British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson told the Israeli president that the UK was “looking forward to the commemorations” of the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Balfour Declaration.
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin extended an invitation to members of the British Royal Family to visit Israel in light of the upcoming 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration.
“This is a very important year in the history of the relations between Israel and the United Kingdom,” Rivlin noted at his Jerusalem residence, where he was hosting UK Foreign Affairs Secretary Boris Johnson.
“We will mark 100 years since the Balfour Declaration, and I am greatly honored to extend an official invitation to the royal family to visit Israel to mark this event,” Rivlin stated.
The Balfour Declaration, signed by then-UK foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour almost 100 years ago on November 2, 1917, declared “the establishment in [the British mandate for) Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.” The document became part and parcel of international law when the League of Nations adopted it in 1922.
Although the original mandate of Palestine had included land that now belongs to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine applied to the territory west of the Jordan River, including Judea and Samaria.
UK Dignitaries ‘Look Forward to the Commemorations’
Johnson expressed his gratitude, as well as a bit of eagerness on behalf of the UK, to participate in ceremonies marking the anniversary.
“Mr. President, this is indeed an important moment and we are looking forward to the commemorations,” Johnson told Rivlin. “We see our historic role in Israel and in the region, and we want to bolster and build our bilateral relations.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu experienced a “moving moment” a month ago when, during a brief visit to the UK, he and Johnson stopped by the room in which the Balfour Declaration was signed.
By: Jonathan Benedek, World Israel News