Talk:Herbert Samuel, 1st Viscount Samuel

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Removed from the text: (the first Jewish leader of a major British political party). In fact this distinction belongs to Benjamin Disraeli. -- Graham :) 02:32, 11 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Disraeli was baptised a Christian. Therefore Samuel is the first unconverted Jew to lead a party.
It depends on whether you class Jewishness as a race or religion - it could be either. If the former it's Disraeli, if the latter this guy. -- Graham :) 03:26, 11 Mar 2004 (UTC)

It's neither, really: it's an ethnic group (nation, people) which also has a unique religion. Cf. Sikhs.

Now described as the "first unconverted Jew to lead a UK party Formeruser-83 03:34, 12 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Now first practicing Jew. Alun 11:30, 27 September 2005 (UTC)

The word is 'practiSing'.

The text says "As such, Samuel was the first Jew to govern the historic land of Israel in 2,000 years" which is kind of misleading since the modern state of Israel did not exist back then and Samuel was not primarily in Mandatory Palestine as a Jew but as a British administrator. The way it's phrased now seems to imply some sort of Jewish control over the land. Shall we change this? RoyalTS

very good[edit]

this article is the best article i read about Herbert Samuel —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Abiedanzig (talkcontribs) 07:37, 15 April 2007 (UTC).

from Peretz Green[edit]

אני החמור המשוח - אוכל הלחם מבית הלחם —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Abiedanzig (talkcontribs) 07:45, 15 April 2007 (UTC).

What is so bizarre?[edit]

“This led to the bizarre situation where a Jew, Herbert Samuel, was to appoint the Islamic leader”

I am not sure what is bizarre about this situation? The Sultan was not temporal by religion, he was a Muslim. But his position was temporal. Similarly, if the British High Commissioner were a Christian by religion, it would not matter, since his position was temporal. The same applies to Herbert Samuel.

So what is so bizarre here? Please explain. 10:42, 13 May 2007 (UTC)

It's not bizarre at all, since anyone who was High Commissioner at the time would have had this task. The article is actually very thin on the issue of Samuel's work in Palestine and his relationship with the Zionists and the Arabs. --Zerotalk 12:20, 13 May 2007 (UTC)

Since there is nothing bizarre, I am changing the sentence to "Herbert Samuel was to appoint the Islamic leader. He chose.." 10:49, 26 May 2007 (UTC)

Britain didn't "conquer Palestine" as stated[edit]

Palestine was not a national entity in the first world war. Britain and its allies conquered the Ottoman empire and Britain received the mandate to govern Palestine. I believe this was confirmed in the Versailles treaty and later by the League of Nations. Shenkin 14:26, 3 June 2007 (UTC)

Britain conquered Palestine, exactly as she conquered Iraq, which wasn't a national entity either. That Britain did not conquer all of the Ottoman Empire does not change the fact of conquest of half of it. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 22:05, 21 September 2008 (UTC)

Recent edits to “early years”[edit]

Palest embered, I have removed your recent edits (again), for the following reasons: (1) you removed a request for a citation, without providing the requested cite. Please don’t do that. (2) The wording you inserted, that Samuel “threatened” Russian refugees is not “better worded”, and not form a better source. It is an inflammatory term. The wording currently in the article is less polemic and just as accurate, and sourced to a respectable, scholarly work (Debating Durkheim), vs. your source, which is a polemical advocacy website –, which should not be used on Wikipedia at all, except in an article about the website itself. (3) The statement that ‘Under the leadership of Jabotinski, the Jews refused to fight for the Tsar's ally, the UK” is not relevant to Herbert Samuel, and is patently false, besides. Jabotinski had no “leadership” over Jews, and there is ample historical documentation that Jews participated in WWI, fighting for both sides, as well as actively campaigning for (and ultimately succeeding) in getting the British to sponsor a Jewish unit to fight on the English side . Canadian Monkey (talk) 18:02, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

