Sunday, November 2 was the 91st Anniversary of the Balfour Declaration (1917), which stated that the British government "view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people".
To mark the occasion, a capacity audience of Zionist Federation supporters came together on Monday night in the magnificent Locarno Rooms of the Foreign Office to hear the annual ZF Balfour Lecture, which this year was given by Sir Richard Dearlove and chaired by The Marquess of Salisbury.
Sir Richard Dearlove, Head of MI6 from 1999-2004, is the Master of Pembroke College, Cambridge. He spoke, under Chatham House rules, about the Security Services in the Middle East, and then took questions, a number of which concerned Iran. Sir Richard's themes were both clear and supported by a wealth of authoritative material and personal recollections.
Sir Richard was introduced by Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, the 7th Marquess of Salisbury. He explained his connection to Israel. Arthur Balfour was his first cousin, three times removed. Additionally he is a direct descendant of Lord Robert Cecil, who, as Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, was supportive of the Balfour Declaration and subsequently won the Nobel Peace Prize for his role as an architect of the League of Nations. The Marquess also spoke about his paternal grandmother. She had a Jewish great-grandparent who during World War Two was very outspoken against the Nazis. The Marquess commented that had Hitler invaded, she would have been high on a Nazi hit-list.
The highly successful evening ended with Hatikvah. It was generously sponsored by Djanogly Wealth Management.