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Weizmann becomes the first President of Israel...



Item # 643007

May 17, 1948

TAUNTON DAILY GAZETTE, Massachusetts, May 17, 1948 

* Chaim Weizmann becomes 1st President of Israel 

The front page has a very significant one column heading: "Weizmann Named Head of Jewish State" (see) First report coverage on Chaim Azriel Weizmann becoming the first president of the State of Israel.
Other news of the day. Complete in 12 pages, light toning and some wear at the margins, generally good.

A very significant Judaica item.

wikipedia notes: Chaim Weizmann, also known as Chaijim Weizmann or Chaim Weizmann, November 27, 1874November 9, 1952) was a chemist, statesman, President of the World Zionist Organization, first President of Israel (elected February 1, 1949, served 1949 - 1952) and founder of a research institute in Israel which eventually became the Weizmann Institute of Science.

Weizman was born in a small village Motol (Motyli, now Motal') near Pinsk (Russian Empire, now in Belarus) and graduated in chemistry from the University of Fribourg in Switzerland in 1899. He lectured in chemistry at the University of Geneva (1901-3) and later taught at the University of Manchester.

He became a British subject in 1910, and in World War I he was (1916-19) director of the British Admiralty laboratories. He became famous because he discovered how to use bacterialfermentation to produce large quantities of desired substances and is nowadays considered to be the father of industrial fermentation. He used the bacterium Clostridium acetobutylicum (the Weizman organism) to produce acetone. Acetone was used in the manufacture of cordite explosive propellants critical to the Allied war effort (see Royal Navy Cordite Factory, Holton Heath). Weizman transferred the rights to the manufacture of acetone to Commercial Solvents Corporation in exchange for royalties.

In 1917, he worked with Lord Balfour on the Balfour Declaration. A founder of so-called synthetic Zionism, Weizman supported grass-roots colonization efforts as well as higher-level diplomatic activity. Siding with neither Labour Zionism on the left or Revisionist Zionism on the right, Weizman was generally associated with the centrist General Zionists.
1918. Emir Feisal I and Haim Weizman (left, also wearing Arab garb as a sign of friendship)
1918. Emir Feisal I and Haim Weizman (left, also wearing Arab garb as a sign of friendship)

On January 3, 1919, he and the future King Faisal I of Iraq signed the Faisal Weizman Agreement establishing the relations between Arabs and Jews in the Middle East. After 1920, he assumed leadership in the world Zionist movement, serving twice (1920-31, 1935-46) as president of the World Zionist Organization. In 1921, Weizman went along with the well-known JewishphysicistAlbert Einstein for a fund-raiser to establish a Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

In World War II, he was an honorary adviser to the British Ministry of Supply and did research on synthetic rubber and high-octanegasoline. (Formerly Allied-controlled sources of rubber were largely inaccessible due to Japanese occupation during World War II, giving rise to heightened interest in such innovations.)

He met with United States President Harry Truman and worked to obtain the support of the United States for the establishment of the State of Israel. Weizman became the first president upon the foundation of Israel in 1948. At Rehovot, where he lived, Weizman founded a research institute (now the Weizman Institute of Science). He wrote many papers for scientific journals. His nephew Ezer Weizman also became president of Israel.

Category: The 20th Century

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