Samuel didn't add 'Israel" to the stamps. The British Mandate, under his administration, labeled the coins and stamps of the Mandate in three languages: "Palestine", in English, 'Filastin' in Arabic, and 'Palestina (EI)' in Hebrew, the EI being an abbreviation for "Eretz Israel". In other words, Samuel when to pains to avoid using Israel on the coins and stamps. Canadian Monkey (talk) 18:22, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
1) The demand for a citation for "practicing Jew" is unnecessary and confusing - I'll happily go along with an unreferenced "non-practicing Jew" if you prefer. I'd rather leave out the "practicing" part completely, but it's entirely up to you. Wasserstein reports that Samuel refused to attend synagogue, but kept kosher, your information may be different and it may be better. Everything I've seen suggests Samuel's Jewishness was considered notable, but that doesn't necessarily mean it was very strong.
2) Lenni Brenner is a respected scholarly historian, author of 4 books and editor of at least two more. "Zionism in the Age of the Dictators" appeared in 5 "versions" (editions?) and is cited at least 6 times.[1] 24 years after it's appearance, it appears to be out of print, but copies change hands for respectable money on Amazon.[2] Brenner (now 70) is publishing it on the web (but retaining his copyright). It's hosted by the Marxists - but that doesn't impact on it's credibility (Karl Marx's own reporting of the American Civil War is highly regarded, so I'm told by a non-Marxist American academic - who points me to [3] and [4], both on
3) Meanwhile, the essay collection that is "Debating Durkheim" is cited just 3 times. I can't tell whether the essay you want to quote has ever been cited by anybody - I suspect not because they don't seem to be historical uses, they appear to be such works as "Critical Analysis of Organizations: Theory, Practice, Revitalization By Catherine Casey".
4) "Threatened" is the word used in the reference - and it exactly matches what all history tells us about getting people into the trenches. Russian Jews were in the UK because they'd fled the Tsar that they hated - the reference tells us that. With the UK an ally of Russia, and with Jabotinsky as their leader, they refused to fight Russia's enemy, Germany. But they were prepared to fight the Ottoman Empire (because it occupied Palestine?). Hence what I put in - the only part not directly from the reference is that the Zion Mule Corps became the Jewish Legion. Perhaps you'd like that shown as "citation needed"? PRtalk 21:26, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
(1) I am not the one who inserted the citation request for Samuel being a practicing Jew, so what I think about the need for it is not important. If you think it is unnecessary, you should take it up with the editor who requested that citation, but it is bad form to remove a citation requested by an editor without providing a citation. (2+3) Lenni Brenner is not a historian at all, let alone a “respected scholarly” one. He is, as his Wikipedia article tells us, a Marxist activist, and the author of several popular, non-scholarly books, which put a Marxist-advocacy spin on contemporary politics and historical Zionism. My source, on the other hand, is a scholarly book, published by Routledge, a well known publisher of academic books and journals in the humanities and social sciences. Its authors are an Emeritus Fellow of St Antony’s College, University of Oxford, and a former Lecturer in sociology from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. Both sources make the same factual claims regarding Samuel’s legislation affecting Russian refugees – perhaps you can clarify why you prefer inflammatory language from a non-scholarly source to neutral language from a scholarly one. (4) Again, Jews fought on both sides of the trenches in that war. This is amply documented in historical sources. Jabotinsky was not in any way the leader of Russian Jews in the UK, and the very next sentence in the article, which describes his efforts to put together a Jewish fighting unit under British command puts the lie to the claim that the Jews did not want to fight for the UK. In any case, whatever Jabotinsky did or wanted to do, and what the Jews wanted or did is not at all relevant to this biography of Samuel. Canadian Monkey (talk) 22:41, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
1) Please justify to policy your claim that "practicing Jew [citation needed]" belongs in the article. You can have whatever you like there, but suggesting that we doubt our own article makes no sense, and is against policy.
