International panel discusses Balfour Declaration

By Maria Gil

A panel of experts from around the world recently came together at the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU for an in-depth conversation exploring the legacy of the Balfour Declaration, a public statement issued by the British government during World War I.

The declaration announced support for the establishment of a “national home for the Jewish people” in Palestine, then an Ottomon region with a minority Jewish population. The declaration was contained in a letter dated November 2, 1917.

The event was originally scheduled for November of 2017 to mark the centennial anniversary of the declaration but had to be rescheduled due to a bomb threat that caused event attendees and organizers to evacuate the museum that day.

The panel discussion was successfully re-scheduled and held in February of 2018 in front of a sold-out audience.

The conversation was hosted by the Steven J. Green School of International and Public Affairs in collaboration with the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU, the American Jewish Committee, the Consulate General of Israel and the British Consulate General.

The keynote speakers were David Katz, the Abraham Horodisch chair for the history of books at Tel Aviv University, and Uri Ben Eliezer, head of the University of Haifa’s department of sociology. FIU Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies Tudor Parfitt was the moderator. FIU President Mark B. Rosenberg also attended and delivered welcoming remarks for the event.

Panelists included Lior Haiat, Consul General of Israel to Florida and Puerto Rico; David Prodger, British Consul General in Miami; Eric Lob, FIU assistant professor in the Department of Politics and International Relations; Brian Siegal, Regional Director of the American Jewish Committee (AJC) for Miami and Broward; Amy Singer, professor of Middle Eastern and African history at Tel Aviv University; and Adriana Kemp, the chair of Tel Aviv University’s department of sociology and anthropology.