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The Balfour Declaration

The Balfour Declaration, a letter from British Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour to Lord Walter Rothschild, a British Zionist leader, was adopted by the British cabinet on this date in 1917, amid World War I. The Declaration, which would be dated November 2, 1917, expressed the support of “His Majesty’s Government” for “the establishment in Palestine of […]

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December 11: Allenby Enters Jerusalem

British General Edmund Allenby entered Jerusalem on this date in 1917, following victory over the Ottoman Empire in the Battle of Jerusalem two days earlier. Commander of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force, Allenby made his formal entry into Jerusalem on foot, in an expression of respect for the “holy city.” “[S]ince your city is regarded with affection […]

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August 23: Zionism’s Uganda Plan

The Sixth Zionist Congress convened in Basel, Switzerland on this date in 1903. It was at this Congress that Theodor Herzl would propose British-controlled East Africa (primarily Kenya, though described in most accounts as Uganda) as a temporary alternative to Palestine for the endangered Jews of Tsarist Russia. A vote of 295-178 would empower an […]

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February 8: If I Were a Rothschild

  Baron Lionel Walter Rothschild, founder of the Rothschild Natural History Museum in London and owner of one of the largest collections of specimens in the world — including 2,250,000 butterflies and 30,000 beetles — was born on this date in 1868. The eldest son and heir of banker Nathan Rothschild, the first Jewish baron […]

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September 1: Rav Kook

Abraham Isaac Kook arrived in British Mandatory Palestine on this date in 1919 to become Jerusalem’s chief rabbi and, two years later, the chief rabbi of Palestine. Kook (1865-1935) was a Lithuanian child prodigy who became a prominent rabbi, a father of religious Zionism (which he saw as a necessary and vital alternative to Zionism’s […]

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February 22: Justice Frankfurter

Vienna-born Felix Frankfurter, a City College graduate who became, after Louis Brandeis and Benjamin Cardozo, the third Jew to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court, died at 82 on this date in 1965. Frankfurter, a descendant of many generations of rabbis, was a graduate of Harvard Law and a founder of the American Civil LIberties […]

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Is Israel a Colonial Settler State?

Perhaps, but with Lots of Provisos by Bennett Muraskin Peter Beinart, in an article in the September 26, 2013 issue of the New York Review of Books, wrote: “Virtually every Palestinian I’ve ever met considers Zionism to be colonialist, imperialist, and racist. When liberal American Jews think about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, they think about Isaac […]

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July 24: The British Mandate

The British Mandate for Palestine, giving Great Britain control over territory that had been ruled for four centuries by the Ottoman Empire, was established by a unanimous vote of the League of Nations on this date in 1922. The agreement formalized British rule over Palestine, which was to include the establishment of a national home […]

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November 27: Chaim Weizmann

A scientist who became the first president of the modern state of Israel in 1949, Chaim Weizmann was born in Motol, Russia on this date in 1874. Weizmann studied biochemistry in Germany and Switzerland, where he became active in the early Zionist movement. He became a British citizen in 1910, and gained fame for discovering […]

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