Joseph William Abileah

Aliases and/or alternative transliteration(s):  
Note: this biography may be incomplete or out of date. Extension/update suggestions are welcome.

Joseph William Abileah (1915-1994) was the first person sentenced for conscientious objection by the Israeli state.

A violinist, Abileah was born in Austria. His father, Ephraim Abileah (born Niswizski; 1881-1953), who was was among the founders of the Society for Jewish Folk Music in St. Petersburg in 1901, was a pacifist during World War I, and left for Palestine in 1923, sending for the rest of his family in 1926.

Being too young to join Brit Shalom during its formative period, Joseph Abileah became an active member at the time of Brit Shalom’s renaissance. This group, which reappeared calling itself Ihud [Consolidation], was convinced that the bi-national solution, a state of both Arabs and Jews ruling jointly, was the only way to avert bloodshed and chaos. Abileah accepted this approach, but he raised the objection that Ihud's program excluded any mention of the fate of Transjordan. He submitted a memorandum on June 11, 1947, stating that from his experience he did not see that bi-nationalism was comprehensive enough, because Transjordan needed access to the sea, and the Zionist movement would one day need further space for immigrants. Then too, the development of the Jordan Valley, the key to the future development of the country, required the cooperation of the peoples living on both sides of the Jordan. While there were those in the Ihud who agreed with him, the majority felt that introducing Transjordan into the deliberations would only complicate matters.

When Abileah refused to withdraw his objection to the Ihud proposal, the other members urged him to submit his own plan to the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine (UNSCOP), which was assembled to determine the fate of the region. Abileah submitted three points in his memorandum to the Committee: Arab-Jewish collaboration; a united Palestine and Trans-Jordan under King Abdullah (Abileah was deeply impressed by the King, whom he met in Amman in 1936); and free immigration. Abileah suggested representatives of all religious communities to join the governmental body. He also thought that there was no question of buying land; in his own words, "there is plenty for all of us; it must only be watered properly".

In August 1948, he was sentenced for refusing to serve in the new Israeli army.

Events involving Joseph William Abileah:

Material in this database by Joseph William Abileah

Number of quotations: 1

Select material by Joseph William Abileah

Search among material by Joseph William Abileah

Select only the quotations by Joseph William Abileah

Other entities whose entries refer to Joseph William Abileah

Efrat Lifshitz

What others say about Joseph William Abileah

Database materials explicitly marked as discussing this entity

    Number of articles: 7

List materials which discuss this entity
Find database material containing this entity's name

There may be materials which mention this entity's name but which are not explicitly marked as discussing the entity.

Find materials containing all the words in this entity's name

Find materials containing this entity's name as an exact phrase

Find database material containing this entity's alias

This entity has 1 alias.
To find articles which contain the words in this alias, click on the alias hotlink at the top of this biography and use the appropriate buttons on the alias page.


Look for this entity's name in Google

Look for this entity's name in Google Images

See this entity's name transliterated/translated into Arabic

See this entity's name transliterated/translated into Hebrew