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James Armand de Rothschild (1878 – 1957)

James Rothschild was a Jewish British politician and statesman, philanthropist and an activist in matters relating to Eretz Yisrael. He served in France during the First World War and was later dispatched to serve with General Allenby in the Middle East. In this capacity, he began fundraising for the Jewish Legion.

In 1924, Rothschild was appointed by his father, Edmond de Rothschild, as President of the “Palestine Jewish Colonization Association” and remained in this post throughout his life. In 1924 he was also elected as Member of the British Parliament, in which he served until 1945. He took an active part in the Parliament’s debates on the White Papers of Passfield (1931) and MacDonald (1939), speaking ill of the failing of the British policy in Eretz Yisrael, and suggested turning it into a British dominion.

Shortly before his death, Rothschild wrote to Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion and informed him of his decision to donate 6 million Israeli liras for the construction of a permanent Knesset building. All of the land held by the Palestine Jewish Colonization Association was transferred to the Jewish National Fund.

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