Sources: for the transcript : https://searchworks.stanford.edu/view/3070593
In four sessions the House Committee on Foreign Affairs in early 1944 discussed and received extensive expert testimony about the Wright-Compton Resolution focused on opening Jewish immigration to Palestine. The debate and testimony revealed how sharp opinions were in favor and against having Palestine a locus for increased Jewish presence, this more than a year before World War II ended in Europe.
The debate was extensive, in part contentious in opposition, and highly supportive on the other hand. The resolution said, “Resolved, that the United States shall use its good offices and take appropriate measures to the end that the doors of Palestine shall be opened for free entry of Jews into that country, and that there shall be full opportunity for colonization so that the Jewish people may ultimately reconstitute Palestine as a free and democratic Jewish commonwealth.” Professor Philip K Hitti a renowned Middle Eastern historian at Princeton University and K.S Twitchell an engineer working in Saudi Arabia spoke vigorously and articulately against the resolution. Emanuel Neuman a past Jewish Agency Executive, Leo Lipsky of the AJC, and Rabbi Stephen Wise representing American Zionist Organizations spoke with equal passion in favor of the resolution. Congressmen weighed in mostly in favor of the resolution, while at least one reform Rabbi, William Fineshriber favored Jewish immigration but not a Jewish Commonwealth. Lipsky’s presentation was characterized by one committee member as ‘a brilliant explanation.
The committee met at 10 a.m., pursuant to call, Hon. Sol Bloom (chairman) presiding.
Chairman Bloom. The committee will kindly come to order.
The committee has before it for further consideration House Resolution 418 and House Resolution 419 relative to the Jewish national home in Palestine.
We have several witnesses to be heard today and there will be no afternoon session. There has been some complaint because the last session lasted until half-past 5 which is a little too long for the committee to sit.
We will try to conclude with the witnesses today and we will kindly ask the witnesses to make their statements as brief as possible.
I would like to call the attention of the members to the fact that you have before you one of the best maps of Palestine and Syria and it is folded in such a way that you will be able to follow the witnesses as they make their explanations.
Just take the map the way it is. Our first witness in Dr. Philip K. Hitti, of Princeton University.
STATEMENT OF DR. PHILIP K. HITTI, PROFESSOR, PRINCETON UNIVERSITY
Chairman Bloom. Would you give your full name?
Dr. Hitti. Philip K. Hitti.
Chairman Bloom. From Princeton University?
Dr. Hitti. Yes, sir.
Chairman Bloom. Who do you represent?
Dr. Hitti. No one but myself.
Chairman Bloom. Will you kindly proceed? You may remain standing or be seated, just as you please.
Dr. Hitti. Perhaps if you do not mind, Mr. Chairman, I will remain standing.
Chairman Bloom. It is perfectly all right.
Dr. Hitti. Mr. Chairman, ladies and gentlemen of the committee, To the Arabs, political Zionism is an exotic movement, internationally financed, artificially stimulated and holds no hope of ultimate or permanent success. Not only to the 50,000,000 Arabs, many of whom are descendants of the Canaanites who were in the land long before the Hebrews entered Palestine under Joshua, but to the entire Moslem society, of whom the Arabs form the spearhead, a sovereign Jewish state in Palestine appears as an anachronism. These Moslems constitute a somewhat self-conscious society of about 275,000,000 who dominate a large portion of Africa and Asia. Even if the Zionist political program, supported by British and American diplomacy and bayonets, should some day become a reality, what chance of survival has such an alien state amidst a camp of a would-be hostile Arabic and unsympathetic Islamic world? There was a time in which a foreign state, a Latin one, was established in the Holy Land; but its memory lives today only in books on the crusades.
For, be it remembered, on no other issue did the Moslems in modern times seem to manifest such a unanimity. Even on the question of the restoration of the caliphate, after it was destroyed by Mustafa Kamal in 1924, there has been more friction and less solidarity, as evidenced by the proceedings of the Islamic congresses held in Cairo and Mecca. Verbal protests against the Zionist political program, which this resolution adopts, and cash to fight its provisions have poured in the last two decades from Morocco to Malay. In India a “Palestine day” was celebrated in 1936 and the All-India Moslem League passed a resolution at its annual session on October 18, 1939, and another in its April meeting of 1943 warning the British against converting Palestine into a Jewish state. Jerusalem in Moslem eyes is the third iram, the third holy city after Mecca and Medina. It was the first qibla, the first direction in which the early Moslems prayed before they began to turn in prayer toward Mecca. The land was given by Allah as a result of a jihad (holy war) and therefore for the Moslems to relinquish their claim on it constitutes a betrayal of their faith. It is even more sacred to the Christians, of whom there are today some one hundred and thirty thousand in Palestine.
This uncompromising, persistent opposition to political Zionism, whose cause the resolution espoused, does not spell anti-Semitism. Of all the major peoples of the world, the Arabs perhaps come nearest to being free from race prejudice. Besides, they, like the Jews, are Semites and they know it. They also know that their two religions are closest of kin, closer than either of them is to Christianity. Nowhere throughout medieval and modern times were Jews better treated than in Moslem-Arab lands. So welcome were American Jewish ambassadors to the Sublime Porte at Constantinople that our government appointed three of them in a row: Straus, Elkus, and Morgenthau.
These Arabs and Moslems cannot understand why the Jewish problem, which is not of their making, should be solved at their expense. They deeply sympathize with the afflicted Jews but are not convinced that Palestine solves the Jewish problem; Palestine does not qualify as a country without a people ready to receive a people without a country. They fail to understand why the American legislators, so solicitous for the welfare of the European Jews, should not lift the bars of immigration and admit Jewish refugees, millions of whom could be settled on the unoccupied plans of Arizona or Texas. This certainly falls within their jurisdiction. The word “reconstitute” in the resolution would no doubt interest them and they would like to remake the map of Europe and put up their claim on Spain, which they occupied at a much later date and for a longer period of time. Some of them would raise the question how would the people of the United States react to a suggestion from, say, Russia, to reconstitute Oklahoma as an Indian Territory. They realize they have no spokesmen in America, no high-pressure groups, no machinery for influencing American public opinion or legislation, but they are willing to rest their case upon its merits and upon America’s sense of justice.
Some of them may have forgotten the Anglo-French declaration of November 8, 1918, promising the peoples so long oppressed by the Turks complete and definitive liberation and the establishment of national governments and administrations drawing their authority from the initiative and free choice of the indigenous population; or the words of Woodrow Wilson’s twelfth point that the non-Turkish nationalities which are now under Turkish rule should be assured an undoubted security of life and an absolute opportunity of autonomous development; or the corresponding provision in the Covenant of the League of Nations, article 22; but they certainly do remember the third article of the Atlantic Charter that Great Britain and the United States respect the right of all people to choose the form of government under which they will live.
No westerner, or Ifranji as called in Arabic, is more highly respected and more implicitly trusted by the Arab and Moslem people than the American. There is a reason for it. For years American teachers, preachers, physicians, archeologists, pilgrims, and philanthropist have frequented the eastern shore of the Mediterranean with the intent of giving rather than taking and with no imperialistic designs. The American press at Beirut, the first well-equipped press in that region, celebrated its hundredth anniversary 8 years ago. The American University of Beirut celebrated its seventy-fifth anniversary 3 years ago. In this institution a large number of the leaders of thought and action throughout the Arab East was trained. In the First World War and the immediate period following, no less than $100,000,000 was raised by the American public to relieve suffering among the people of the Near East and to rehabilitate their land – an unparalleled figure in the history of private philanthropy. No wonder the word “American” has become associated in the minds of Arabs and Moslems with fair play, honorable dealing, and democratic conduct. All this reservoir of goodwill accumulated through generations of unselfish and hard working Americans will be threatened with destruction by the passage of the resolution now before this committee.
The United States is now engaged in a gigantic struggle with an unscrupulous, powerful, and far-from-being-beaten enemy. No drier and more explosive powder could we provide for his propaganda weapons. The Germans, we can be sure, will fully capitalize this resolution—as they did the Balfour Declaration, hold it out before Arab eyes as a sample of the kind of Anglo-American “democracy” and “freedom” for which this war is fought, and assure the Arabs that the Zionist control of Palestine is but the prelude to the Jewish control of Trans-Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Arabia—the camel’s head intruding into the tent about which they read in their Arabian Nights. This is no time to turn old friends into potential enemies.
Chairman Bloom. Do you mind an interruption there?
Dr. Hitti. No, sir.
Chairman Bloom. You do not mean that the Jews would control Syria.
Dr. Hitti. No; I said the Germans would make use of the resolution and say that. The radios of the Axis have already said that.
