JACOBSON, VICTOR (Avigdor; 1869–1935), Zionist leader and diplomat. Born in Simferopol, Crimea, Jacobson joined *Hibbat Zion in his early youth and later became a member of the Russisch-Juedischer Wissenschaftlicher Verein (Berlin) and in 1897 of the newly founded Zionist organization. From 1899 he was a member of the Zionist General Council. In 1903 Jacobson strongly opposed the *Uganda Scheme and was one of the organizers of the *Kharkov Conference in opposition to *Herzl. In 1906 he became head of the Beirut office of the Anglo-Palestine Company and in 1908 of its branch in Constantinople, which was registered there as the Anglo-Levantine Banking Company. He simultaneously became the unofficial diplomatic representative of the Zionist organization in Turkey. In 1913 Jacobson was elected a member of the Zionist Executive and moved to Berlin. In this capacity, he headed during World War I the Copenhagen office of the Zionist organization, from which he maintained contact with all the branches of the movement. He issued the "Copenhagen Manifesto" (Oct. 28, 1918), which outlined postwar Jewish demands with regard to Palestine and equal rights and cultural autonomy in the Diaspora. Jacobson moved to the new seat of the Zionist headquarters in London in 1918. At the 12th Zionist Congress (1921) he and Arthur *Ruppin headed a small group that demanded close Arab-Jewish cooperation and laid the ideological foundations for *Berit Shalom (which was founded in Jerusalem in 1926). Jacobson resigned from the Executive at the Congress, and from 1925 until his death he represented the Zionist organization and the *Jewish Agency in Paris and at the the League of Nations in Geneva. He was the first Zionist "career diplomat." From 1933 he again was a member of the Zionist Executive.
During his activities in Turkey (1908–13), Jacobson acquired for the Zionist Movement the French daily Courrier d'Orient, which was renamed Jeune Turc and edited by Vladimir *Jabotinsky. In 1927 he founded and coedited (with Albert *Cohen) La Revue Juive in Paris. In 1928 the Comité des Amis du Sionisme, which Jacobson had formed, began publication of La Palestine Nouvelle.
L. Lipsky, A Gallery of Zionist Profiles (1956), 94–99; R. Lichtheim, Geschichte des deutschen Zionismus (1954), 204–6; idem, She'ar Yashuv, Zikhronot Ẓiyyoni mi-Germanyah (1953), 191ff.; A. Ruppin, Pirkei Ḥayyai, 2–3 (1969), passim; Y. Gruenbaum, Penei ha-Dor (1957), 329–32; A. Boehm, Die Geschichte der zionist-ischen Bewegung, 2 vols. (1935–37), index.
[Oskar K. Rabinowicz]
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.