Today in Middle Eastern history: the Faysal-Weizmann Agreement (1919)

One of those loose ends, as we all now know, involved the question of establishing a Jewish homeland in what had been Ottoman Palestine (or the Sanjak of Jerusalem, if you want to be technical). In 1917, British Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour issued a letter to Zionist (NOTE: I’m using that term historically, not pejoratively) leader Walter Rothschild in which he promised that the British government would “facilitate” the creation of “a national home for the Jewish people” in Palestine. We can parse what Balfour wrote and its implications until the end of time, and it often seems like some people are inclined to do just that, but it’s important here to note that Balfour’s letter did not satisfy leading British Zionists, like Chaim Weizmann (d. 1952), the head of the World Zionist Organization. Weizmann wanted a firm British commitment to a Jewish state encompassing Palestine, and whatever Balfour was, it wasn’t exactly that.

Source: Today in Middle Eastern history: the Faysal-Weizmann Agreement (1919)

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