2) Lenni Brenner is clearly a far better source than "Debating Durkheim", which is never cited for history (nor for much else). The Durkheim book doesn't mention Jabotinsky, doesn't mention WW1 or WWI, and the historical part (which is an appendix) only refers to Samuel concerning Durkheim's interactions with him. Jabotinsky's story is rather well documented, it's likely we can replace Brenner with something better later, but for the moment he's far better than Pickering's "Debating Durkheim".
3) And Debating Durkheim says very much the same thing that Brenner, does anyway! This is a group of refugees from Russia, "nearly all Jews" (Durkheim commentary, not Brenner), who, it was thought, were not volunteering in great numbers and were being shown the white feather (Durkheim, not Brenner). Samuel was the Home Secretary and he dealt with this group very robustly (Durkheim and Brenner, the latter uses the word "threaten"). Jabotinsky and Zionism appear in Brenner only, but then "unlike Durkheim, [Samuel] was a strong supporter of Zionism" (from Debating Durkheim again).
4) Jabotinsky and Samuel later play an inter-connected part in Palestine, so the agreement made here is critical to an understanding of Samuel's part in history, and essential to his bio. PRtalk 13:42, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
(1) The policy in question is WP:V, which states "Editors should provide a reliable source for quotations and for any material that is challenged or is likely to be challenged, or it may be removed." The statement in question has been challenged, so the options open to you are to provide the requested source, or remove the challenged statement. You do not have the option of simply removing the request for a source, and asserting it is not needed.
(2+3+4) You and I seem to agree that "Debating Durkheim" says very much the same thing that Brenner does, so again I wonder why is it that you prefer a non-academic, marginal source self-published on an advocacy web site, which uses inflammatory language, over an academic source published by an academic press which says pretty much the same thing, using neutral language. Canadian Monkey (talk) —Preceding comment was added at 02:07, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
As a solution, since you have indicated that you are ok with replacing Brenner with another source, but have a problem with Pickering's "Debating Durkheim", we can source the same material currently in the article to Geoffrey Alderman's 'Modern British Jewry' - published by Oxford University Press, and authored by a recognized British historian of the Jewish community in England in the 19th and 20th centuries. Canadian Monkey (talk) 02:14, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
Your insistence on [citation needed] is strange indeed - nobody has challenged "practising Jews" and it's highly unlikely that anyone ever will. Overwhelmingly, people will be surprised that he was even partly distanced from Judaism (which is something I added).
Lenni Brenner's writings are historical, referenced and cited, as I've demonstrated (to quite a high standard). By comparison, "Debating Durkeim" is only loosely historical, and neither referenced nor cited. Nevertheless, they agree as far as they concern the same things. Brenner's writing goes on to describe Samuel's early relationship with Jabotinsky, essential to understanding what happened later (and I suspect, very well documented indeed). PRtalk 09:35, 26 January 2008 (UTC)
My insistence on [citation needed] is not at all strange - it is policy, which I quoted to you above. Arguing by repeating your assertions will not us anywhere, and your assertions about "Debating Durkeim" are pointless,as that source is no longer used. Canadian Monkey (talk) 15:42, 26 January 2008 (UTC)
You are welcome to claim OWNERSHIP over whether Samuel was a practicing Jew or not, I'd rather treat his religious affiliation as playing an extremely small part in his behavior and policies, impacting only (and that, very unfortunately) on other people's reaction to him.
Meanwhile, I'm trying to round out his biography, and point out that Zionism didn't dominate his life. Far from it, he sided against the Zionist (as I understand it) Lloyd George and (as it turned out) permanently lost his place in government as a result. This discussion is highly relevant to the complex, but extremely important part he played in the events that followed. PRtalk 17:02, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

