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An open letter to support the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration

This open letter to Tulip Siddiq MP is a guest post by Stephen Hoffman

Dear Tulip,

I am writing to you as I know you are an incredibly responsive MP to all your constituents. I have sent this email through We Believe in Israel’s email system, but I thought it would help if I sent it from my own email address, as I believe that is much more personal.

I am writing as one of your constituents as it is the Centenary of the Balfour Declaration on 2 November 2017. I recognise this is something you will probably know a lot about in your role in the Jewish Labour Movement and as Vice Chair of the APPG on Antisemitism.

As I am sure you know, The Balfour declaration was a response to Zionism, the national movement of the Jewish people, calling for sovereign Jewish life in the land of Israel.

The Jewish people needed the security provided by a nation homeland because of the persecution and discrimination they were suffering as a minority in other lands, including murderous antisemitic pogroms in Russia.

Hundreds of thousands of Jews survived the Holocaust because they were able to flee to Palestine. If Britain had kept to the spirit of the Balfour Declaration and not restricted Jewish immigration to Palestine in the 1930s, many more Jews would have been saved.

The Balfour Declaration indirectly led to the creation of Israel in 1948 and did not prejudice the two state solution and therefore Palestinian national self-determination.This has enabled a rebirth of Jewish culture and political self-determination despite the trauma of the Holocaust.

For the first time in 2000 years, Jews have a safe haven where they can control their destiny; sadly, given the rise of antisemitism in the UK and Europe, this is more important than ever before. Today the modern State of Israel serves as a lifeboat state for Jews from around the world. It is a guaranteed safe haven for any Jew who faces persecution in the future. It has been home for the millions displaced by the Holocaust and by ethnic cleansing in Arab countries and Iran.

I consider myself to be a Zionist because I support Jewish national self-determination through the creation and existence of a Jewish State in Israel and due to this I also support Palestinian national self-determination and ergo the two state solution.  The Balfour Declaration is in clear support of this and therefore despite claims to the contrary is in fact an aid to peace.

I am writing to ask you as my MP whether you share my Zionist principles and support Israel’s creation and existence as a Jewish and democratic State and with this in mind whether you will write to the Middle East Minister, Tobias Ellwood to make clear your support for the Balfour Declaration and send back any response you receive.

I would also be delighted to meet you in person to explain the importance to me of the Balfour Declaration, as well as how I believe you can support a flourishing Israel, side by side a nascent Palestinian State.

I look forward to your response and if you would like me to clarify anything in this email, please do let me know.

Kind regards,

Stephen

Stephen Hoffman tweets at @thehoff102