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Balfour opponents ‘are extremists’, Regev says

Israeli ambassador to UK attacks those demanding an apology for 1917 declaration

    Mark Regev, the Israeli ambassador to the UK, speaking at the Board of Deputies meeting on Sunday
    Mark Regev, the Israeli ambassador to the UK, speaking at the Board of Deputies meeting on Sunday

    Those who say they oppose the 1917 Balfour Declaration are exposing themselves as extremists, Israel’s ambassador to the UK Mark Regev has said.

    Mr Regev told a special Board of Deputies meeting to commemorate Balfour’s centenary that its opponents had revealed attitudes that were “problematic”.

    He said much of the argument had centred around the first portion of the declaration text: “His Majesty's government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people”.

    That sentence, Mr Regev told the audience, is “not about the final borders of peace between Israel and its neighbours, it’s not about the future of the settlements, it’s not about the final state of Jerusalem in peace.”

    Those who oppose the Balfour declaration believe there should be no Jewish state and no Israel, he said.

    “So people who believe the Balfour declaration is wrong are exposing themselves for the extremists that they are. They are against peace, they are against reconciliation.

    “Their position is to deny our people’s right to national self-determination and that is an unjust position and that is a wrong position.”

    Also speaking at the commemoration were Baroness Ruth Deech; Tim Vince, chair of the Balfour 100 Christian Committee; and the current Earl of Balfour, Roderick Francis.

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