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.
This story "Lord Balfour’s Great-Grandson Praises Declaration That Paved Way to Israel’s Founding" was written by Dave Goldiner.