Who's Who in Jewish History: After the Period of the Old Testament

By Joan Comay | Go to book overview
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M

 MACDONALD, James Ramsay

1866-1937. British prime minister. MacDonald became Britain's first Labour prime minister in 1924, but held office for only a year. In 1929 he became prime minister again, this time retaining the office until 1935. MacDonald was a strong supporter of Zionism, though not free of anti-Jewish prejudice. He visited Palestine in 1922 and met BEN-GURION and BEN-ZVI, and on his return wrote articles and pamphlets praising Zionism. In spite of this, a White Paper issued under his premiership by the colonial secretary, Lord PASSFIELD, aroused great Zionist antagonism since it made concessions to the Arabs after their anti-Jewish riots of 1929. Zionist protests were so strong that MacDonald wrote a public letter to Weizmann in February 1931, which 'interpreted' the White Paper in such a way as to water down its anti-Zionist tenor. It came to be known among the Arabs as the 'Black Letter'.


? MACDONALD, Malcolm

1901-81. British colonial secretary. Son of Ramsay MACDONALD, Malcolm held office as colonial secretary in 1935 and again from 1938-40. He issued the anti-Zionist White Paper of 1939 which practically closed the doors of Palestine to Jewish refugees from Nazism, imposed drastic restrictions on Jewish land purchases, and declared that after a transition period Palestine would become an Arab state with a guaranteed Jewish minority, not to exceed 30 per cent of the population. The White Paper was swept away by the establishment of Israel in 1948.


MACK, Julian William

1866-1943. US jurist and Zionist. A successful lawyer and law professor in Chicago, Mack served on the US circuit court of appeals (1913-41). He was a founder and leader of the American Jewish Committee. From 1914 he was associated with Judge Louis D.BRANDEIS in the Zionist movement. He was elected president of the Zionist Organization of America in 1918 and was chairman of the Committee of Jewish Delegations at the 1919 Paris Peace Conference. At the Cleveland convention of the ZOA in 1921, he resigned his office when the group led by Brandeis and himself was defeated in a conflict over Dr WEIZMANN'S proposals. However, Judge Mack remained active on Zionist and Jewish bodies.


? MACMICHAEL, Sir Harold

1882-1969. High commissioner in Palestine, 1938-44. MacMichael came to Palestine as high commissioner after a distinguished career in British colonial administration, particularly in the Sudan. He incurred the fierce hostility of the yishuv through his strict enforcement of the White Paper of 1939, which severely restricted Jewish immigration to Palestine at a time when millions of Jews were seeking to escape from Hitler. The most dramatic incidents of his administration were those connected with Jewish refugee ships, of which the Patria and the Struma are the best-known. In 1944 the dissident Zionist terrorist group, the Stern Gang (Lehi), made an unsuccessful attempt to kill MacMichael, who left Palestine shortly afterwards.

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