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Compromise: Weizmann’s “Speech to the 20th Zionist Congress”

Date: Sunday, Aug. 22 | 11:00 AM–12:30 PM EDT

In 1937, a fierce dispute emerged amongst Jews across the globe: should the Zionist movement accept the recommendations of the Peel Commission to partition the Land of Israel into two states? Many Zionists saw this proposal not only as a betrayal of the 1917 Balfour Declaration, which they believed promised a Jewish state between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, but also as a betrayal of our Biblical homeland. A broad alliance of Zionist groups lobbied against the plan. Yet two Zionist leaders, David Ben-Gurion and Chaim Weizmann, urged Zionists to accept the plan, despite all of their reservations. In this session, we’ll study Weizmann’s speech at the 20th Zionist Congress and explore why this was such a fateful moment in Zionist history.

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