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How Gentile Zionism Affected the Statesmen Behind the Balfour Declaration

Some of them viewed things in a more inspiring light than that of political and material interests.

Lord Balfour’s writing desk. Museum of the Jewish People, Tel Aviv via Wikipedia.

Lord Balfour’s writing desk. Museum of the Jewish People, Tel Aviv via Wikipedia.

Response
June 19 2017
About the author

Allan Arkush is the senior contributing editor of the Jewish Review of Books and professor of Judaic studies and history at Binghamton University.


In his essay on the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, Martin Kramer has performed a valuable service by bringing Nahum Sokolow to center stage. Sokolow, as Kramer acknowledges, is not a wholly forgotten figure. Pick up just about any book dealing extensively with the history of the declaration, and you will find abundant discussion of his important contributions to the great accomplishment of 1917. But thanks in part, as Kramer notes, to Chaim Weizmann’s slighting of him in his influential autobiography Trial and Error (in which even David Ben-Gurion is granted only a cameo role), Sokolow has long been confined to the wings of Zionist history and has totally lost his place in popular memory.

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More about: Balfour Declaration, History & Ideas, Israel & Zionism