Chairman Bloom. You do not believe everything you hear over the Nazi radio?
Dr. Hitti. No.
Chairman Bloom. Why do you believe it?
Dr. Hitti. I do not believe it.
Chairman Bloom. But why? You have made that statement.
Dr. Hitti. May I repeat what I just said.
Chairman Bloom. Yes.
Dr. Hitti. The United States is now engaged in a gigantic struggle with an unscrupulous, powerful, and far-from-being-beaten enemy. No drier and more explosive powder could we provide for his propaganda weapons. The Germans, we can be sure, will fully capitalize this resolution—as they did the Balfour Declaration, hold it out before Arab eyes as a sample of the kind of Anglo-American “democracy” and “freedom” for which this war is fought, and assure the Arabs that the Zionist control of Palestine is but the prelude to the Jewish control of Trans-Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Arabia—the camel’s head intruding into the tent about which they read in their Arabian Nights. This is no time to turn old friends into potential enemies.
Chairman Bloom. The Chair wishes to state the way I understood it, you secured this information over the Nazi radio. You have not mentioned that. You ought to state where you obtained that information and I would like to have the record show this is not your belief.
Dr. Hitti. The Germans would make use of that in such a way as to influence the Arabs.
Mr. Jarman. Mr. Chairman, I understood it to be just the opposite. I understood from him that is what the Germans would do.
Chairman Bloom. Through Nazi propaganda.
Mr. Jarman. That is right.
Dr. Hittie. It is right here.
The United States is now engaged in a gigantic struggle with an unscrupulous, powerful, and far-from-being-beaten enemy. No drier and more explosive powder could we provide for his propaganda weapons. The Germans, we can be sure, will fully capitalize this resolution—as they did the Balfour Declaration, hold it out before Arab eyes as a sample of the kind of Anglo-American “democracy” and “freedom” for which this war is fought, and assure the Arabs that the Zionist control of Palestine is but the prelude to the Jewish control of Trans-Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Arabia—the camel’s head intruding into the tent about which they read in their Arabian Nights. This is no time to turn old friends into potential enemies.
The people of the United States are not only interested in winning the war but in contributing to the establishment of a post-war world order in which regional stability is somewhat secure and the chances of future conflicts are at least reduced. Nothing, in the judgment of the speaker, is more conducive to the state of perpetual unrest and conflict that the establishment of a Jewish commonwealth at the expense of the Arabs in Palestine. If such a commonwealth were established at the insistence of the United States, we then assume moral responsibility for its preservation. Will the people of the United States be willing to send their Navy to protect such a commonwealth if established?
The British never contemplated such an ambitious scheme as the conversion of Palestine into a Jewish commonwealth. Sandwiched in between conflicting promises to the Arabs—which made the once-promised land multi-promised—the Balfour Declaration, which was echoed in the United States Congress resolution of 1922, viewed with favor, “the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people” — quite a different thing from converting Palestine into a Jewish state. And that was viewed with a big proviso: “It being understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of non-Jewish communities in Palestine.” The Zionist representatives proposed to the then British Government this text “The reconstitution of Palestine as the national home of the Jewish people,” which is practically the same as the resolution before us had it, but that was not the text adopted.
In its white paper of June 3, 1922, the British Government said: “Unauthorized statements have been made to the effect that the purpose in view is to create a wholly Jewish Palestine. Phrases have been used such as that Palestine is to become as Jewish as England is English. His Majesty’s Government regard such expectation as un-practicable and have no such aim in view…They would draw attention to the fact that the terms of the declaration referred to do not contemplate that Palestine as a whole be converted into a Jewish national home but that such a home should be founded in Palestine. When it is asked what is meant by the development of the Jewish national home in Palestine, it may be answered that it is not the imposition of a Jewish nationality upon the inhabitants of Palestine as a whole, but the further development of the existing Jewish community, with the assistance of Jews from other parts of the world, in order that it may become a center in which the Jewish people as a whole may take, on grounds of religion and race, an interest and a pride.”
The author of this statement was Winston Churchill, the Colonial Secretary; and the Zionist accepted it.
In its statement of policy of 1937 the British Government declare “that their obligations to Arabs and Jews, respectively, were not incompatible, on the assumption that in the process of time the two races would so adjust their national aspirations as to render possible the establishment of a single commonwealth under a unitary government.”
In the 1939 statement it was again made clear that Palestine shall be constituted a sovereign independent state, a Palestinian state in which all Palestinians—irrespective of race or origin—will be citizens enjoying equal political, civil and religious rights. In that statement the provision was made for limiting Jewish immigration for economic as well as political reasons.
Even then the British administration of Palestine has been confronted throughout its history with a series of strikes and disturbances beginning April 1920 and culminating in the serious revolution of 1936.
As early as August 1919 and before Arab nationalism attained the intensity that it has since assumed, the King-Crane Commission sent by President Wilson reported as follows: “A national home for the Jewish people is not equivalent to making Palestine into a Jewish state; nor can the erection of such a Jewish state be accomplished without the greatest trespass upon the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine.”
The report warned that the Zionist program could not be carried out except by force of arms.
The more enlightened and realistic among the Zionists themselves have begun to adopt the British Government point of view, concentrate on the cultural and spiritual aspects of their cause and cooperate with the Arabs. Dr. Judah L. Magnes, president of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem—a Zionist institution—declared in September 1941: “As far as I am able to see, there is no chance whatsoever that this formula ‘establishment of Palestine as a Jewish commonwealth’ instead of a national home in Palestine would be acceptable by any responsible Arab or Arab party or any part of Arabic public opinion.”
The Union Association organized in September 1942 by Zionists in Jerusalem declared its conviction that the problem of Palestine was inseparable from that of the Near East, advocated a Jewish Arab state and held that the two people’s equality was vital to the future of Palestine. Albert M. Hyamson, a British Zionist, in Palestine: A Policy (1942) interprets “national” as pertaining to nationality rather than nation. President Julian Morgenstern, of Hebrew Union College, Cincinnati, in his last contribution entitled “Nation, People, Religion: What Are We?” (1943) declares: “Despite the oft-repeated, high-sounding asseverations of the beneficent role which a restored Jewish state or commonwealth may play or will play in setting a happy pattern of equitable social relations for all other nations to emulate, the most recent formulation of which is in the highly bombastic peroration of the so-called Palestine resolution of the American-Jewish Conference, the fact incontestably established by history still confronts us with brazen truth, that the true genius and destiny of Israel find expression only in its role as a religious people, the bearers of a spiritual heritage.”
Chairman Bloom. Are you finished now, Doctor?
Dr. Hitti. That is all, sir.
Chairman Bloom. Judge Kee?
Mr. Kee. No questions.
Chairman Bloom. Dr. Eaton?
Dr. Eaton. I would like very much if the gentleman would locate himself a little more fully I used to represent or misrepresent Princeton University.
Dr. Hitti. I was born at Mt. Lebanon. I am presently professor of Semitic literature at Princeton. I was educated in American high schools and the American University of Beirut. I went to Columbia and I have been connected with Princeton since 1926.
Dr. Eaton. If it is not too personal, are you an Arab?
Dr. Hitti. The word Arab is very misleading. The word Arab is a linguistic, not ethnic word and means one whose mother tongue is Arabic, especially if a Moslem. I am Christian. My people have been Christians from time immemorial. I claim I am a descendant of the ancient Canaanites or Phoenicians, who also occupied Palestine. Palestine was not empty when the Moslem Arabians went there. It had the Philistines on the east coast. There were people in Palestine before the Jews ever came. There were people in Palestine after the Jews left the country, and those are the people we call Arabs. They are descendants of old stock who have maintained themselves for ages there, remained; they are the forgotten men. Nobody should deprive people who have been on the soil in their country for centuries of their soil. Their fathers and mothers are buried there. We call them Arabs only because they speak the Arabic language, but they are descendants of the ancient Semitic people.
Chairman Bloom. Thank you, Doctor.
Dr. Hitti. I wanted to take advantage of this situation because there is a great deal of confusion as to who the “Arabs” of Palestine are.
Dr. Eaton. The professor will not forget the old testament is really the story of the Jewish people, whether in or out of Palestine, because they had quite a right in that land too.
Dr. Hitti. Absolutely.
Dr. Eaton. That is all, Mr. Chairman.
Chairman Bloom. Mr. Jarman.
Mr. Jarman. Doctor, I would like to hear a little more about the riots I have heard repeatedly referred to.
