Herbert Samuel, 1st Viscount Samuel

Herbert Louis Samuel, 1st Viscount Samuel (GCB, OM, GBE, PC, born November 6, 1870 in Liverpool, † February 5, 1963 in London) was a British politician and diplomat. In 1920 he was appointed the first High Commissioner (essentially Governor ) of the British League of Nations mandate for Palestine and served in that office until 1925. As such, Samuel was the first Jew who ruled the historic land of Israel for 2000 years.


Samuel grew up in London, the son of a Jewish banking family. The family was very active politically. One of his brothers was a member of Parliament. He attended the University College School in Hampstead and educated at Balliol College at the University of Oxford. At the age of 18, he was active in 1902 and Liberal Member of Parliament for the Liberal Party. He received his first government post in 1906 in the Ministry of Interior. From Prime Minister Herbert Asquith Henry he was ever appointed in 1909 as the first non - Jew converted to the Cabinet, in which he was the first Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, then Postmaster General and later Minister of the Interior. He brought in 1915 conceived the idea to establish a British protectorate over Palestine, and his ideas influenced the Balfour Declaration.

As in 1916 splintered the Liberal Party in Asquith and Lloyd George factions, Samuel turned to the side and Asquith was sacked from the Cabinet when Lloyd George became Prime Minister.

When the British conquered in 1917 in the wake of World War I Palestine (it was by then part of the Ottoman Empire), Samuel, who had lost his seat in the elections of 1918, a potential candidate for the representation of British interests in the region. He was finally in 1920 the post of High Commissioner, as soon as the British mandate had been transferred from the League of Nations.

As High Commissioner Samuel was keen to demonstrate its neutrality, and tried to mediate between Zionist and Arab interests by slowed Jewish immigration, and tried to gain the trust of the Arab population. It was at this time Islamic customary law that the Supreme Islamic spiritual leader of the respective current rulers ( ie the Sultan in Constantinople Opel ) should be selected from a group of clergy who had been nominated by the local clergy.

After the British had conquered Palestine, the Sultan was of course no longer the secular rulers. 1921 appointed Herbert Samuel Haj Mohammed Amin al -Husseini the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, who until 1939 led the Arab Revolt of 1936.

After his return to Britain in 1925 asked Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin Samuel to become acquainted with the problems of the mining industry. The Samuel Commission published its report in March 1926, proposed to reorganize the industry, however, rejected the nationalization. The report also proposed that government subsidies should be abolished and the miners' salaries are reduced.

This report was one of the most important factors that led to the British General Strike of 1926.

After the elections of 1929 Herbert Samuel was again a member of the House of Commons. Two years later he became chairman of the Liberal Party ( the first non- converted Jew, who led one of the major UK political parties) and interior minister in the government of Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald. In 1932 he led the Liberals ( with the exception of the small National Liberal Party of Sir John Simon ) from the government. He remained chairman of the Liberal Party until 1935, he again lost his seat.

In 1937, he was elevated as Viscount Samuel in the hereditary nobility. In the following years he was leader of the Liberal Party in the House of Lords ( 1944-1955 ).