the willingness to help” because Britain “was unwilling to remain silent in the face of injustice.”
Lapid paid tribute to the decision to support a Jewish state in face of “a colossal Arab majority ” and recognition early in the century that ‘oil would power the world’ so “whoever stands with the Jews will pay a price. The fact that Great Britain did that is proof once more that nations, like people, are willing to take risks, and even pay a price, to be just and good. That is not to be taken for granted.”
He concluded: “Jews are people with long historical memory. We will not forget this act of goodness and will forever be grateful.”