Celebrating a 100 Year Old Milestone
The Steinhardt Museum of Natural History hosted a symposium marking the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, the British government’s historical letter penned by Lord Arthur James Balfour to Lord Walter Rothschild, supporting the creation of a national home for the Jewish people in Palestine. Over 100 people, mainly groups from Australia, attended the event held in the newly dedicated The Fabian-Cyril Boisson Auditorium.
Prof. Israel Gershoni of the Department of Middle Eastern and African History lectured on “The Historical Impact of the Balfour Declaration,” while PhD student Hagit Krik of the Zvi Yavetz School of Historical Studies spoke on “A Bible and a Mandate: How the British Saw Palestine.”
Australian Ambassador to Israel, Chris Cannan, accompanying the large contingent of his fellow countrymen and women, talked about the unshakeable bonds of friendship between the two nations, recounting with pride his country’s role in the famous 1917 Battle for Beersheba. He also spoke about Australia being the first to vote “yes” at the UN in 1947 to the establishment of the State of Israel, and of all the areas of mutual cooperation such as defense, counterterrorism and innovation. “Our friendship goes from strength to strength,” said the Ambassador.
TAU Rector Prof. Yaron Oz and Peter Smaller, National President, JNF Australia each gave brief opening remarks. The guests were treated to a warmly received musical interlude by two students from the Buchmann-Mehta School of Music, singer Chen Holtzman and keyboardist Niv Yehuda, as well as a guided tour of the museum by Prof. Tamar Dayan, Chair of the Steinhardt Museum.