LOT Number: 1104816361
A very rare Zionist letter signed by Arthur Balfour to Herbert Samuel 1929
Artists: Arthur James Balfour
Technique: Autograph Type Latter
Year: 1929
Condition: Very Good
Size: 23x18 cm ~ 9x7 inch
Quantity: 2
Price: $5,500Add to Cart

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A rare autographed letter sent from Lord Balfour to the High Commissioner, Herbert Samuel in Palestine. The letter is typed and signed by hand in London 1929.

The letter is written on the subject of the Jewish and Arab relations and the efforts to build a bridge between the two peoples. This letter shows the extraordinary support that Balfour has for the Zionist cause and his interest in developing Israel as a place with mutual understanding.

Arthur James Balfour Born 25 July 1848, Whittingehame, East Lothian Died 19 March 1930, Fisher’s Hill, Woking, Surrey Dates in office 1902 to 1905 Political party Conservative Major acts Unemployed Workmen Act 1905: established Distress Committees to give out single grants to businesses or local authorities in order to allow them to hire more workers to decrease the number of unemployed. Education Act 1902: abolished school boards and handed over their duties to local borough or county council, as Local Education Authorities. Interesting facts Balfour was the nephew of the previous Prime Minister, Lord Salisbury. He is perhaps best known for authoring the ‘Balfour Declaration’ of 1917, when he was serving as Foreign Secretary, which supported the establishment of a Jewish Homeland in Palestine.

Herbert Louis Samuel

When the first high commissioner for Palestine arrived in Jerusalem, he was met with a seventeen-gun salute and endless words of welcome. Sir Herbert Samuel made the journey in June 1920, and served as high commissioner for a period of five years. His appointment was viewed by many Jews as affirmation that the British promise for a Jewish National Home in Palestine would be honored. The telegram sent to the Zionist Organisation Central Office in London reflects the atmosphere of excitement that surrounded Samuel's arrival. Samuel himself was moved by the outpouring of emotion which greeted him in the Land of Israel. He had been raised in an Orthodox Jewish home, and although he subsequently ceased practicing, he remained intensely interested in Jewish communal problems. Samuel's career in different British posts was unique in its scope; he was the first unconverted Jew to serve in a Cabinet office. Samuel first presented the idea of a British protectorate in 1915. In a memorandum to Prime Minister Asquith, he proposed that a British protectorate be established which would allow for increased Jewish settlement. In time, the future Jewish majority would enjoy a considerable degree of autonomy. Herbert believed that the creation of a Jewish center would flourish spiritually and intellectually, resulting in the character improvement of Jews all over the world. At that time, however, Prime Minister Asquith was not interested in pursuing such an option, and no action was taken. Yet significant groundwork had been accomplished, and it was on the basis of Samuel's work that the Balfour Declaration was later written. It was therefore no surprise that Samuel was appointed first high commissioner of Palestine. His appointment made him the first Jew to govern in the Land of Israel in 2,000 years. Anxious to serve his country well, Samuel made it clear that his policy was to unite all dissenting groups under the British flag. Attempting to appease the Arabs in Palestine, Samuel made several significant concessions. It was he who appointed Hajj Amin al-Husseini, a noted Arab nationalist extremist, to be Mufti of Jerusalem. In addition, he slowed the pace of Jewish immigration to Palestine, much to the distress of the Zionists. In attempting to prove his impartiality, the Zionists claimed that he had gone too far, and had damaged the Zionist cause. Many Zionists were ultimately disappointed by Samuel, who they felt did not live up to the high expectations they had of him.

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