Speaking on BBC 4’s The Week in Westminster opposite Labour MP Stephen Kinnock this week, the MP for Harlow said that he thought the Balfour Declaration “was an incredibly important moment in British history as well as in the creation of the state of Israel”.
He added: “I thought it was another example of why Britain is a truly great country. The Jewish people should have a homeland and have a right to return to their homeland. It was an incredible moment both in the history of the Jewish people and in the history of our country”.
Praising Israel’s democracy, he said: “It’s worth remembering that Israel is the only true democracy in the Middle East – one man one vote – there are Arab MPs in the Israeli Knesset. It’s worth remembering that it’s a place of refuge, a place of scientific advancement, it’s been a place of tolerance, it’s one of the few places in the Middle East where gay people live normal lives”.
He emphasised: “Israel has faced the threat of terrorism almost every day since its existence, and despite that Israel is a democracy, has been prepared to make significant moves towards peace. It should be a place that should be celebrated and supported by the United Kingdom and anyone who believes in freedom and democracy”.
Concerning a future Palestinian state, Mr Halfon said: “There should be a Palestinian state – something I believe in. But the Israelis are right to say we want a Palestinian state, but we also need to be sure that we will be free from terrorism and attacks from terrorist groups, from Hamas”.
The Week in Westminster is available to listen to on the BBC’s website.