Mark Regev, Israel's Ambassador to the UK addressed a group of 70 UK-based students, including Jewish students and those of other faiths and cultures, at a 'thank you' event hosted at the Israeli Embassy in London.
Students from 30 campuses including Aberdeen, Kent, Exeter, Birmingham and Manchester were in attendance, along with representatives of CST and the Jewish Agency.
Six students or groups of students received awards for exeptional dedication, hard work and achievement:
- Hannah Sherrard and Dov Seitler, Birmingham - Innovative Campaign ('I connect with Israel because...')
- Yoni Chitiyat, Bath - for co-ordinating a successful anti-BDS campaign on his campus
- Liora Cadranel and Sammy Hakimian, UCL - Most Engaging Society of the Year (UCL Israel Society)
- Mark Kiner and Jonathan Farrell, Exeter - Outstanding Contribution to the Year
- Avrahum Sanger and Khulan Dav, SOAS - Event of the Year (Hosting Ambassador Mark Regev at SOAS)
- Jay Mens, Shlomo Roiter and Patrik Kurath, Cambridge - New Society of the Year (Middle East and North Africa Forum)
Congratulations again to all those named above and the many students who supported their activities.
Ambassador Mark Regev spoke about the upcoming anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, explaining that whilst Zionism predates the Balfour Declaration, this was the first time that a major world power recognised the right of the Jewish people to self-determination in their ancestral homeland. He explained three key reasons for the UK to be proud of issuing the Balfour Declaration: that it gave justice to the persecuted, that it created a free country in the Middle East and that it created a strong ally for the UK. This is a friendship that has once again demonstrated its worth in recent weeks, with Israel lending advice and support in the aftermath of the devastating terror attacks the UK has faced in Manchester and London.
Ambassador Regev then took questions from students including on the activities of the Women of the Wall, the ongoing hope for a two state solution and the need to engage with critical audiences at university and beyond.
Thank you once again to all the students who led or participated in the discussions pioneered by the 70 campus leaders who attended the reception at the Israeli Embassy. 2016/17 was a successful and engaging year, and we look forward to working with many of you in 2017/18, whilst we wish ongoing success to those who are graduating this summer.
If you would like to be involved in campus activism next year, Israel-related or otherwise, please do contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.