Dr. Hitti. The people of Palestine never accepted the terms of the mandate. They were often in a state of revolt. There were strikes and bloodshed in April 1920, May 1921, August 1929, and October 1936. Undoubtedly you remember the 1936 riot in which there was a great deal of bloodshed from both the Arab and Jewish sides. I have a little document showing some of the destruction in 1936 and some of the homes destroyed, but unfortunately it is in Arabic and I do not think it will do much good here.
Mr. Jarman. Do you mean the Arab and Jews were fighting each other?
Dr. Hitti. Yes; they were.
Mr. Jarman. That is all.
Chairman Bloom. Mrs. Rogers.
Mrs. Rogers. Do you see any solution for the Jewish people. They have had a very difficult time and have been persecuted.
Dr. Hitti. I know you have a great deal of sympathy for them as I have. You may not believe it, but I am of the Semitic stock. We want to find a new home for the Jews. Every right-minded man, whether Jew or Christian, is in sympathy with them. In 1920 Palestine had forty or fifty thousand Jews. Since that time those Jews have been multiplied by practically 10. In other words, between 1919 and 1939 the Jewish population was multiplied by 10.
Now if anybody would expect a small country like Palestine to take over 10 times its Jewish population, he would expect too much. I am not going to foretell what would happen if we insist, but I think one of the witnesses who will come next, an American engineer who had something to do with the organization of the Arabian Mining Syndicate and has been into every nook and corner of Arabia, can tell you. Besides, the country has reached its absorptive capacity.
Mrs. Rogers. Do you see any difference in giving them a homeland instead of a Jewish commonwealth?
Dr. Hitti. There is a great deal of difference. That is agreed to by the British Government, by liberal-minded Jews, and by many others.
Mrs. Rogers. Have you discussed the matter with the State Department about bringing it up in wartime?
Dr. Hitti. I do not remember that I took this up during the war, but I recall correspondence prior to the present war.
Mrs. Rogers. Thank you very much.
Chairman Bloom. Mr. Burgin.
Mr. Burgin. Are you in favor of the resolution to construct a Jewish state and make it?
Dr. Hitti. I cannot speak officially for Palestine; but the 1939 White Paper promised it a constitutional government which would speak for it. I was teaching in Beirut 1920-24. At that time many Armenians and Assyrians were coming there that had been persecuted by the Turks and were all received with open arms. There were Jews coming into Palestine and everyone was eyeing the Jews with suspicion. The Jews and the Arabs were getting along all right until the political Zionists of New York came in.
Mr. Burgin. I yield to Mr. Jarman.
Chairman Bloom. Mr. Jarman.
Mr. Jarman. I want to get your distinction between a home and a Jewish commonwealth.
Dr. Hitti. The British Government promised a home and fulfilled its obligation. The British Government never said we want to constitute Palestine a Jewish commonwealth. It is the Zionists of New York who say that.
Mr. Jarman. The 1922 resolution has an entirely different meaning from this.
Dr. Hitti. To my mind, yes.
Now you want to go the British one better. You want to reconstitute Palestine into a Jewish commonwealth.
Mr. Jarman. Your position is that there already is a Jewish national home in Palestine?
Dr. Hitti. Yes; and so far as I am concerned I would like to see more Jews in Lebanon and Syria, with the idea of cooperation with the natives, not controlling them.
Mr. Jarman. When were you in Palestine last?
Dr. Hitti. I have not been there since 1924 or 1925.
Chairman Bloom. The Chair wishes to call attention again to the map before you so you can see the location.
Mr. Jarman. That was just before the mandate?
Dr. Hitti. No; it was in effect. In my contacts with the British officials I can say without hesitation I did not meet a single official or member of the British community who thought it would be possible to establish a Jewish commonwealth in Palestine. I may go further. I never met an American or an European, unless he had an ax to grind, who thought that the establishment of Palestine as a Jewish commonwealth was in the realm of possibility.
Mr. Jarman. Why do they regard it as not within the realm of possibility?
Dr. Hitti. Because it is predicated upon two premises, first that Palestine is an unoccupied country ready to receive people from the outside, but Palestine is already occupied. It is partly barren. There is a place, the Dead Sea, which is 1,200 feet below sea level. It has a limited capacity. It is already populated.
Even in the mind of the author of Balfour Declaration this fact was not clear. Prof. John Garstang, of the University of Liverpool, reports that on the occasion of the opening of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Mr. Balfour at a private dinner party looked through the window and asked, “Who are these long-robed gentlemen one sees in the streets?” And when told that those were the native Arab sheiks, he remarked with surprise, “Arabs! – but I understood that when the Turks evacuated Palestine it was left desolate and without population.”
The second premise is that there is a lack of national feeling. The fact is that there is a strong Arab national feeling aroused mainly by American influence. Arab nationalism draws its inspiration from American ideology. I was an American before I took my first papers in New York, because I attended in Lebanon, American schools. If you will permit me I refer you t the King-Crane report, which noted the rising national feeling and drew the distinction between a national home in Palestine and reconstitution of Palestine as a Commonwealth. You cannot establish anything against the will of the people. You would have to support it with your bayonets. Are you willing to do that?
There are reasonable responsible Arabs who would like to see a modern reconstituted Palestine, but on the basis of equality and cooperation among citizens. Is that not fair? Is anything wrong with that?
We have 275,000,000 Moslems here. How are we to hold them down, and how can we? There is danger sir. I am very sorry to say I saw Zionist advertisements in the New York Times referring to civil war. A civil war in Palestine would endanger the lives of Jews throughout the Moslem world. There are 40,000 Jews in the heart of Arabia proper. Their lives will be in danger, and in Syria and Iraq, too.
Chairman Bloom. Mr. Chiperfield.
Mr. Chiperfield. Would you approve at this time passage by this committee of the resolution if it eliminated the words “Jewish commonwealth”?
Dr. Hitti. That was already passed in 1923; so what is the use of passing it again.
Mr. Chiperfield. Is that your answer?
Dr. Hitti. Yes.
Chairman Bloom. Any further questions?
Mr. Chiperfield. No.
Chairman Bloom. Mr. Gordon.
Mr. Gordon. No questions.
Chairman Bloom. Mr. Stearns.
Mr. Stearns. This resolution as I see it contains two distinct propositions, that Palestine should be open to free entry, and that a Jewish Commonwealth should be established there.
Dr. Hitti. Yes.
Mr. Stearns. You object to establishing it as a free and democratic Jewish commonwealth?
Dr. Hitti. Yes.
Mr. Stearns. I notice Mr. Churchill said in the House of Commons: “Not only did the war Cabinet of those days take the decision, but all cabinets of ever party after the war, after examining it in the varying circumstances which have arisen, have endorsed a decision and taken the fullest responsibility for it.”
I think I was one of the first to draw that conclusion. Do you object to the first part, the opening of the door?
Dr. Hitti. No, as far as I am personally concerned, if there is some power to accomplish this, but it is impossible at the present time. The Zionist propaganda has been so strong as to make us think it can be done. Do you see how we can do it? It is too late. I have no objection to the Jews, myself.
Mr. Stearns. I understood you to say you would not be prepared to oppose the opening of the doors of Palestine for the entry of the Jews.
Dr. Hitti. Theoretically, no.
Mr. Stearns. I am talking about what this committee may pass. Would you object?
Dr. Hitti. This is the question the gentleman before you raised, but we are already committed to that.
Chairman Bloom. You have no objection to leaving the last part out?
Dr. Hitti. I have no personal objection, but I am telling you of the danger involved.
Mr. Stearns. That is all.
Chairman Bloom. Mr. Fulbright.
Mr. Fulbright. Is this the language you would approve of, that it should be opened up for colonization and ultimately to be constituted a free and democratic commonwealth?
Dr. Hitti. That is the most objectionable part.
Mr. Fulbright. That is to change the last phrase.
Dr. Hitti. Yes, sir.
Mr. Fulbright. And the other shall be full opportunity for colonization and leave out the word “Jewish”? I was trying to get your idea how this might be acceptable.
Dr. Hitti. You want to introduce more colonization. Palestine is already over-colonized and it is promised a constitutional government by the 1939 white paper. What is the point in introducing more people if your object is to make it a free and democratic state? The relation between the first part—
Mr. Fulbright. That would remove the principal objection to the resolution which you state you would not oppose.
Dr. Hitti. If you will stop there, rather than continue and say you want to establish a free and democratic Jewish commonwealth.
Mr. Fulbright. I do not think it would change it much.
Dr. Hitti. I fail to see the connection between introducing new immigrants and converting Palestine into a commonwealth unless it is Jewish, but my personal views do not affect this situation. The people there in Palestine now have developed such hostile objections which to my mind would not justify the introduction of new immigrants. These people are going to come back and say, “We are a small country and a poor country, why don’t you take them; you being so solicitous about the Jews, why don’t you do something yourselves?”
