Norman Bentwich

Norman Bentwich, 1950

Norman De Mattos Bentwich OBE MC (28 February 1883 – 8 April 1971) was a British barrister and legal academic who served as Legal Secretary and the first Attorney-General of Mandatory Palestine from 1918 to 1931. A lifelong Zionist, Bentwich was close to the moderate wing of the movement. As the Arab-Jewish conflict in Palestine escalated, his presence in the mandatory government became an embarrassment to the British. In 1929 he was slightly wounded in an assassination attempt. In 1930 he went on leave to England and a year later his appointment was "terminated." [1] From 1932 to 1951 he occupied the Chair of International Relations at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.[2] He was also President of the Jewish Historical Society.




  • Called to the bar (Lincolns Inn), 1908
  • Ministry of Justice, Cairo, 1912–1915
  • Major, Camel Transport, 1916–1918
  • Legal secretary to military administration, Palestine, 1918–22
  • First attorney-general in mandatory government of Palestine, 1922-9
  • Recalled to Colonial Office, 1929–31
  • Professor of International Relations, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 1932 and 1945–1951
  • Director of League of Nations High Commission for Refugees from Germany, 1933–1935
  • British Ministry of Information and Air Ministry, 1939–45

Other positions

  • Co-editor of the Jewish Review, 1910–1913 and 1932–1934
  • Lecturer at Hague Academy of International Law, 1929, 1934 and 1955
  • Vice-President, Jewish Committee for Relief Abroad
  • Chairman, National Peace Council, 1944–1946
  • Chairman, United Restitution Office, 1948–1971
  • Foreign Office Committee on Restitution in British Zone of Germany, 1951
  • President, Jewish Historical Society, 1960–1962
  • Chairman, Friends of Hebrew University
  • President of London North-Western Reform Synagogue, 1958–71


  • Hellenism


  1. ^
  2. ^ Bentwich, Norman. The Jews in Our Time. Harmonds, Middlesworth: Penguin Books, 1960.

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