Saturday, 22 March 2008

Letter 39 - June 23, (1919)

Zionist Commission to Palestine – Tel-Aviv, JAFFA, Palestine

Dear Family,-

Last night we had a very nice little party at the house. Captain Levin who as just come from Paris was with us, and Col. Norman Bentwich, present Judicial Advisor in Palestine with wife, and Col. Popham, present acting military governor of Jerusalem in Gen. Storr’s absence (he’s just gone from England) and Mrs Popham.

Bentwich is a rather tiresome and “sloppy” sort and his wife is more or less the same. But Popham proved to be a fine fellow and his wife was quite charming and nice looking. Of course it was not all that is to be expected of a 21st birthday party but we all had a good time.

The idea of entertaining all the local “powers what be” without talking business is something which we should have inaugurated long ago. These Russian and others have no conception of how to meet and entertain Englishmen socially. And since we’ve been doing it we have been able to notice a decided change in our personal relations.

We are constantly receiving optimistic and hopeful reports from the north as to the manner in which the delegation from the various localities are presenting themselves to the American Commission. Unless they come to Palestine too prejudiced in advance they are bound to leave favourably impressed. (tho personally I think most of them are unimpressionable.) Anyhow we have reason to believe that some definite action will take place in Paris before many weeks, possibly before they return.

My one great fear is that Dr. Friedenwald and Szold will leave here and the Z.C. activities will return to their former state of disorganized chaos under the guidance of Dr. Eder and Mr. Lewin-Epstein – especially now that Bianchini isn’t here with them. So far no date has been set for our departure – but it’s bound to be within the next few weeks. Ad by then it’s hoped that Frankfurter and several other capable men will be here. Really it would be tragic to let things slip here when we are on the verge of success.

Lots of love,


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