Norman De Mattos Bentwich

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Norman De Mattos Bentwich

Hebrew: נורמן בנטוויץ
Birthdate: (88)
Birthplace: Middlesex, England
Death: April 8, 1971 (88)
Paddington, London, Greater London, United Kingdom
Immediate Family:

Son of Herbert Bentwich and Susanna Shoshana Bentwich
Husband of Helen Caroline Bentwich (Franklin)
Brother of Lilian Ruth Friedlander; Nita Rosalind Lange; Marjorie H. Bentwich; Muriel Mosenzon; Dorothy Bentwich and 5 others

Occupation: jurist, professor
Managed by: Harris Andrew Shapiro
Last Updated:

About Norman De Mattos Bentwich

Norman De Mattos Bentwich (originally Bentwitch) OBE MC (28 February 1883 – 8 April 1971) was a British barrister and legal academic best known for his work in the administration of Mandatory Palestine. During the British military administration of Palestine he served as Senior Judicial Officer, which continued in the civil administration after 1920 as Legal Secretary.[1] The title was soon changed to Attorney-General, a post he held until 1931.[1] 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 November 1929 he was slightly wounded in an assassination attempt, but recovered and conducted the defence of his would-be assassin.[1] 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.


  • St. Paul's School
  • Trinity College, Cambridge: First class in both parts of classical tripos, 1903-5; Members' Essay Prize, Whewell Scholarship for International Law and Yorke Prize.


  • 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, 1922-30
  • Recalled to Colonial Office, 1930–31
  • 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


  • For Zion's Sake. A Biography of Judah L. Magnes. First Chancellor and First President of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. (1954)
  • Hellenism
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Norman De Mattos Bentwich's Timeline

February 28, 1883
Middlesex, England
April 8, 1971
Age 88
London, Greater London, United Kingdom