Jews and Arabs Are Destined—Not Doomed—to Live Together


At the time Lord Balfour made his well-known declaration on behalf of His Majesty’s King George V’s Government, my household—the Rivlin household—had already been residing in Land of Israel for over 100 years.

As he drafted the historic correspondence to Lord Rothschild, formally affirming British help for the institution of a Jewish state within the land over which British and Allied forces have been within the midst of preventing to liberate from the Ottoman Empire within the First World War, Jerusalem itself had already had a Jewish majority for over half a century.

And in the present day, my grandchildren are ninth era Jerusalemites, and Israel is a rustic of just about 9 million residents, three quarters of that are Jewish.

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Yet, the Balfour Declaration—whose centenary we mark this week—modified historical past. It marked the primary official recognition by a global energy of the best of the Jewish individuals to independence and self-determination in our ancestral homeland. It paved the best way—maybe even offered considerably of a template—for Israel’s personal Declaration of Independence, simply over three a long time later.

The Balfour Declaration set out key standards for the Jewish state, aspirations and standards to which Israel continues to stick and try to understand of their entirety. The institution of a nationwide house for the Jewish individuals is a dream that has actually been realized, with greater than half the world’s Jewish inhabitants now residing in Israel. 

After two millennia of exile, the land of our forefathers is now additionally the land of our youngsters and grandchildren. Israel is a vibrant democracy, a thriving economic system, and a light-weight unto the nations in innovation and discovery. This side of the declaration might be thought-about a terrific success.

RTX37G3H November 2 marks the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration. Ronen Zvulun/REUTERS

Importantly in fact, Lord Balfour additionally harbaded that the rights and civil liberties of the non-Jewish communities should not be prejudiced. Indeed, non-Jewish communities who took Israeli citizenship share the identical democratic rights and duties as their Jewish neighbors. Today they whole 1 / 4 of the inhabitants of Israel, and embrace senior figures in Israel’s judiciary, navy, legislature, civil service, business and academia.

Is the job performed? No. But I’m deeply pleased with Israel’s efforts to handle the challenges, and work to guarantee equality for all of the Arab residents of Israel. In the president’s workplace, as a part of the understanding that Israeli society in the present day is made up of various communities, Jewish and Arab, spiritual and secular, now we have made great strides ahead in constructing bridges and understanding between the Arab and Jewish communities particularly. We are on the best path.

Of course, there are others residing with us on this slender strip of land between the historic Jordan River, and the Mediterranean Sea. Israel will proceed to hunt and try to discover a lasting and peaceable resolution to the battle—the tragedy—between us and the Palestinians. An answer that’s rooted in mutual acceptance. Because finally the Balfour Declaration known as upon everybody to grasp that the Jewish individuals had returned house. When it is really understood, as I’ve at all times stated, that the Arabs and Jews of the Holy Land will not be doomed to stay collectively however certainly destined to stay collectively, then the legacy of Balfour might be actually realized.

RTX1YHSW Israeli President Reuven Rivlin throughout an 2015 even in New York City in 2015. Rivlin says that the Balfour Declaration meant for Arabs and Jews to stay collectively in peace. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

There is one closing stipulation within the Balfour Declaration which can also be of nice significance: that the institution of a Jewish homeland would under no circumstances prejudice the rights and political standing loved by Jews in another nation. Words which, as we as soon as once more see the hazards of anti-Semitism elevating its ugly head across the world, are as pertinent as ever.

While Jews will at all times be welcomed to their historic house in Israel, we stand agency in our help for each Jew to stay in security and freedom wherever they need to select. And we stay deeply grateful to the British authorities, and lots of others throughout Europe and the world for his or her dedication to the Jewish neighborhood, and to the struggle in opposition to anti-Semitism and all racism.

Quite astoundingly, the Balfour Declaration is lower than 70 phrases lengthy, but 100 years later, and 70 years after the institution of the State of Israel, its legacy endures, as I’m positive it’ll for a lot of extra years to come back.

The writer is the president of Israel.

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