A special online event was held on Sunday marking the 101st anniversary of the San Remo Conference, where the post-WWI Allied powers tasked Great Britain with establishing a national home for the Jewish People in the Land of Israel.
On April 19 to 26, 1920, representatives from Britain, France, Italy, and Japan, along with the United States as an observer, met in San Remo, Italy, to determine the fate of Middle East territories that had been controlled by the defeated Ottoman Empire.
On April 25, 1920, the Allied powers passed the San Remo Resolution and created the Mandate for Palestine which adopted the Balfour Declaration and charged Britain with establishing a Jewish homeland in Palestine, which then consisted of modern-day Jordan and Israel. The mandate was officially ratified two years later by the League of Nations.
To mark the 101st anniversary of the historic event, the pro-Israel advocacy groups Im Tirtzu, Canadians for Israel’s Legal Rights, and the Zionist Organization of America organized an event featuring talks and greetings from leading Jewish figures. The event was attended by 500 people via Zoom.
The speakers included former MK and IDF Maj. Gen. Uzi Dayan, Israeli Consul General in Toronto Galit Baram, international law experts Professor Eugene Kontorovich and Professor Avi Bell, Im Tirtzu Board Chairman Douglas Altabef, and ZOA president Morton Klein.
Knesset Speaker Yariv Levin, former Israeli ambassador to the UN Danny Danon, and MK Simcha Rothman also sent special greetings for the event.
“It is essential to speak about our past in order to secure our future,” said Ambassador Danon. “It is important to speak about the San Remo Conference, which codified our international rights to the Land of Israel.”
Knesset Speaker Yariv Levin congratulated the organizers of the conference: “I have no doubt that thanks to your work, the Jewish People in Israel and around the world will have a better understanding of the historic significance of the conference and its implications today.”
Israeli Consul General in Toronto Galit Baram said that “the importance of the conference lies in the fact that it bridges the gap between general statements of support, sympathy and the needs of the Jewish people in general, and between the adoption of concrete legal steps. This is the fundamental difference.”
Baram added: “The State of Israel and the education system have a responsibility, as well as parents and educators, to provide information about the San Remo Conference and the fundamental role it plays in the history of Zionism and the history of the State of Israel.”
Maj. Gen. (Res.) Uzi Dayan, who submitted a bill in the previous Knesset calling to establish a national holiday commemorating the San Remo Conference, said: “The San Remo Conference is maybe the most unknown conference in Israel. But because it’s so meaningful to the Zionist movement and because it was a point of no return for the rebuilding of the Jewish state, it’s important to remember it. But it’s not enough to remember, you have to do something about it.”
Goldi Steiner, the co-chair of Canadians for Israel’s Legal Rights, also spoke at the event and echoed Dayan’s call to institute an official national holiday commemorating the San Remo Conference.