How did a plague of locusts help establish the State of Israel? In 1915, in the midst of World War I, an infestation of locusts stripped the country of almost all vegetation. Jamal Pasha, the Ottoman Empire’s military governor of the region, appointed Aaron Aaronsohn, a world-renowned expert agronomist, to serve as general inspector in the fight against the locusts. Aaronsohn’s proximity to the Ottoman administration and his work as an agronomist enabled him to gather military information, which he passed on to the British. On November 2, 1917, at 10 Downing Street, when the British government approved the Balfour Declaration, two distinguished guests were present: Chaim Weizmann and Aaron Aaronsohn.