Grapevine: Balfour at Weizmann

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October 11, 2017 16:08

A great deal of money from various members of the Sieff family went into promoting the Zionist cause and helping the development of Israel before and after statehood.

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James Balfour

From left: Gen. Edmund Allenby, commander of Britian’s Egyptian Expeditionary Force; Balfour; and Sir Herbert Samuel, the first British High Commissioner of Palestine (and a Jew). (photo credit:AMERICAN COLONY/GPO)

 INVITATIONS for various Balfour Declaration Centenary events started going out more than a month ago, and now the first of these will take place at the Weizmann Hall in Jerusalem’s historic Jewish Agency complex. Israel’s first president, Chaim Weizmann, had much earlier had a profound effect on then British foreign secretary James Balfour, whose famous declaration was issued on November 2, 1917.

The Weizmann Hall of the Jewish Agency is a most suitable venue for the November 2 Balfour Centennial event, which is being co-hosted by the Balfour Centenary Committee, the Jerusalem branch of the Jewish Historical Society of England, Europeans for Israel and StandWithUs. Speakers will include Leslie Lord Turnberg, the author of Beyond the 100-year Quest for Israeli-Palestinian Peace, former Canadian ambassador Vivian Berkovici, Philip Weyers, the great-grandson of Field Marshal Jan Smuts, who was also a premier of South Africa, a strong Zionist supporter and a member of the British War Cabinet during World War I, and Sarah Meron, granddaughter of Rebecca Sieff, a close friend and major supporter of Weizmann and the co-founder with Vera Weizmann and three others of WIZO, the Women’s International Zionist Organization, in London in 1920.


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