Is that not the same thing anyone would ask?
Mr. Fulbright. It might occur to me that since you are now an American citizen what is your idea?
Dr. Hitti. If I were a Member of Congress, I would introduce a bill to permit refugees into this country, Jew or not Jew.
Mr. Fulbright. That is all.
Chairman Bloom. Mr. Courtney.
Mr. Courtney. No questions.
Chairman Bloom. Mr. Wright.
Mr. Wright. To come back to the historical background prior to the last World War, Arabia generally was governed by Turkey.
Dr. Hitti. That is right.
Mr. Wright. And the Arabian states were liberated by the Allies and constituted self-governing countries.
Dr. Hitti. With the cooperation of the Arabs.
Mr. Wright. But General Allenby came into Arabia and finally defeated the Turkish Army.
Dr. Hitti. Yes.
Mr. Wright. I am not going to quarrel with you on the question of cooperation. At the time of the writing of the peace treaty the Allies set up independent countries in Arabia.
Dr. Hitti. You are using Arabia in the sense of Arabic-speaking countries.
Mr. Wright. That was the intention.
Dr. Hitti. Yes, sir.
Mr. Wright. At the same time it was also the intention of the signatories to the League of Nations to set up a Jewish Home in Palestine.
Dr. Hitti. That is correct.
Mr. Wright. Are you acquainted with the convention which was signed – it probably did not rise to the dignity of a convention, but it was signed by Prince Feisal.
Dr. Hitti. I am familiar with that.
Mr. Wright. And I believe article 3 of that treaty stated as follows:
(Article 3 is as follows:)
Dr. Hitti. Yes.
Mr. Wright. In other words, Price Feisal did agree to the Balfour Declaration?
Dr. Hitti. Yes.
Mr. Wright. And yet you state—
Dr. Hitti. May I ask you to read the last statement between—
Mr. Wright (interposing). I do not know whether I have it.
Dr. Hitti. That Feisal Weizmann agreement was quoted several times, the last in Life magazine, minus the rider. I have it, may I read it sir?
Chairman Bloom. Yes.
Dr. Hitti. It reads as follows:
(The quotation is as follows)
Provided the Arabs obtain their independence as demanded in my memorandum dated the 4th of January 1919, to the Foreign Office of the Government of Great Britain, I shall concur in the above articles. But if the slightest modification or departure were to be made [sc. In relation to the demands of the memorandum] I shall not be bound by a single world of the present agreement which shall be deemed void and of no account or validity, and I shall not be answerable in any way whatsoever.
Faisal Ibn Husain.
Mr. Wright. You also said the Arabs later objected to the Balfour Declaration.
Dr. Hitti. They did, yes.
Mr. Wright. In your testimony before the committee you stated that was the cause of the riots.
Dr. Hitti. That is one of the causes, yes.
Mr. Wright. I want to bring out at the time Prince Feisal approved of the Balfour Declaration.
Dr. Hitti. Yes, subject to this provision which you did not have.
Mr. Wright. As to the meaning of the Balfour Declaration, I believe it would probably be interesting to refer to the convention between the United States and Great Britain.
In Article 6 it states they shall encourage Jewish immigration, and if you did not do that you could not have—
Chairman Bloom. Was that the convention? That was the mandate, was it not, which was embodied in the Convention?
Mr. Wright. The mandate was included in the convention.
Chairman Bloom. That is the convention sighed by President Coolidge?
Mr. Wright. Yes, sir. I believe that the convention between the United States and Great Britain included the terms of the mandate.
Chairman Bloom. Oh, yes.
Mr. Wright. Then at the time it was contemplated there would be Jewish immigration.
Dr. Hitti. Subject to this proviso, compliance with the memorandum submitted to the British Government. Even Feisal objected later.
Mr. Wright. Then I suppose you were also acquainted with the speech of Lord Balfour not long after the Balfour Declaration.
I am quoting that to illustrate the purpose of the Balfour Declaration and I think that pretty generally states—
Chairman Bloom. Did you put the date in there?
Mr. Wright. July 20, 1920.
Chairman Bloom. By Lord Balfour.
Mr. Wright. By Lord Balfour. Are you acquainted with the statement made by Prince Feisal on December 12, 1918?
Now since that was the situation do you think there was any justification in shutting off immigration?
Dr. Hitti. It has been multiplied by 10.
Mr. Wright. Was there any limitation at the time?
Dr. Hitti. The idea of a politically converted Palestine into a Jewish commonwealth did not then loom high, not even in Weizmann’s mind.
Shall we talk frankly and freely?
Chairman Bloom. I thought we were.
Mr. Wright. I think we were all the time.
Dr. Hitti. Feisal wanted to get some cooperation from the Jews. Feisal was not a diplomat; he made this bargain. You give us that Arabian Empire, you give us—
Mr. Wright. (interposing). The Jews never opposed the concessions to the Arabs in Arabia.
Dr. Hitti. No.
Mr. Wright. You agree the position of the Arabs is much better and if it had not been for General Allenby they would not have chased the Turks out.
Dr. Hitti. Except—
Mr. Wright (interposing). I have no desire to minimize contributions by the Arabs.
Dr. Hitti. The point that we should never lose sight of is that Palestine has been occupied by people who are called Arabs. It is theirs by natural right. The people have the right of occupancy. They owned it before Christ.
Mr. Wright. As a practical matter the Arabs did not govern Palestine since the seventh century, although there may be some merit in what you say, but do you not think this makes a different situation? You spoke a while ago about telling the United States to make a Jewish home in Arizona. The United States governs Arizona.
Dr. Hitti. I am taking exceptions, Mr. Chairman, to the statement the Arabs didn’t rule Palestine. I wrote a history on the Arabs myself.
Chairman Bloom. The committee will be very glad to have a copy.
Dr. Hitti. The Arabs were in control, but the point which I wish to bring out—
Mr. Wright (interposing). May I just interject at that point?
Dr. Hitti. Yes.
Mr. Wright. You said you are a descendant from an ancient line?
D. Hitti. I cannot prove it.
Mr. Wright. Your own people were conquered by Arabs in the seventh century?
Dr Hitti. Yes.
Mr. Wright. Although you speak the Arabic tongue the people you speak for were subjected in the seventh century.
Dr. Hitti. Yes; so far as Lebanon is concerned. It was practically an independent state. Our people after 1860 never contributed soldiers, or paid taxes to the Ottoman government.
Chairman Bloom. Pardon an interruption. The Chair would like to state that it would be well for you to get down to the resolution, because the gentleman has occupied an hour and a quarter.
Mr. Wright. Probably I am contributing to the delay.
Chairman Bloom. No; please continue with the resolution.
Dr. Hitti. This is my last point, this Balfour Declaration to which you attach so much importance is sandwiched in between other promises to the Arabs. In this legal tangle the Palestinian Arab is the forgotten man.
Mr. Wright. Did these promises ever mention Palestine?
Dr. Hitti. Never by name. At that time the British made several promises including a promise to themselves, so we have too many promises.
Mr. Wright. The only public document we have which was agreed to is that which was agreed to by signatories to the League of Nations.
Dr. Hitti. How about the League of Nations covenant article 22?
Mr. Wright. Since the mandate has been established the Arab population has increased from 600,000 to a million.
Dr. Hitti. Almost correct; yes.
Mr. Wright. There can be no justification that the Jews are driving the Arabs out. You do not say that there can be any fear of the Jews.
Dr. Hitti. The fear is based on such Zionist statements as the advertisement in the New York Times and the book entitled “Middle East: The Cross Roads.” They said definitely the proposition is to transfer two or three million Arabs.
Mr. Wright. Is that an official statement by anyone responsible?
Chairman Bloom. No.
Dr. Hitti. But that advertisement appeared.
Mr. Wright. You are not responsible for everything anyone might say.
Dr. Hitti. No; but when I refer to the Arabs I find myself thinking—
Mr. Wright (interposing). It is quite possible there may be various opinions but I think we should consider the practical opinion.
Dr. Hitti. There is an article in Foreign Affairs (January 1942) by Dr. Weizmann saying the transfer of the Arabs would be facilitated—
Mr. Wright. There are a million there now.
Dr. Hitti. Correct.
Mr. Wright. That is all.
Chairman Bloom. Mrs. Bolton.
Mrs. Bolton. No questions.
Chairman Bloom. Doctor, you are acquainted with the convention, the treaty of 1925, which was signed by President Coolidge?
Dr. Hitti. No, sir.
