Ahead of the centenary of the Balfour Declaration, the Prime Minister has called the document “one of the most important letters in history”.
Theresa May vowed to mark the 100-year anniversary of the occasion “with pride”, writing in the Conservative Friends of Israel’s redesigned new edition of Informed magazine.
Praising Israel’s achievements since Britain issued the landmark statement expressing support for the creation of a Jewish national home, she said: “the vibrant, diverse and innovative country Israel is today would have been almost unimaginable in 1917. The hard work of generations of Jewish people has made Israel the ‘start-up nation’ – one of the world’s great success stories”.
The organising committee planning the Jewish community’s centenary celebrations of the Balfour Declaration in November has said more than 160 events have already been planned.
This includes a major conference in Westminster, held jointly Jewish News and BICOM, in which top speakers will examine the causes and consequences of the document.
In her letter, the prime minister also addresses issues of anti-Semitism, and praises bilateral relations between the Jewish state and the UK.
Saying her party will be “absolutely unequivocal” condemning anti-Semitism, in an apparent jibe at the Labour Party, the prime minister writes: “Whatever approach some other parties may take, the Conservatives will always condemn anti-Semitic hatred and call it for what it is – racism pure and simple”.
Turning to UK-Israel relations, she praised Israel’s “economic success.. secured in the teeth of constant threats”, adding that “there is much that Britain and the world can learn” from it.
Theresa May also paid tribute to the community for voting Conservative in the recent General Election. “So many Jewish people gave our Party their support”, she said, adding that “we are determined to repay the trust they placed in us”.
The Prime Minister’s letter in CFI’s Informed magazine comes ahead of the Tory party conference.
It features articles by senior Conservative MPs, including new parliamentary chair of CFI Stephen Crabb, as well as British and Israeli envoys.
You can read the new edition of Informed magazine on their website.