I don't think there's really any major disagreement between us. His religious affiliation played an extremely small part in his behavior and policies, so there's no need to call out the (contested) claim that he was the first practicing Jew to be elected. Likewise, there's no need to comment that he supported a non-Zionist politician (who was his benefactor) over a Zionist one. Let's just keep those comments out of the article. Canadian Monkey (talk) 19:22, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

Make your mind up - either it's contested that he was a practicing Jew or it's not contested, I'm neutral on the subject, except that concocted controversy is described as FRINGE when it appears in articles. I'm far more concerned that Samuel not be painted in some one-dimensional, stereo-typical fashion as a non-typical British politician who acted as a Zionist stooge because of his (apparently wobbly) religious conviction. His affiliation to Asquith (costing him all further part in government of the UK) is near-enough essential to writing a biography that fairly presents his contribution. Samuels dealings with Jabotinsky in 1916 are also highly significant as regards what happened later. Brenner is an excellent reference as regards those dealings - and it's unlikely other sources would conflict much on the significant points.. PRtalk 22:42, 26 January 2008 (UTC)
I don't believe I've changed my mind at all - rather, you are having difficulty discerning between "contested" (which the claim is), and "important" (which the claim is not). Since we seem to agree that his religious affiliation is not important, and since an editor has questioned this particular statement regarding his religious affiliation and asked for a citation for it, the best course of action is to simply remove the entire statement. I don't think the article is at all portraying him as a stooge, Zionist or otherwise. The only person who keeps trying to add commentary relating to what his Zionist convictions made him do, seems to be you. Canadian Monkey (talk) 00:15, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
I've seen nothing anywhere to suggest that anyone other than yourself (and an editor lost in the mists of time) has ever contested the claim that Samuel was "a practising Jew". Unless you have evidence there is some controversy about this, then the tag needs to come off. We don't invent conspiracy.
Meanwhile, we have ample evidence that his background were considered highly significant:
1) The military government of Allenby and Bols called Samuel's appointment "highly dangerous". [Vital, Zionism, p. 83. Also Knox, The Making of a New Eastern Question, p. 153, and Ingrams, Palestine Papers, p. 105.]
2) Bols said the news was received with: 'Consternation, despondency, and exasperation express the feelings of the Moslem Christian population ... They are convinced that he will be a partisan Zionist and that he represents a Jewish and not a British Government.'[Ingrams, Palestine Papers, p. 106.]
3) Allenby said that the Arabs would see it as "as handing country over at once to a permanent Zionist Administration" and predicted numerous degrees of violence. Lord Curzon read this message to Samuel and asked him to reconsider accepting the post. (Samuel took advice from a delegation representing the Zionists which was in London at the time, they told him that these 'alarmist' reports were not justified. That last snippet comes, again according to Huneidi, from Samuel's own memoirs, p.152.)
4) Muslim-Christian Association sent a telegram to Bols: "Sir Herbert Samuel regarded as a Zionist leader, and his appointment as first step in formation of Zionist national home in the midst of Arab people contrary to their wishes. Inhabitants cannot recognise him, and Moslem-Christian Society cannot accept responsibility for riots or other disturbances of peace.
5) The wisdom of appointing Samuel was debated in the House of Lords a day before he arrived in Palestine. Lord Curzon said that no 'disparaging' remarks had been made during the debate, but that 'very grave doubts have been expressed as to the wisdom of sending a Jewish Administrator to the country at this moment'. Parliamentary questions were asked.
6) The Morning Post wrote Sept 1920 that 'Sir Herbert Samuel's appointment as High Commissioner was regarded by everyone, except Jews, as a serious mistake.'
All in all, it is beneficial (perhaps essential) to the article (and to Samuel's reputation) that he not appear as a hard-nosed Zionist, the way he was universally regarded in Palestine, from the moment his appointment was announced. (By a population only recently having discovered the Balfour Declaration and already faced with a violent foreign nationalism in their midst). PRtalk 12:21, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
So, it appears that it is you who has to make up his mind, having earlier said that "I'd rather treat his religious affiliation as playing an extremely small part in his behavior " and "I'm trying to round out his biography, and point out that Zionism didn't dominate his life. Far from it", while now you have changed the tune to 'we have ample evidence that his background were considered highly significant'. Anyway, I have no problem with describing the responses to his appointment as High Commissioner, in the relevant section. That section should of course include not just the concerns that he would support Zionist interests to the detriment of Arab ones, but also the actual actions he took, which caused the Zionists great disappointment. None of this has any bearing on the need to provide a citation for a contested statement. That need does not go away just becuase the request was made long ago - indeed, the length of time that has passed without a suitable citation being found is a good indication that one can't be found, and it's best to just remove the contested statement altogether. what you are advocating (removal of the tag without providing a cite) is violation of policy. Don't do it. Canadian Monkey (talk) 16:11, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