Chairman Bloom. Yes; in 1925 the convention between the United States and Great Britain.
Dr. Hitti. Yes.
Chairman Bloom. You made the statement here the United States is so concerned about that thing that it seems to be just agitation. If we have a convention signed by the President of the United States, call it a treaty or whatever you want, they live up to the promises.
Dr. Hitti. Yes.
Chairman Bloom. Do not articles 1, 2, and 7 specifically cover immigration?
Dr. Hitti. The convention was in 1925.
Chairman Bloom. There has always been immigration. On pages 18 and 19 it is the Covenant signed by President Coolidge and, I think, Chamberlain. You would not have any objection to the United States asking that all portions are carried out?
Dr. Hitti. Which particular articles have been violated?
Chairman Bloom. I will have the clerk read articles 1, 2, and 7, from page 18.
(The clerk thereupon read articles 1, 2, and 7 from p. 18:)
ARTICLE I Subject to the provisions of the present convention the United States consents to the administration of Palestine by His Britannic Majesty, pursuant to the mandate recited above.
ARTICLE 2 The United States and its nationals shall have and enjoy all the rights and benefits secured under the terms of the mandate to members of the League of Nations and their nationals, notwithstanding the fact that the United States is not a member of the League of Nations.
ARTICLE 7 Nothing contained in the present convention shall be affected by any modification which may be made in the terms of the mandate, as recited above, unless such modification shall have been assented to by the United States.”
Chairman Bloom. Now if the British Government according to the convention and the mandate, have done things which they should not have done without the consent of the United States, do you not think the Congress should ask the British Government to adhere to the mandate of the convention of 1925?
Dr. Hitti. Absolutely.
Chairman Bloom. Would you concede immigration and conditions and things that have been existing have nothing to do with this?
Dr. Hitti. So far as I now see there is nothing in the 1939 white paper to modify its terms.
Chairman Bloom. Doctor, if they restrict immigration, if you say there shall not be any immigration or limited immigration whatever, if it is contrary to the articles as contained in this convention of 1925 without the consent of the United States would you say that is wrong and the United States has a right to make their objection?
Dr. Hitti. Your question implies that in the mandate there was a provision for an unlimited admission of Jews.
Chairman Bloom I just took the word of the mandate and the convention.
Dr. Hitti. Yes.
Chairman Bloom. If there was any change in the mandate or convention without the consent of the United States, the United States Government has a right to protest. Is that all right?
Dr. Hitti. Absolutely.
Chairman Bloom. We have a right to protest in that regard and the Government of the United States has the right to suggest to the British Government the advisability of living up to the agreement.
Dr. Hitti. I am beginning to analyze this—
Chairman Bloom. We are not analyzing.
Dr. Hitti. It is a theoretical matter.
Chairman Bloom. What I am trying to make clear here is, do we have right to do that or not, if the British Government has done anything contrary to the convention of 1925 with reference to anything contained therein then the United States has the right to protest?
Dr. Hitti. I agree to that, in theory. The resolution—
Chairman Bloom. We are asking the British Government to reconstitute Palestine in a Jewish home—check me on the sections.
Mr. Wright. Sections 14 and 15 of the mandate.
Dr. Hitti. Will you read it?
Chairman Bloom. The Chair wishes to state that Mr. Wadsworth is next, but until he returns the Chair will recognize Dr. Pfeifer.
Dr.Pfeifer. Doctor, you are an American citizen?
Dr. Hitti. Yes.
Dr. Pfeifer. You believe in civilization?
Dr. Hitti. In civilization, I hope I do.
Do you believe in the democratic way of life?
Dr. Hitti. Absolutely.
Dr. Pfeifer. You are happy over the fact of the Arabs being removed from the Turkish yoke?
Dr. Hitti. Absolutely.
Dr. Pfeifer. Before you made the statement about speaking frankly, the Arabs were allowed there and the fact that they were permitted to come into Palestine simply for one reason on account of what they got from the Jews.
Dr. Hitti. I did not say that.
Dr. Pfeifer. Did you not say the Arab rejection was the fact that immigration was permitted into Palestine by the Jews for one reason, simply to get what you could from the Jewish immigrants. Is that right?
Dr. Hitti. No.
Dr. Pfeifer. The population of Palestine, Doctor, as you stated, numbers about a million. I mean as far as the Arabs are concerned.
Dr. Hitti. Correct.
Dr. Pfeifer. In the past 25 years it increased almost double.
Dr. Hitti. Yes, sir.
Dr. Pfeifer. And that increase was due to one thing—the immigrant Jew?
Dr. Hitti. No, sir.
Dr. Pfeifer. What made the Arabs inhabit Palestine to a greater extent?
Dr. Hitti. The regime was very good. Obviously there were better public health conditions, not due to the Zionist activities but due to mandatory power. Because of that fact the Arabs contributed much to the population of Palestine and to blame it entirely on the Zionists is unfair.
Dr. Pfeifer. Do you not think the greater degree of improvement was due to the Zionist immigrant?
Dr. Hitti. They did not produce much improvement except in their colonies.
Dr. Pfeifer. Did not the Arabs go to Palestine to get help?
Dr. Hitti. No, sir; because the Jewish economy is more or less of a closed shop. Many of the Arabs were dispossessed by the purchase of their lands.
Chairman Bloom. They sold it of their own free will.
Dr. Pfeifer. They did.
Dr. Hitti. They were dispossessed and did not know where to go. They were refused employment in the Jewish shops because they were not Jews.
Dr. Pfeifer. Do you not believe if the Jews did not immigrate to Palestine today Palestine would be sparsely settled?
Dr. Hitti. No; if you notice the increase in population in Lebanon, Iraq, Egypt, where there was no Jewish immigration.
Dr. Pfeifer. Doctor, we are interested solely in Palestine. Is it not true the land itself showed a remarkable depreciation in value and of use while under the Arabian rule; did not the Arabs neglect their own land to such a degree it became uninhabitable?
Dr. Hitti. No, I beg to differ with you. The comparison has often been made between Jewish and non-Jewish lands in Palestine. There were Jews in Palestine before the Zionists, and you will find there is very little difference between their lands and the Arabs’ lands.
Dr. Pfeifer. This small area of Palestine measures about what, 10,000 square miles?
Dr. Hitti. Approximately.
Dr. Pfeifer. Today Palestine is an outstanding portion of territory. Is it so outstanding, the fact that the Arabian regime made it so or because the Jewish immigrants through their hard labor converted it into a Holy Land?
Dr. Hitti. You mean outstanding in getting headlines in the paper?
Dr. Pfeifer. The land, the beautiful cities are now shining cities of the world. Do you think that was due to the Arabs or the Jewish immigrants?
Dr. Hitti. I would not admit it except insofar as Jewish colonies. The Arabs say, “We would not barter our independence for the sake of money from the Jews. We have suffered more that under the Turkish regime.” You ask me if I believe in democracy, the democratic way of life. Let us apply it to this situation.
Dr. Pfeifer. Do you not believe the improvements in Palestine, do you not believe they are benefited and the benefit is felt by them through the activities of the Jewish immigrants? Do you not think the Arabs have gained immensely?
Dr. Hitti. What do you have in mind? How did they benefit?
Dr. Pfeifer. By following the technique and methods of the Jewish immigrants. Jewish immigrants have undertaken not only to build their own homes and cities but attempted to instruct those that came to them for advice. They were liberal and to the extent of being liberal the Arabs want to kick them out of Palestine.
Dr. Hitti. No.
Dr Pfeifer. What objection do you have?
Dr. Hitti. Conversion to a commonwealth, the resolution before you—
Dr. Pfeifer. Do you not believe the Jews are entitled to their own land?
Dr. Hitti. Just as much as the Arabs are entitled to theirs.
Dr. Pfeifer. Do the Arabs still say Palestine is theirs?
Dr. Hitti. Yes.
Dr. Pfeifer. Does this mandate approve the immigration of Arabs to Palestine.
Dr. Hitti. It did
Dr. Pfeifer. Does it today?
Dr. Hitti. Yes.
Dr. Pfeifer. Doctor, you have made some statements you know already that are not right. If you do not know the facts please say so. I do not want this record filled up with a lot of explanations and fears. Let us get around to the facts. You have been on the stand an hour and a half.
Mr. Wadsworth. I think it is a question that elicits the answer.
Chairman Bloom. That is very true. Please go ahead now.
Dr. Pfeifer. Then you maintain there was a limitation of Arabian people into Palestine?
Dr. Hitti. There is. If it is not legal it is still being done.
Dr. Pfeifer. We are talking about law.
Dr. Hitti. The Jews have multiplied by 10 times.
