2017 is the centenary of the Balfour Declaration, the formal statement by the British Government that supported the creation of Israel.
Israel, Jews worldwide and Israel’s supporters are celebrating this first step towards the re-establishment of the Jewish state 31 years later.
Others are not so happy. The Balfour Apology Campaign (BAC) is one of these groups that, as the name implies, wants the British government to apologise for issuing the Declaration in the first place. The BAC is run by the Palestinian Return Centre (PRC), which Israel banned in 2010, claiming PRC is a Hamas front organisation. PRC denies it is linked to Hamas.
PRC has been planning this campaign for years. They’re running a petition to Parliament to ask for an apology, as well as hosting events in Parliament.
The most recent event was on Tuesday evening entitled “Balfour Declaration, No Marking No, Celebration, It is an Apology.” It was supposed to be hosted by Baroness Tonge, who has a long association with PRC, but she was unwell so Lord Warner took the chair instead.
Speakers included the Director of Friends of Sabeel UK, David Cronin, who’s written a hostile book about British support for Israel, and Palestinian author Ghada Karmi.
However, what they said at this event remains unknown. Lord Warner ordered two Jewish members of the audience (LINK: http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/raushow-jews-were-ejected-from-an-anti-israel-meeting-in-parliament-in-2017/) to leave the room before the meeting got fully underway.
As noted above, the Balfour Apology Campaign has been making preparations for the last three years. So far their activities have been an online petition and a couple of limp meetings. Time will tell if they have something more dramatic planned, or if the campaign will be a damp squib