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Great Britain marks the centenary of the Balfour Declaration

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Tomorrow will mark 100 years since the Balfour Declaration. Ahead of the various events around the country to celebrate this historic centenary, the Chief Rabbi issued the following statement.  

This week we are proud to celebrate the centenary of the Balfour Declaration, which would be heralded as the ‘birth certificate’ of the State of Israel.

We are proud of Great Britain’s role in the creation of the Jewish State and the close ties that Britain and Israel continue to enjoy.

We are proud of the momentous achievements of the State of Israel in the fields of agriculture, technology and culture against all the odds. Despite constantly living with the threat of hostile intent, the country has given a unique contribution of immeasurable value to the world.

We are proud of “the Torah that goes forth from Zion and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem”, inspiring us always, right around the world, to reach greater heights of spiritual accomplishment.

There is still more to be done. The century since the Balfour Declaration was issued has been filled with both extraordinary blessing and painful tragedy for our people. Even as conflict continues to engulf the Middle East, we are filled with hope that peace will come to all living in the land, in fulfilment of the prophecy of Isaiah, “no more shall violence be heard in your land, nor ruin or destruction within your borders.” (60:18)