Everything I've said is consistent with treating him fairly and providing depth to the picture presented in the article. All of it appears to be based on good sources.
I'll be interested to see from you what actions of Samuel's disappointed the Zionists. Every source I've ever seen suggest he opened the gates for making Palestine "as Jewish as England is English". PRtalk 21:42, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
We clearly disagree about your sources. I don't believe a historical biography should be written based on self-published claims by a radical Marxist activist, with no formal training or academic credentials as an historian. To answer your question, the article clearly states he "act[ed] to slow Jewish immigration ", and this was obviously a disappointment to Zionists. This is explicitly spelled out here: "Attempting to appease the Arabs in Palestine, Samuel made several significant concessions. It was he who appointed Hajj Amin al-Husseini, a noted Arab nationalist extremist, to be Mufti of Jerusalem. In addition, he slowed the pace of Jewish immigration to Palestine, much to the distress of the Zionists. In attempting to prove his impartiality, the Zionists claimed that he had gone too far, and had damaged the Zionist cause. Many Zionists were ultimately disappointed by Samuel, who they felt did not live up to the high expectations they had of him." Canadian Monkey (talk) 22:22, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
I'm treating Brenner as a 2nd or 3rd tier historian by the same criteria I'd rate any other commentator, the number of (significant) citations of his work and an absence (that I'm aware of) of hate or cheating. Debating Durkheim might have useful elements, but didn't provide anything more than does Brenner - it's a mystery on what grounds you thought it would be seriously useful.
I'd not exclude the JVL's article from the category of RS because it's partisan (we often have to use such sources) but because of the fairly gross historical distortion I can see. The first two paragraphs are simply absurd, the natives were throwing stones at Samuel's armoured car as he toured his new possessions. Even when mention is made (in the final paragraph) of the feelings of the 90% native population, their very serious concerns are totally trivialised. Many of the JVL articles (I seem to recall) are reliable, some of them are not even very obviously partisan, but not this one. Immigration didn't slow, it raced ahead. PRtalk 19:45, 28 January 2008 (UTC)
I don't really care how you'd treat other commentators - but Brenner is not a 2nd or 3rd tier historian - he's not a historian at all. He has no formal training as an historian, has no academic qualifications in the field, and has not held any teaching or research position in the filed in any institution of higher learning. He is a Marxists activist. Let me unravel the mystery of the serious usefulness of "Debating Durkheim" - it is an academic work, by two notable academics, holding teaching positions in universities. It is the kind of resources we should be striving for in this encyclopedia. On top of this, it makes the same points as your non-academic source, only it does so using neutral, non-inflammatory language. Why you would prefer a non-academic source, from a self-published web site, by a radical activist, which makes the same point (only using inflammatory language) is a something you have yet to explain. All this is moot, by the way, as the current article version does not use "Debating Durkheim" at all - the material is sourced to yet another academic source, by a noted expert on the history of Jews in the UK.
As to the JVL, I'm glad we agree that it is a reliable source. Your personal observations as to the accuracy of the particular article are interesting, but constitute original research. Regardless, there are plenty of other sources who make the same point. The opinions of the non-Zionist population are irrelevant to the question you asked, and to the answer I gave you, which was "What actions by Samuel did the Zionists find disappointing". the answer is that he worked to limit immigration, among other things. Canadian Monkey (talk) 04:25, 29 January 2008 (UTC)
The additions I've made lean heavily on direct quotes from many different sources. It may be necessary to leaven some of this information for readability later on, but we can hardly ignore the documentary evidence of really serious alarm in Palestine at the activities of the Zionists, and at Samuel being made High Commissioner. The restrictions on immigration were implemented for one month only, and, according to Samuel himself, were partly necessary to protect the Zionists from the difficulties and embarrassment of having unemployment on their hand. But I don't appear to have a cite to the original documentation for that, perhaps you can examine your sources and help me out. PRtalk 11:27, 29 January 2008 (UTC)
I think most of the recent additions are fine. I've removed one section which was not directly related to Samuel (what you refer to as "documentary evidence of really serious alarm in Palestine at the activities of the Zionists" - this is not an article about the history of the conflict, but a biography of Samuel), and made some minor copy-edits to the rest to make it flow better. you are correct that we may need to pare this down a bit, but for the moment I'll leave it as-is. I have not seen the quote you refer to about unemployment. Canadian Monkey (talk) 04:53, 30 January 2008 (UTC)

