Chapter

Balfour's Mission to Palestine: Science, Strategy and Vision in the Inauguration of the Hebrew University

Peter Y. Medding

in Studies in Contemporary Jewry: Volume XIV: Coping with Life and Death: Jewish Families in the Twentieth Century

Published in print May 1999 | ISBN: 9780195128208
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199854592 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195128208.003.0011

Series: Studies in Contemporary Jewry

Balfour's Mission to Palestine: Science, Strategy and Vision in the Inauguration of the Hebrew University

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Arthur J. Balfour, first Earl of Balfour (1848–1930), was a philosopher and statesman, godson of the Duke of Wellington and nephew of the Marquess of Salisbury, whose lineage can be traced to the Cecils of Elizabethan England. Educated at Eton and at Trinity College, Cambridge, author of A Defense of Philosophic Doubt (1879) and The Foundations of Belief (1895), his energies were drawn to politics at the age of twenty-six. He was perhaps as close as England in this century has come to a philosopher-statesman, a man fitted to rule by birth, education, and intelligence; yet he was also a man of deep contradictions, sincere in his respect for the teachings of modern science while at the same time leaning toward “guidance” rather than “blind chance” in the universe. Balfour's long connection with Zionism — and with Palestine, which he visited only once — can be recaptured only by knowing the man in his three most important and mutually interdependent dimensions: scientific and philosophical, diplomatic and strategic, and cultural. The first set the framework for the rest.

Keywords: Arthur Balfour; Zionism; Palestine

Chapter.  9825 words. 

Subjects: History of Religion

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