Key community leaders addressed a pro-Israel conference for grassroots activists on Sunday, ahead of the centenary of the Balfour Declaration.
We Believe in Israel (WBII) organised the event to mark 100 years since a historic 67-word letter was sent from the then-foreign secretary Lord Balfour to the second Lord Rothschild, signalling British support for a Jewish homeland in Palestine.
The conference covered history of the declaration, its implications for modern Israel, and campaign skills to defend the Jewish State against those who seek to delegitimise it, and featured senior Israeli diplomats, including Israeli Ambassador to the UK Mark Regev.
Held on 25 June at Hasmonean Boys’ School in Hendon, the conference attracted over 250 delegates, and featured breakout sessions on topics including the portrayal of the declaration in the media, ensuring Israel’s legitimacy on campus, and online.
Director of WBII, Luke Akehurst said: “We were delighted to bring together a top quality line-up of speakers including Ambassador Regev and Yossi Kuperwasser to help inspire activists to properly commemorate the Centenary of the Balfour Declaration. Israel’s opponents want to use Balfour to frame Israel as an illegitimate colonial entity. We need to make sure we are communicating the true story – that Balfour was the first international recognition of the Jewish people’s right to national liberation and self-determination.”
At the event, Mark Regev told guests: “If you are against Balfour you are against the very concept of a Jewish state in any borders” and that “Britain can be proud of Balfour because it helped produce the Middle East’s only democracy.”
Toby Greene, an analyst and speaker who addressed the event said: “”People realise they cannot get rid of the Jewish state by force, so they try and delegitimise it”, adding that the declaration ” is an essential chapter in the story of Jewish salvation.”
Community organisations who took part, included organisers, We Believe in Israel, CEOs of the Jewish Leadership Council and Board of Deputies, in addition to participants from BICOM, UK Lawyers For Israel, the Union of Jewish Students, Israel Britain Alliance, the Zionist Federation and more.
— Zionist Federation (@ZionistFed) June 25, 2017
— Mark Regev (@MarkRegev) June 25, 2017