CFI Vice-Chairman John Howell OBE MP wrote an article this week to mark the start of Britain celebrating the start of the centenary of the Balfour Declaration, which was published in ConservativeHome.
Mr Howell wrote: “Over the past century the world has witnessed a country rise out of the desert and flourish, against all odds, to become the ‘Start-Up Nation’ – a world leader in technological innovation, cyber security, academia, and medicine”.
He explained that the Declaration was instrumental to the creation of the State of Israel, in supporting the Jewish people’s right to self-determination.
Mr Howell underlined that “After the Holocaust and the expulsion of hundreds and thousands of Jews from the Middle East, many of the persecuted sought and found refuge in the Jewish and democratic state”.
Speaking about what Israel has achieved since its founding, Mr Howell said:
“Israel has lived up to the highest ambitions of the Balfour Declaration, as a democratic, prosperous and self-reliant state”.
He called on the Government to encourage the Palestinian leadership to return back to the negotiating table so that progress can be made in the peace process: “The UK must encourage the Palestinians to respond to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s call for the immediate resumption of peace talks which is the only way to achieve a lasting two-state solution”.
Mr Howell added that despite Israel’s “success and its positive contribution to the world, all too many continue to deny the Jewish State’s right to exist, and a vocal minority attempt to delegitimise it”.
Referring to a House of Lords event hosted by Baroness Tonge where anti-Semitic remarks were made: “Last week, a ‘Balfour apology campaign’ was now infamously launched in the House of Lords by the Palestinian Return Centre. As we all now know, during the event, a number of offensive and anti-Semitic remarks were made. It confirmed long-held concerns by many that some of these individuals harbour unacceptable views. Sadly, they were accepted by the panel and many were met with applause, including the notion that the Jews provoked the Holocaust. Shockingly, at no point did Baroness Tonge, who chaired the meeting, challenge the remarks as inappropriate”.
He underlined: “I, for one, along with colleagues across the Conservative Party, will continue to stand up in the House of Commons to support Israel against the attacks it faces – whether from Hamas, Iran, or the far left, and look forward to celebrating this hugely important milestone”.
Read the full article here.