Dr. Pfeifer. There is no limitation as far as immigration into Palestine is concerned.
Dr. Hitti. So far as the legal side.
Dr. Pfeifer. As the chairman mentioned to you about being an American citizen and believing in the democratic way of life, you believe in fulfilling contracts entered into. Is that right?
Dr. Hitti. Surely.
Dr. Pfeifer. We have entered into a contract. You believe in carrying out that mandate?
Dr. Hitti. Sure.
Dr. Pfeifer. Why is it now you object to it?
Dr. Hitti. I do not.
Dr. Pfeifer. You were confirming the white paper’s action and not believing. That is just indirectly going against your belief in the white paper.
Dr. Hitti. I believe in what the white paper says. We have fulfilled our obligation.
Dr. Pfeifer. You intend to establish a national home for the Jews?
Dr. Hitti. In Palestine, yes.
Dr. Pfeifer. Not the Jews in Palestine. That was for the Jews all over.
Dr. Hitti. In Palestine there is a national home already.
Dr. Pfeifer. This interpretation depends upon your own interpretation.
Dr. Hitti. Not only mine but of the British and others; is that not true?
Dr. Pfeifer. You have got to permit immigration to go in Palestine if you agree the Balfour Declaration is the right thing.
Dr. Hitti. What do you want me to do?
Dr. Pfeifer. I want to live up to the Balfour Declaration.
Dr. Hitti. Where is the end of it?
Chairman Bloom. The Chair will have to stop this now. It is 12 o’clock and we have 8 or 10 more witnesses.
Dr. Pfeifer. I am through Mr. Chairman.
Chairman Bloom. Are there any further questions?
Mrs. Rogers. May I ask a question?
Chairman Bloom. Yes.
Mrs. Rogers. You say you would favor allowing more Jewish people to come here.
Chairman Bloom. The Chair rules the question out of order. That is a matter of Immigration. I think the witness has contributed all he knows.
Mrs. Rogers. I introduced a bill to permit Jewish refugees to enter the country.
Chairman Bloom. Thank you very much, Doctor.
Is Mr. Emanuel Neumann here?
Mr. Neumann. Yes, sir.
STATEMENT OF EMANUEL NEUMANN, ATTORNEY, NEW YORK, N.Y.
Chairman Bloom. Give your full name and address.
Mr. Neumann. New York, 749 West End Avenue.
Chairman Bloom. That is in my district.
Nr. Neumann. I am fortunate it is.
Chairman Bloom. Whom do you represent?
Mr. Neumann. I am here I my own capacity and I have been in the Zionist movement all my life. In 1932 and 1933 I served for the Zionist organization in Palestine, and saw 8 years’ experience in Palestine.
Chairman Bloom. Pardon me, we have Representative Lynch, of New York. Mr. Lynch.
STATEMENT OF HON. WALTER A LYNCH, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF NEW YORK
Mr. Lynch. Mr. Chairman, I wish to thank you and the committee for giving me the opportunity to appear here at this time. I am thoroughly in favor of House Resolutions 417 and 418, which are before you for consideration this morning.
We American have little use for double talk—the language of international diplomacy. When the Sixty-seventh Congress of the United States on June 30, 1922, passed the resolution, later signed by President Harding, “that the United States of America favors the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people” there was no equivocation. The ruthless persecution of the Jews in Europe had aroused the sympathies of the American people, and our Congress, but its resolution, sought to give expression to the deep-seated conviction of the people of the United States that all men are created equal and that freedom of religion is the inalienable right of every individual. The centuries have seen the tortuous trek of the Jews throughout the countries of the world, and have witnessed the persecutions that have relentlessly pursued them. Through the years and despite the persecutions the Jewish heart clung with deep-seated affection to Palestine—the home of Jewry and the birth place of Christendom.
The world has too long denied the Jews their Palestine. It is time their right to their homeland be recognized. The hour has come when justice be done, when appeasement cease and the doors of Palestine be opened as a haven to the millions of homeless Jews who are victims of persecution.
Neither in the resolution of the Sixty-seventh Congress nor in the Balfour Declaration is there any intimation that there was to be a limitation of the number of Jews for whom Palestine might be a haven. I deed, under article 5 of the Convention between the United States and Great Britain, as proclaimed by President Calvin Coolidge on December 15, 1925, it specifically provides that the administration of Palestine “shall facilitate Jewish immigration under suitable conditions and shall encourage, in cooperation with the Jewish agency referred to in article 4, close settlement of the Jews on the land, including State lands and waste lands not required for public purposes.”
The only restriction that was placed on immigration prior to the British white paper—and the only one that could possibly have ever been intended—was that the volume of immigration should not be so great as to exceed the economic capacity of the country to absorb such immigration. The reason for this was to prevent the immigrants from becoming a burden upon the community. This was sound policy.
To my mind, restriction of immigration, based on political considerations as outlined in the British white paper defeats the very purpose of the Balfour Declaration and the resolution of the Sixty-seventh Congress. While calling Palestine a haven for homeless Jews it shuts the doors of that home against all but a minimum of Jewish refugees. Instead of becoming a “center in which the Jewish people may take on ground of religion and race, an interest and price” Palestine, under the British white paper, becomes a community surrounded by a wall of politics, which bars the hopeless and unfortunate Jewish refugees who in their desperate need, seek succor amongst their coreligionists—and in vain.
STATEMENT OF HON. JAMES J. HEFFERNAN, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE FIFTHE DISTRICT, STATE OF NEW YORK.
Mr. Heffernan. Gentlemen, I wish to record my support of the Palestine resolutions now being considered by this committee. The persecution of the Jewish people in Europe has demonstrated the need for a Jewish homeland and I believe that the United States should do everything it can to permit free entry of Jews into Palestine.
I hope that you gentlemen will recognize the need for a Jewish commonwealth and an open-door policy in Palestine at this time.
STATEMENT OF THE HONORABLE JOSEPH L. PFEIFER, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE THIRD DISTRICT, STATE OF NEW YORK
Mr. Pfeifer. Mr. Chairman, your fairness at all times has again been exemplified in these hearings on Resolution 418 and 419. From what we have learned from the witnesses confirms my opinion of long ago, that drastic action should be taken immediately to give all aid possible to this group of suffering humanity. It is very evident the time is at hand when we cannot go any further without raising our voice in protest over the continued unwillingness of Great Britain to relax her stringent rule regarding the immigration of Jews to Palestine.
The humiliation and atrocities to which they have been subjected, particularly on the European Continent, surpasses anything that has come to the attention of the civilized world.
Their position is insecure. In the countries where they are not persecuted, they feel a gratitude tempered by fear lest this may not endure. This constant atmosphere of fear is no good for any individual or group of individuals in the free exercise and development of mind and body. Anti-Semitism is always lurking around the corner. A danger not only to the Jews, but to the moral and mental balance of their Gentile neighbors.
What can we do to relieve this situation? We can either take them into our fold or help to secure for them a place where they may gather and develop into a nation and a country of their won. A national existence of their own seems to be the consensus of opinion. But where? Each nation seems to shirk the responsibility. Several areas have been mentioned but have proven to be a fiasco. Jewish tradition, religious and national, knows only one Promised Land, and that is Palestine. It is the rightful home of the Jewish people. This territory which has been assigned for the Jewish national home, through the Balfour Declaration to the Jews, on November 2, 1917, is only 10,000 miles square – a very small portion of the vast Arabian territory which is about 1,500,000 square miles.
This is the same Palestine which the Bible has described as a land flowing with milk and honey, and the historians tell us that it supported a population of 4,000,000 in the Roman and Grecian eras.
During the centuries that followed, misrule has been so evident that neglect of this holy place soon converted it into a desolated area. Sand dunes replaced vegetation and cities dwindled.
Now let us see what has been done to the Holy Land, which is about the size of Belgium or Sicily, since the Jews began their development in 1920. They have not only doubled its population, but through their determination to rebuild the ancient homeland of Jewish people, they have converted this rapidly disintegrating area into a semi-industrial and agricultural country.
They not only had to acquire land but had to reclaim it, drain it, reforest it, fertilize it, irrigate it, electrify it, and industrialize it with new industries which today number textile, chemical, electrical, building, and clothing—a credit to any nation. Its agricultural population of 800,000 will be trebled in the near future due to irrigation possibilities. Its cities now, which at one time were deserted, are well inhabited and electrified. Tel-Aviv is now a city of 200,000 where only 30 years ago were merely sand dunes, and Haifa rapidly growing into a city of 500,000.
This growth of the Jewish people’s national home and its achievements in many fields command the admiration of the world and certainly a source of pride to the Jewish people.
