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Herbert Samuel

Famous for:

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British High Commissioner in Palestine


Herbert Samuel (1870-1963) was the first Jewish Cabinet minister in the British government and served in numerous political and diplomatic roles. He served as the High Commissioner of the British Mandate from 1920-1925. Worried about appearing to be partial towards the Zionist cause (he was a Zionist supporter and in favor of the Balfour Declaration), he often conceded to Arab demands even when backed by Arab violence. He oscillated British policy back and forth between Arabs and Jews, satisfying no one, angering everyone, and leaving lasting conflict.