Henry Tobias

An extract from the autobiography of Chaim Weizmann

I’m posting this extract for the erudition of the readers. I’m reading this autobiography again after many years and I’m struck by the similarities between then and now. By the British Government’s proclivity to blame the Jews in spite of evidence to the contrary. By the appeasement of the Arabs by the same government, which rings true in the willingness of the Obama Administration’s appeasement of Iran.



March 3, 1919


I want to take this opportunity of my first contact with American Zionists, to tell you what I have often been able to say to Dr. Weizmann in Arabia and Europe.

We feel that the Arabs and the Jews are cousins in race, suffering similar oppressions at the hands of powers stronger than themselves, and by a happy coincidence have been able to take the first step towards the attainment of their national ideals together.

We Arabs, especially the educated among us, look with the deepest sympathy on the Zionist movement. Our deputation here in Paris is fully acquainted with the proposals submitted by the Zionist Organization to the Peace Conference, and we regard them as moderate and proper. We will do our best, in so far as we are concerned, to help them through; we will wish the Jews a most hearty welcome home.

With the chiefs of your movement, especially with Dr. Weizmann, we have had, and continue to have, the closest relations. He has been a great helper of our cause, and I hope the Arabs may soon be in a position to make the Jews some return for their kindness. We are working together for a reformed and revived Near East, and our two movements complete one another. The Jewish movement is national and not imperialistic; and there is room in Syria for us both. Indeed, I think that neither can be a real success without the other.

People less informed and less responsible than our leaders, ignoring the need for co-operation of the Arabs and the Zionists, have been trying to exploit the local differences that must necessarily arise in Palestine in the early stages of our movements. Some of them have, I am afraid, misinterpreted your aims to the Arab peasantry, and our aims to the Jewish peasantry. With the result that interested parties have been able to make capital out of what they call our differences.

I wish to give you my firm conviction that these differences are not on questions of principle, but on matters of detail, such as must inevitable occur in every contact with neighbouring people, and as are easily dissipated by mutual good will. Indeed, nearly all of them will disappear with fuller knowledge.

I look forward, and my people with me look forward, to a future in which we will help you and you will help us, so that the countries in which we are mutually interested may once again take their place in the community of civilized peoples of the world.

Yours sincerely,


Letter from the Emir Feisal, son of the Sherif Hussein the leader of the Arab world at the end of WWI, to Mr Felix Frankfurter, a leading American Zionist and confidant of President Woodrow Wilson.

About the Author
The author is a husband, father and grandfather, writer and editor. He trained as a pharmacist. He has just published his first eclectic anthology of short stories, 'Just for Fun' available on Smashwords, B&N and Amazon and other e-book retailers. Soon in print at CreateSpace. His next book, an historical novel of the Holocaust will be published in 2016. Born in London, raised in South Africa, he has lived in Israel since 1979.