Palestine in general has become a new world. The large increase of Jewish population, which is about 1,500,000 today, has not displaced any of the native population. In fact, we are informed that it has caused an increase in the Arab population. This has been confirmed by Mr. Malcolm MacDonald, Secretary for the Colonies in the Chamberlain government, when he stated in the House of Commons, on November 24,1938:
The Arabs cannot say that the Jews are driving them out of their country. If not a single Jew had come to Palestine after 1928, I believe that the Arab population of Palestine today would still have been around the 800,000 figure, instead of over 1,000,000 as at present, at which it had been stable under the Turkish rule. It is because the Jews who have come to Palestine bring modern health services and other advantages, that the Arab men and women who would have been dead are alive today, that Arab children who would never have drawn breath have been born and grow strong.
The assurance by the English Government of a Jewish national home in Palestine, initiated over a quarter of a century ago, was mainly responsible for the country’s mighty advance. The persecutions of the minorities during the First World War was the seed for the development of this home, with the hope that such atrocities would never again occur. But before and during the present World War, the atrocities became more and more brutal. Millions of Jews were slaughtered. Every attempt was made to stop these atrocities, but to no avail. His Holiness, Pope Pius XI, cognizant of these brutalities, interceded on several occasions and offered his services to guarantee safe passage, whenever possible, for the transportation of the oppressed minorities to their homeland in Palestine. But unfortunately this did not materialize. His pleas and the increased atrocities has stirred the entire civilized world to act with greater urgency toward making it a reality. Palestine for the Jews. A homeland of their own. But what have we accomplished, and how does the situation stand today?
At the time when millions of European Jews have been massacred by the Nazis, we face a possibility of closure of the only door of escape for the 2,000,000 Jews who still survive the tortures and who are imploring the civilized world to provide them with means of escape from the Nazi murderers, through the white paper of May 17, 1939, issued by the British Government, which closes Palestine to all Jewish immigration on March 31, 1944, and to which I protested, at the time of issuance of this white paper, and asked President Franklin D. Roosevelt to do all in his power to have Great Britain rescind that order, and to remind His Britannic Majesty of the “Mandate for Palestine” adopted by the Council of the League of Nations on July 24, 1922. This treaty specifically stated that any changes must be with our assent.
Mr. Winston Churchill informs us that “His Majesty’s Government have no intentions of repudiating the obligations into which they have entered toward the Jewish people”
And also stated: “The position is that His Majesty’s Government are bound by a pledge which is antecedent to the Covenant of the League of Nations…and regrets very much that the pledge of the Balfour Declaration, endorsed as it has been by successive governments, and the conditions under which we obtained the mandate, have both been violated by the governments’ proposals. There is much in this white paper which is alien to the spirit of the Balfour Declaration.”
Is it fair then for the democratic world to be standing idly by and permit this white paper to go into effect? I, for one, do not believe so. This pledge of a home for refuge should not be closed to the still wandering persecuted scattered Jews throughout Europe, numbering about 2,000,000, whose eyes are focused on Palestine.
Should the doors of Palestine be closed to them through the action of the white paper, we ought then bow our heads in shame, for through this act of closure, we would encourage the Nazis regime to continue their brutalities and exterminate the remaining Jews. It would be a signal for Hitler to continue his atrocities until his aim has been accomplished.
We, as a democratic people, cannot and will not tolerate such brutalities. The Congress of the United States should and undoubtedly will approve unanimously any resolution that offers protection of the persecuted minorities.
You all recall the statement of Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, 20 years ago, when he said: “A great responsibility will rest upon the Zionists, who before long will be proceeding with joy in their hearts, to the ancient seat of their people. Theirs will be the task to build up a new prosperity and a new civilization in old Palestine, so long neglected and misruled.”
Now, let us look over the record of the Jewish people since occupying Palestine. What do we find? We find that the Jewish people have lived up to their responsibility and have made Palestine what it is today. I agree with Prime Minister Churchill, referring to the Chamberlain statement, when he said: “Well, they have answered his call. They have fulfilled his hopes. How can he find it in his heart to strike them this mortal blow?”
The Jewish people of Palestine have not only shown interest in their homeland but have done much to aid the Allied cause. The Jewish troops now number over 30,000 volunteers and have contributed much toward winning the war. Many of the Jewish youth of Palestine have already paid the supreme sacrifice in the line of battle and their loved ones at home aid our Allied armies by operating war plants and in the transportation of vital implements of war.
The Jewish troops are not only fighting to save their Jewish brethren of Europe but are fighting to help save the lives of our boys as well. They are a part of our integrate forces. They are fighting to help save the democratic way of life to which they have already contributed much.
Mr. Churchill, the dynamic force that he is respected by all, even by the Axis Nations though they care not to admit, has the opportunity now to enforce his words by concrete action. He should persuade His Britannic Majesty to abrogate this white paper, and together with the Allied Nations, particularly with the United States through its War Refugee Board, create now a haven for these Jews. Get them out of the Nazi-controlled countries. Give them temporary shelter with the hope that Palestine will keep its doors open forever to welcome them.
STATEMENT OF DR. EMANUEL NEUMANN, ATTORNEY, 749 WESTEND AVENUE, NEW YORK
Mr. Neumann. Mr. Chairman, ladies, and gentlemen, may I, in the first place, express my appreciation of the courtesy extended to me and also of the manner in which these hearings are conducted.
I am an American of Jewish decent and have been interested in the Zionist movement since my youth. In 1932-33 I served as a member of the executive of the Jewish Agency for Palestine and resided there for several years thereafter in a private capacity. Those 7 or 8 years spent on the spot have helped me, I believe, to a better understanding of the problem.
In order to deal with the question under consideration within a short space of time, it is necessary, I think, to strip it so far as possible of nonessentials and cut through to the heart and core of the matter. The issue, whatever its complexities, can be reduced to its essential elementary terms.
The case as between the Jews and the Arabs is in the nature of an international dispute submitted to the bar of public opinion. Actually it was adjudicated many years ago, and the resolution we are considering is essentially a reaffirmation of a judgment rendered in the past. The case may be considered under two heads: (1) Zionism and the Arab world, and (2) the position of the Palestinian Arabs. While the two aspects are related they are nevertheless distinct.
So far as the Arab world is concerned—and by that I mean for the moment the Arabs of southwestern Asia—Arabia, Iraq, Syria, and so forth—their case regarding Palestine is easily stated. They claim Palestine as part of the Arab domain, which Arabs are entitled to rule, and they assert that Palestine should have been included in the Arab domain and should never have been promised to the Jews in any form. They rest this claim chiefly on right of possession, the record of the Arab revolt in the First World War, and the promises allegedly made to them at the time.
From the point of view of international law the record is by this time pretty clear, having been minutely studied and dealt with by many competent authorities. I will attempt to summarize it briefly. Historically, the Arabs had lost their sovereignty over nearly all of these lands many centuries ago—in fact, during the Middle Ages. They had been overrun by successive invasions and finally conquered by the Turks, and the countries in question were incorporated in the Ottoman Empire and governed as such since the year 1517. The Arabs were subjected to the autocratic rule of the Turkish sultans. They were steeped in poverty and misery. Their physical as well as moral fiber was affected. Their hopes for freedom and a brighter future depended upon the ultimate collapse of Turkish power and the dismemberment of the Ottoman Empire. But there was little prospect of this being brought about through the efforts of the Arabs themselves. They were too weak, too dispirited, disunited, lacking in leadership and resources.
Their chance came with the outbreak of the First World War, when Turkey took her plunge on the side of Germany, which brought her into conflict with Great Britain, France, and Russia. For the Arabs it was an historic opportunity. Even so it required a great effort on the part of the British and all their skill and diplomacy, as well as the expenditure of large sums of money, to induce the Arabs of the Hejaz in the interior of Arabia to revolt under Hussein and Feisal. And it took continued British effort, British leadership, and British money—more than $50,000,000 of it—to keep the revolt from collapsing after it was started. This revolt was confined to only a part of the tribes in the Arabian peninsula and some of the Transjordanians; while other sections of Arabia as well as the Arabs of Mesopotamia, Syria, and Palestine did not participate in it, but remained largely passive. On the other hand, many of them served with the Turkish armies fighting against the British. Authorities differ as to the military value of the revolt. Certainly it has often been exaggerated beyond all proportion. Whatever assistance was given by the tribesmen, by harrying the Turkish flank, unquestionably it was British troops and British Empire forces who fought the major campaigns, defeated the Turkish armies, and liberated all these regions. The cost in British life and treasure was heavy, particularly in Mesopotamia.
