Skip To Content
Get Our Newsletter
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Fast Forward

Lord Balfour’s Great-Grandson Praises Declaration That Paved Way to Israel’s Founding

The great-grandson of the British diplomat who expressed support for a Jewish homeland in the historic Balfour Declaration has spoken out for the first time about the pride his family feels to have played a role in the founding of Israel.

A century after then-Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour penned the famed declaration supporting the tenets of Zionism, his great-grandson, Lord Roderick Balfour, told a gathering of Jews from the former Soviet Union that he believes the document was a key “humanitarian act.”

“My family is very proud of the importance to Jewish people everywhere of this initiative,” Rodrick Balfour wrote in a letter to the Limmud FSU conference in Britain. “The declaration was first and foremost a humanitarian act trying to repatriate a talented but much-persecuted people to the land of the original Judaic roots.”

The 1917 Balfour Declaration held that Jews should have a right to a homeland in what they claim as a historic home in the land of Israel.

Although the document is often viewed through a political lens, the younger Lord Balfour called it a gesture to the widespread persecution Jews faced in Eastern Europe.

“It stemmed from the appalling Russian pogroms at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries,” the letter said.

Engage

  • SHARE YOUR FEEDBACK

  • UPCOMING EVENT

    50th meeting of the Yiddish Open Mic Cafe

    Hybrid event in London and online.

    Aug 14, 2022

    1:30 pm ET · 

    Join audiences and participants from across the globe for this live celebration of Yiddish songs, poems, jokes, stories, games, serious and funny - all performed in Yiddish with English translation.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free under an Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives Creative Commons license as long as you follow our republishing guidelines, which require that you credit the Foward and retain our pixel. See our full guidelines for more information.

To republish, copy the HTML, which includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline, images, and credit to the Foward. Have questions? Please email us at editorial@forward.com.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.