Reference to H.S.'s heritage/religion in opening section[edit]

User:Canadian Monkey favored the omission of term 'Jewish' from the intro citing the fact as irrelevant, thus making Right Honourable H.S. "British" instead of "British Jewish"; however this fact should be considered rather germane for following reasons: first of all - the man himself definitely considered this fact to be of more than marginal importance (both in his own life and also in context of his involvements). Second - the article does discuss (in following sections) his adherence to Kashruth, his Zionist views, nuances related to his position as High Commissioner, etc. where all narrative makes sense on implied understanding that he was Jewish; the encyclopedia article should not be written this way, i.e. the facts relevant to the consequent narrative should be introduced explicitly beforehand. Finally, for certain reasons some people consider paying attention to 'historical firsts', precedent setting and so on, and in present case the man was first ever Jewish member of the cabinet. Given all this I would suggest not being squeamish about Herbert Samuel's roots and religion and ackowledge the fact that he was British Jewish. DBWikis (talk) 14:34, 28 January 2009 (UTC)

No one is questioning that he was Jewish, or if he knew he was Jewish - but as he wasn't a central figure in Judaism, his personal belief system is irrelevant to an encyclopedic article, and certainly doesn't not belong in the lead. Canadian Monkey (talk) 17:11, 28 January 2009 (UTC)
Your point that only central figures in Judaism should merit reference to as being Jewish is very interesting. Why mention that he was British then? After all he unfortunately was not one of the central figures in Great Britain's culture/history/etc. either. No, we mention that H.S. was British for simple reason... that British he was; same with Jewish, quite simple. If you would say that his eyes were certain color or his favorite meal was such-and-such - I would agree with you because those details are evidently irrelevant, however his background must be considered germane for the encyclopedic article for sure. Please consider my second and third points above too. Then please re-read the article: in section 'Early Years' it says he had religious upbringing. How the reader unfamiliar with H.S. (and every encyclopedic article must be developed in assumption that prior knowledge of the reader on the article's subject is rather minimal) will conclude that religion in subject is Judaism, if we do not bother to indicate his Jewish background? I think we should ask you to substantiate your point that Herbert Samuel's Jewish heritage is 'not pertinent' in better details, if possible, please. DBWikis (talk) 05:00, 29 January 2009 (UTC)
The practice on Wikipedia is to mention religion only if it is central to the person's notability. In contrast, nationality is mentioned in every case. Please edit in accordance with current practice, as described here, or make a case for changing it on the appropriate Talk page. Canadian Monkey (talk) 21:06, 29 January 2009 (UTC)


Is the stuff about searching for Bensalem true as it doesn't seem in keeping with the rest of his life? Can anyone give references? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:05, 26 March 2009 (UTC)


Hi, I knew nothing about Herbert Samuel until reading this page. Unfortunately, I am now confused. In the text it says he renounced all religious belief. In the box it states his religion as Jewish. Should the box say None or Atheist or ...? As it stands, this is definitely confusing and contradictory. Can someone who knows the subject bring these into line. Many thanks. (talk) 09:04, 24 May 2012 (UTC)

Renouncing religious belief does not erase a person's Jewishness. Even actively converting to another religion won't help (see Nazi Germany).--Geewhiz (talk) 09:45, 24 May 2012 (UTC)

Wrong Bit Thrown Away[edit]

Lloyd George famously said of Samuel "when they circumcised him, they threw away the wrong bit", a witty way of making an anti-Semitic jibe at his expense. Anyone know when he said it?Paulturtle (talk) 14:32, 19 October 2012 (UTC)

Lead section[edit]

Per WP:LEAD, in a developed article the lead section should be a summary of the most important aspects. I can't even find his being the first Jewish leader of a major British party in the body of the article. January (talk) 21:44, 16 February 2014 (UTC)

