British PM hosts Rosh Hashana celebration

Theresa May hosts reception honoring Jewish New Year, promises to support Israel, 'two-state solution' and 'lasting peace.'

Arutz Sheva Staff,

Theresa May at Rosh Hashana celebration
Theresa May at Rosh Hashana celebration
UK Prime Minister's Twitter account

British PM Theresa May yesterday hosted a reception at the United Kingdom's government headquarters, celebrating Rosh Hashana (Jewish New Year) with leaders of the United Kingdom’s Jewish community.

This year, Rosh Hashana begins on September 20 at sundown, and ends on September 22 after nightfall.

In her speech, May reiterated her support for the Jewish community and thanked its members for their great contribution to the UK in all aspects of life.

Regarding the Balfour Declaration, May said, "We look forward to [marking] the centenary of the Balfour Declaration in November. Born of that letter, the pen of Balfour, and of the efforts of so many people, is a remarkable country. Of course, there are great challenges in the region, and we will do everything we can to support efforts towards building a two-state solution and the lasting peace that we all want to see."

"But as Prime Minister, I am proud to say that I support Israel. And it is absolutely right that we should mark the vital role that Britain played a century ago in helping to create a homeland for the Jewish people."

The Balfour Declaration of 1917 led in part to the creation of Israel. In April, the British government responded to a petition filed with the British Parliament calling on the government to apologize for the statement and “lead attempts to reach a solution that ensures justice for the Palestinian people.”

May also promised to help to fight anti-Semitism.

"I want you to know that I will always do whatever it takes to keep our Jewish community safe," she said. "Through our new definition of anti-Semitism we will call out anyone guilty of any language or behavior that displays hatred towards Jews because they are Jews."

"We will actively encourage the use of this definition by the police, the legal profession, universities and other public bodies. But the ultimate way of defeating anti-Semitism is to create an environment that prevents it happening in the first place.

"That is one of the reasons why it is so important that we create a proper national memorial to the Holocaust, together with an accompanying educational center to teach future generations to fight hatred and prejudice in all its forms."