More that 3,000 people, members of both the Jewish and Christian communities, are expected at the Royal Albert Hall on Tuesday for the last event in the centennial celebrations of the Balfour Declaration.
Nick Gray, director of Christian Middle East Watch, the group which has organised the festive event under the auspices of Balfour 100, said he’s “looking forward to a sea of blue and white” after the RAH authorities lifted a ban on flags being brought into the hall. It was a security measure designed to prevent opponents of Israel from waving banners during the event, but in fact had more effect on those who wanted to wave Israeli flags during the evening.
The event is named Partners In This Great Enterprise, a phrase taken from a speech which Lord Balfour himself gave to the Zionist Federation at the Royal Albert Hall in 1920, and will feature, says Mr Gray, a mixed Christian and Jewish line-up. That will include a 300-strong Christian choir from Holland, a Christian orchestra, dancers from the Israel Folk Dance Institute, a klezmer band, and singer Tali Koren.
Additionally there will be short statements from Christian leaders and dramatic sketches with professional actors, some of which show the partnerships between Christians and Jews, both before and at the time of the Balfour Declaration. Theodor Herzl was close to the Anglican clergyman, the Rev William Hechler, while Balfour himself was a good friend of Chaim Weizmann.
“This event will be for both our communities”, says Mr Gray. Those who can’t get tickets will be able to watch it live-streamed on YouTube.