Dr. Julius Becker, the man appointed by the Executive of the Jewish Agency to represent its interests in Geneva, is unknown in the United States. Little is known of him also in Palestine and in London. He is, however, very well known in Germany and in diplomatic circles in Geneva.
A journalist for many years, Dr. Becker had little interest in Jewish affairs. He was, however, interested in Zionism. Residing in Geneva, where he represented the Vossische Zeitung, a Berlin newspaper, he participated in the work of the Zionist Federation of Switzerland and paid special attention to matters concerning Palestine.
The appointment of Dr. Becker as representative of the Executive of the Jewish Agency, to replace the late and able Dr. Victor Jacobson, did not come as a surprise to many who are acquainted with the inside doings of the Jewish Agency Executive. Dr. Becker was one of the many candidates suggested for the Geneva post and a good deal of correspondence went on between London and Jerusalem before he was finally chosen.
Competing most strongly against Dr. Becker was Dr. Nathan Feinberg, a lawyer, a Zionist and an expert on national minority rights and on mandatory questions. Dr. Feinberg, who is now in Palestine, is also well known in Geneva diplomatic circles.
His knowledge of the mandatory problem has more than once brought him into contact with almost every member of the Mandates Commission of the League of Nations. As an expert on this problem Dr. Feinberg lectured with great success at the University of The Hague. He has also won himself fame among members of the League of Nations by his books on national rights.
A specialist of international fame and an ardent Zionist, Dr. Feinberg was originally thought the candidate best fitted to take Dr. Jacobson’s place. It seems, however, that Dr. Feinberg eliminated himself out of consideration of the fact that Dr. Becker is a victim of the Nazi regime.
HEBREW UNIVERSITY WILL GAIN
With Dr. Becker in Geneva, the valuable knowledge of Dr. Feinberg in the field of mandatory problems and national minority rights will no doubt be utilized by the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. The Hebrew University needs a man of Dr. Feinberg’s calibre on its faculty. As the University of Palestine it can greatly benefit by adding Dr. Feinberg to its staff as an expert on the Palestine Mandate. It has long been decided to establish in the Hebrew University a chair on national minority rights and on problem concerning mandated territories. With Dr. Feinberg in Palestine, this chair can be made one of the finest contributions of the Hebrew University towards popularization of the minority rights principle.