Your revertion to remove Jewish from the intro needed addressing and I felt that if this description was to be re-introduced then it needed significant context. The statement could easily be inserted into the article to satisfy your concerns. Graemp (talk) 11:52, 17 February 2014 (UTC)
No, the edit I reverted that changed British to Jewish-British was what needed addressing, biographies begin with the subject's nationality not ethnicity (and why did you remove diplomat?). Your edit needs addressing too, it is unsourced and lacks the appropriate context. January (talk) 13:30, 17 February 2014 (UTC)
Actually, I've just spotted from a previous discussion that this statement was removed several years ago as incorrect (see Untitled thread at the top of this page). I'll revert the lead back to the stable version. January (talk) 14:01, 17 February 2014 (UTC)
No, you could have accommodated the edit of another editor in a collaborative way to address the concern.
Actually, a more ambiguous and incorrect statement was removed, re-read untitled discussion at the top of the page and you will see that a consensus was reached. However, it seems as if someone, subsequently removed this from the article and it was not re-instated. I'll revert back and provide a source. Graemp (talk) 15:17, 17 February 2014 (UTC)
The OP in that discussion was clearly correct, Disraeli was leader of a major party long before Samuel. We now have an incorrect statement in the lead. January (talk) 17:13, 17 February 2014 (UTC)
No we don't. Please re-read both the discussion and the source material. Graemp (talk) 17:57, 17 February 2014 (UTC)
The Guardian is ambiguous, and the synagogue source does not support "first Jewish-born". January (talk) 18:37, 17 February 2014 (UTC)
I have to make the disclaimer that I am no expert in the subject. However, Disraeli was undoubtedly born a Jew - claims to the contrary are simply ludicrous. He was baptised a Christian at his father's insistence at the age of 13 to try and support him in his education and future career (shows how seriously the Disraeli family took religion)! Samuel is regarded, so far as I can judge from what literature I have read, as the first practicing Jew to lead a major political party. Of course, the article states he only followed a couple of bits of it and therefore kind of discounts his Jewishness. However, I'm slightly dubious about that claim - while there is no evidence he had any particular religious beliefs, he seems to have remained an active member of a synagogue for most of his life (check out the ODNB article here) if only to please his wife. Now that obviously begs a question - does somebody who attends religious services and undergo religious rituals despite not believing a word of it count as a 'practicing' religious person? Or not? But if not, what is the definition?
Regardless of that, the lead is simply not correct, because he was certainly not the first Jewish born leader of a political party. I entirely agree with January on that basis. (talk) 15:43, 22 March 2014 (UTC)
I agree with most of what you write, though you overstate the case a bit. The question of whether he was "praticising" or not has no objective answer, imo. He claimed to eat kosher and not work on Shabbat (a weaker restriction than a religious Jew would obey), not from principle but because he considered them "good hygienic regulations". Similarly, though he remained an official member of a synagogue congregation as a compromise with his family, he declared that he would never actually enter a synagogue and almost never did. (Source for both of these: Wasserstein's book, pages 20, 21, 55). Zerotalk 18:16, 23 March 2014 (UTC)
Fair points Zero, especially on practicing/synagogue membership. However, even being a detached member of the Jewish religion did make him exceptional and may be worth a mention - even if it didn't, would he have been the first avowed atheist to lead a political party (discounting closet atheists Lloyd George, Bonar Law, Derby, Grey and Pitt)? Any ideas for a compromise? I altered the lead on the basis that what was there was simply plumb wrong and highly misleading but if you're not happy with it please by all means go ahead and improve it! (talk) 16:58, 26 March 2014 (UTC)

High Commissionner[edit]


Does some know why he left his position of HC in 1926 ? Pluto2012 (talk) 07:29, 4 May 2014 (UTC)

Not 1926, but 1925. Bernard Wasserstein, Herbert Samuel and the Palestine Problem, The English Historical Review, Vol. 91, No. 361. (Oct., 1976), pp. 753-775. I think he was appointed for a period of five years. I didn't find an explicit statement of that, but Wasserstein in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography says "mid-1925, when his period of office ended". Wasserstein says that he wanted to remain in Palestine as a private citizen but this was prevented by his successor (Lord Plummer) and the Colonial Secretary (Leo Amery). Zerotalk 09:01, 4 May 2014 (UTC)
Thx !
Pluto2012 (talk) 09:08, 4 May 2014 (UTC)

Kept Kosher[edit]

The expression "Kept Kosher" is jargon possibly understood only by Jewish people. An alternative (or an explanation) would be better. e.g. Observed Jewish food rules. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Bkesselman (talkcontribs) 17:17, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

Nominally practising Jew?[edit]

He was the first nominally practising Jew ...

What does that mean? Either he did actually practise the Jewish religion, or he did not. And if he did, how does that square with his atheism? I'm confused. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 19:07, 8 September 2016 (UTC)