ז' סיון התשע"ח


World Zionist Organization Vice Chairman Yaakov Hagoel sends response to Lord Balfour

100 years later, the thank you is in the mail One hundred years after Arthur James Balfour penned the historic Balfour Declaration to Baron Lionel Walter Rothschild, the World Zionist Organization decided the time had come to send a response


13 Cheshvan 5778
November 2 2017


Honorable Lord Arthur James Balfour,


First and foremost, allow me to express our deep regret over the delay in response.


The Zionist leaders welcomed Lord Rothschild's message in which His Majesty's Government provided its recognition to the Zionist desire to establish a Jewish national home in its historical homeland -Israel.


With a profound sense of gratitude for all your efforts promoting this goal, we wish to inform you that the endeavor was successful, and that the State of Israel was founded and serves as the national home of the Jewish people, welcoming Jews from all countries of the Diaspora.


The State of Israel was founded on the basis of our natural and historical rights given by His Majesty's 1917 declaration supporting the reconstitution and reestablishment of a Jewish national home for the Jewish nation.


We have since witnessed the emergence of a unique country that upholds national and social standards as envisaged by the prophets of Israel.


100 years after the Declaration of the British government, Israel today is a Jewish and democratic country, deeply dedicated to the development of all its citizens and the advancement of freedom, justice and peace. Israel is doing its utmost to ensure equality of social and political rights to all its citizens, and strives to safeguard diversity of language, religion and conscience, regardless of sexual orientation or race.


The Israeli Knesset attracts a wide range of parliamentarians representing different parts of our society's views, showcasing the diversity and complexity of our culture. Israeli women are actively engaged in key roles in leadership, and serve as judges and high-level officials in our security forces. Israel guarantees complete freedom of worship to all religious groups.


The State of Israel is a Jewish and democratic state which guarantees all minority rights. You can find Arab judges and leading Druze and Bedouin Army officers that are involved in our national security and are fully involved in academia, medicine, the economy and industry. Israel has signed peace agreements with its neighbor to the East – Jordan, and to the south – Egypt. It strives to achieve additional peace agreements with many other countries in the region. It maintains diplomatic relations with over 160 countries and is contentiously involved in a persistent struggle against terrorism. It has demonstrated ways to successfully combat these security issues to dozens of countries around the world.


Israel is a powerhouse of breakthrough innovation in the fields of technology, science, health, agriculture, communications and cyber technology.


The Israel Defense Force is considered as one of the most moral armies in the world. Male soldiers serve alongside female soldiers, all coming from diverse religious and secular backgrounds in units that showcase many non-Jewish minorities. The IDF maintains aid missions to natural disaster-stricken areas and shares its knowledge with many world powers fighting against terrorism.


Yet as it happens in many countries even our country has its vulnerabilities and has to combat acts of violence racism and crime. The State of Israel spares no effort in this regard, and invests considerable resources in order to deal adequately with these issues.

I wish to draw your attention to the fact that even today, 100 years after the Declaration of His Majesty's Government, the Jewish People still find themselves fighting against rising anti-antisemitism, incitement, prejudice, humiliation, and deal constantly with injuries to body and soul. Europe continues to be a major arena for antisemitic and anti-Israel activities.


Sadly, even today, in the year 2017, we are seeing in Britain an alarming rise in antisemitism.


Sadly we observe many antisemitic ideas quietly infiltrating the Labor Party strongholds, weakening and departing from your original values while spreading hatred to various political and media outlets in the British kingdom. We find in many neighboring countries on the European continent like France and Belgium a powerful wave of antisemitism that is forcing many Jews to hide their Jewish religious identity.


Unfortunately, the League of Nations organization that later became the United Nations continuously involves itself with the persecution and hatred of Jews. The treasured values of equality mentioned in your declaration are flagrantly violated by many world nations, who purposely turn a blind eye to this.


Ironically we observe many obsessively point the finger of blame directly towards us - the only country in the region that maintains a staunch commitment to and respect for human rights, and to the minorities living in its midst.


The 2017 United Nations is attempting to officially severe the Jewish people's ancient historical heritage ties to its national homeland. Our Arab neighbors are currently demanding from Britain to renounce the Balfour Declaration and its implications and are threatening legal action against Britain if it refuses to do so.


Honorable Lord Balfour, 100 years have passed since your government has recognized our right to reconstitute a national home in Israel. Our national homeland gathered millions of Jews from all over the Diaspora; highly educated professionals, well-versed in the sciences and technology, bringing progress and making our country a thriving leader in dozens of fields.


We are committed to a future in which we will build, rebuild and improve, conscientiously sustaining our position as beacon of hope for the entire region, founded on the basis of freedom, independence and equality.


With gratitude and appreciation,

 Yaakov Hagoel


Read the letter in PDF here

2017 European Conference for Countering Antisemitism
Marking 100 years since the Balfour Declaration
outside of what used to be Arthur James Balfour house in London


 Balfour Declaration


World Zionist Organization Vice Chairman Yaakov Hagoel sends response to Lord Balfour

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The World Zionist Organization is a global organization with the support of the Keren Kayemet Le'Israel, Keren Hayesod and the Government of Israel.


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