A most noble “Afternoon tea in Jerusalem”
A SPECIAL guest in Israel last week was Roderick Lord Balfour, who is the fifth Earl of Balfour. He was here for the From Balfour to Brexit conference, which was held at Mishkenot Sha’ananim in Jerusalem (in honour of the late Sir Naim Dangoor.)
At a dinner on the first night of the conference, Balfour, who has a delicious sense of humor, said that he’d been overwhelmed by the number of selfies for which he had been asked to pose, and then told of his first visit to Israel in the mid-1990s. A friend was driving him around, and he told his friend that he had an appointment and gave him the address. The friend did not immediately put two and two together, and when the car drew up outside the President’s Residence, the friend asked him if he was sure he had the right address. Balfour replied that indeed he did and that he was having afternoon tea with the president, who happened to be Ezer Weizman, the nephew of Israel’s first president, Chaim Weizmann, who had influenced Balfour’s ancestor Arthur James Balfour.
The younger scions of the Balfour and Weizman dynasties were having a great time talking on many subjects, when their conversation was interrupted by a phone call. The president excused himself, saying: “I would like to talk to you all afternoon, but there’s this new Prime Minister Netanyahu, who’s not behaving very well, and I’ve to call to tell him he must do something, because he’s not running the country well.” The revelation was met with howls of laughter.
(As reported by Greer Fay Cashman in the Jerusalem Post: http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Grapevine-A-diplomat-with-a-kick-505250