Chaim Azriel Weizmann


Chaim Azriel Weizmann : biography

27 November 1874 – 09 November 1952

British mandate for Palestine

Balfour’s declaration assisted Weizmann’s in becoming the most popular leader in Zionists stream. He became one of the recognized leaders of all Jewish people. In 1918 he became the head of the Zionists committee, which was sent by British government to Palestine in order to make evaluation of prospects of future occupation and development. In Palestine Weizmann met one of the leaders of Arabian nationalists, Emir Feisal, hoping for collaboration. Feisal agreed to support Zionists’ position in Palestine on conditions that Arabian plans of national revival would be fulfilled in Syria and Iraq. While he was in Palestine, Weizmann also took part in founding Jewish University in Jerusalem, the university, creating of which had been Weizmann’s desire for long. Finally, the university opened in 1925.

In 1919 Weizmann was the head of Zionists delegation at Parish Peaceful conference. The delegation managed to win favorable attitude of the representatives of winning countries and leaders of the League of Nations. All that helped with accepting Balfour’s declaration at the following conference in San-Remo and coming to decision to give Great Britain the mandate to rule Palestine on the ground of that declaration. The first supreme commissar of mandated Palestine was chosen Herbert Samuel, who was not Jewish born, but was a convinced Zionist and an active supporter of Balfour’s declaration.

Weizmann was chosen the chairman of the Zionists’ organization at the Zionist conference of 1920 in London. He kept that position until 1931, and later since 1935 till 1946.

The new position demanded high activity on the three fronts at the same time.

Leaders of Arabian Palestine were making for active resistance to Jewish emigration. And their resistance, sometimes, took formed of armored attacks and pogroms (the first big pogroms took place already in 1920 and 1921, during which ones more than fifty Jewish in Palestine died and 400 were wounded).

Great Britain, trying to calm down Palestinian Arabian, soon began to refuse the main principals of Balfour’s declaration and narrow the ideas of “Jewish national center in Palestine”. One of the steps in that direction was made in 1922. They separated a part of mandated territory on the other side of Jordan as an independent administrative division emirate Transjordan, which was ruled by the son of the chief of Mecca and brother of Emir Feisal, Abdullah ibn Hussein. That state was excluded of all the plans about creating home for Jewish in Palestine until that moment. The further steps were so called White Books, which were published later. They were limiting emigration stream to Israel. The first book was Winston Churchill’s White book realized in 1922. It was explaining that Great Britain’s mission didn’t include creating Jewish center on the whole territory of Palestine and limiting the capacity of Jewish territory for new emigrants because of “economic capacity” of the country.

As for the Jewish ishuve and the whole Zionist stream, there started a great inner political fighting. Revisionists’ party, with Jabotinsky as a leader, demanded resolute actions. They wanted the proclamation of independence of Jewish government and capturing territory of the both sides of Jordan, moreover, they insisted on active, probably even military fighting against England, just the same one as was holding by Ireland. Revisionists and a few more groups fought against of “broaded” Jewish agency, with the help of which, Weizmann was going to look for support among not only Zionists but also non-Zionist elements in his business of creating a Jewish center.

After the white book of 1930 appeared, which was the first to coordinate Jewish migration with Arabian demographic factors, Weizmann retired and left the position of the chairman of Zionists organization, showing his protest. In 1931 the prime-minister of Great Britain, Macdonald, sent him a letter, which called off some anti-Zionist points of the whote book of 1930.

Those years Weizmann was still busy with science, combing his scientific activity with taking the position of the chairman of Zionists organization and Jewish agency. In 1921, together with Albert Einstein, Weizmann went to the USA in order to collect money for opening a Jewish university. He also founded a scientific researching institute in honor of Daniel Ziff in Rehovot. Those years he was making efforts to create an organization of Jewish migration stream from Nazi Germany. Many of Jewish scientists were given positions in at Ziff’s institute. Weizmann also demanded widening the abilities of giving positions to teachers and researchers for Jewish scientists from Europe in his appeal to the heads of Jewish University in 1933.