What would have happened in an earlier age under these circumstances? Either the annexation of these countries, their incorporation in the British Empire, or the establishment of protectorates on the old model. But there was a new spirit abroad, and new ideas, which found expression in Wilson’s Fourteen Points. The principle of national self-determination had been enunciated primarily to hasten the disintegration of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, but there was a disposition to apply these principles reasonably and to the extent possible in the case of the less developed countries of the Near East, which were not considered quite ripe for self-government. In that spirit, negotiations went forward between the representatives of the British and the leaders of the Arab revolt. These negotiations were complicated by parallel negotiations which were going on simultaneously among the Allied Powers themselves regarding their respective spheres of influence. But the British and Arabs did reach a certain understanding.
What was that understanding? In a nutshell it was this: The Arabs were to get independence in Arabia proper, that is, in the Arabian peninsula, and they were to get semi-independence in what is now Iraq and the interior of Syria. Two small areas were definitely excluded under the terms of this understanding, two small countries which were reserved because of special circumstances and considerations. The first was Lebanon, with its important Christian population, who had been oriented toward France as their traditional protector. The other was Palestine, which was to be set aside for Jewish resettlement and the reconstitution of the Jewish national home.
This in substance, was the Anglo-Arab understanding, the plan which they hoped to put through at the peace conference. The Arabs were there and represented by a delegation headed by Feisal, who agreed with these plans which gave them 95 percent of what they claimed. Hussein was already recognized as King of the Hejaz in Arabia, while his son, Feisal, was to reign in Damascus, capital of Syria, and Abdullah was slated to become King of Iraq. Under the contemplated arrangement the Arabs had the prospect of independence and semi-independence in all these areas aggregating over 1,000,000 square miles of territory. Moreover, they had the prospect of ultimate unity or confederation through the circumstance that these countries should be ruled by members of the same family, the new dynasty of Hussein. It was from their point of view an excellent bargain. Under the circumstances they considered it reasonable and prudent not to press their claims with respect to Lebanon and Palestine, in view of British commitments there. As the matter was put by the Royal Commission: “If King Hussein and he Emir Feisal secured their big Arab State they would concede little Palestine to the Jews.”
Before and during the peace conference Feisal had numerous conferences with Dr. Weizmann and other Zionist leaders and repeatedly placed himself on record in support of Zionist aspirations. Indeed the Arabs and Zionists presented a united front at the peace conference, and they supported one another reciprocally, as had been agreed between them. In the sight of the world, by word and deed, the Arab spokesmen recognized the validity of Jewish aspirations with regard to Palestine.
Had the Anglo-Arab understanding been fully carried out at the time the subsequent history of Arab-Jewish relations might have been different. The Arab-Jewish alliance established by Emir Feisal and Dr. Weizmann might have continued indefinitely. It was unfortunate from the point of view of Arab-Jewish relations that, as it turned out, the Anglo-Arab understanding was not implemented at one stroke, but only in stages in successive years after much agitation in Syria and Iraq, which had its repercussion also in Palestine. Step by step, however, the Arabs achieved almost all that had been promised to them, and in some respects even more.
In April 1920 the Supreme Council met at San Remo to decide on the disposition of the Ottoman Empire and the terms of the Turkish peace treaty. It awarded to France the mandate over Syria and Lebanon and to Britain mandates over Iraq and Palestine. The Arabs protested this arrangement, chiefly with respect to Syria, and Feisal had himself proclaimed King in Damascus, only to be driven out by the French. Thereupon the British, in the following year, placed Feisal upon the throne of Iraq, while his brother Abdullah who had turned up in Trans-Jordan, was recognized as the ruling prince in that country. So far as Palestine was concerned, the terms of the Balfour Declaration were incorporated in the Treaty of Sevres negotiated between Turkey and the Allied Powers. As is well known, the Balfour Declaration, as subsequently incorporated in the mandate for Palestine was recognized and accepted by all the Allied Powers and indeed by 52 nations, by the community of nations. It had become part of the fabric of international law.
The British mandate for Iraq was terminated in 1932 and replaced by a treaty of alliance between Great Britain and the independent kingdom if Iraq. Four years later a similar development seemed imminent in Syria, where the French Government in 1936 negotiated with the Syrian Arabs for the termination of the French mandate and the recognition of independent states in Syria and Lebanon, with treaties of alliance between them and France. This arrangement failed of ratification by the French Chamber of Deputies at the time. Recently, however, during the present war, official declarations were made, both on behalf of the French and the British, declarations which were approved by the Government of the United States, promising the independence of those countries in the near future.
In the net result, the democracies have finally recognized virtually all the original claims of Arab nationalism to Arab independence with respect to Arabia, Iraq, Syria, and Trans-Jordan—and area covering about 1,200,000 square miles of territory and equivalent to the combined areas of England, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain—embracing all so-called Arab land in Asia, and including some non-Arab districts, with the single exception of western Palestine, with its 10,000 square miles, constituting less that 1 percent of the total area. Even the ardent champion of the Arab cause, the famous Lawrence of Arabia, declared years ago, that the promises made to the Arabs had been fulfilled and “we have come out of the Arab affair with clean hands.”
So far then as the Arab world is concerned, it has, substantially speaking, achieved 99 percent of its original goal and had given up no more than 1 percent of its total claim, namely, Palestine. And though it took years to achieve, the deal has been on the whole a highly satisfactory and profitable one from their point of view.
All in all, the Arabs were perhaps the greatest beneficiaries of Allied victory in the First World War, considering their very modest contribution toward that victory. Perhaps no other nation had gained so much in territory and independence for so little as the Arabs had contributed toward their own liberation. If today they come forward and renew their claim to the inclusion of Palestine in their vast domain, that claim is unwarranted from every point of view. Not only have other rights and interests intervened, not only has Palestine advanced a long way in its evolution as the Jewish National Home, not only is there today a more pressing need that ever for maintaining that National Home, but what is also pertinent and relevant, there is no pressing need which should actuate the Arab states to demand this additional strip of land. Their present domain is not only vast but greatly underpopulated.
The combined population of all the Arab territories I have mentioned does not exceed 15,000,000. All of them could be comfortably accommodated in Iraq alone if fully developed and there would still be room for many more millions in the future. Actually, the sparseness of population in the Arab countries is one of their greatest problems, their greatest weakness, and the greatest source of danger for their future security. The Arabs have not too little land, but too much land, and lack the means and the manpower to develop what they have and to defend it.
In a paper presented to the Royal Asia Society in England in 1926, Jafar Pasha al-Askari, the Prime Minister if Iraq, stated: “The size of the country is 150,000 square miles, about three times that of England and Wales, while the population is only 3,000,000…What Iraq wants above everything else is more population.”
A similar situation obtains in Syria, where only a fraction of the cultivable land is being cultivated. For the Arab world, thus richly endowed, to reach out its hand today to strike at the international commitments solemnly made with respect to Palestine, with a view to its annexation and its incorporation in the Arab domain, is not only a breach of international law but a case of incipient Arab imperialism.
I come now to the second part of our discussion—the position of the Palestinian Arabs. Here the position taken by their spokesmen is simple to the point of oversimplification. They are there; they have been there for centuries; they therefore have the right of ownership, as it were, of sovereignty, of domination. They contend that whatever Feisal and the other Arab delegates to the peace conference might have said or done by way of waiving Arab claims to Palestine in favor of the Jews, they, the Arabs of Palestine had not given their consent and were entitled to be masters of the land.
But the question is not so simple. Considered as a group, the people who inhabited what is now Palestine at the time of the World War were not a nation, had never been recognized as such, and had never exercised national sovereignty over the territory. In fact, there was no such thing as Palestine, in the political sense. It was merely a geographical concept. What is now Palestine is made up of certain parts of the Turkish Vilayet or Province, of Beirut, the Sanjak of Jerusalem and other administrative units. The inhabitants were largely Arab-speaking but of diversified and mixed origins. The majority were Moslems, with important Christian and Jewish minorities. They had no sense of nationality as Palestinians, and such of them as were Arab nationalists insisted that Palestine was and should remain southern Syria. There was no Palestinian nation.
Nor had the Arabs of Palestine helped the Allies to liberate the country as did Palestinian Jews, who enlisted in the famous Jewish battalions. They either fought with the Turks against the British or deserted in large numbers to become prisoners of war, fed and sheltered by the British Army.
The Palestine we know today was the creation of the peace conference and the mandate. Palestine was constituted as a distinct country in its present frontiers, precisely because the Allied Powers, representing the democratic world, did not intend to constitute it as another Arab state. If that had been the intention, there was no need or justification for carving out this territory and separating it from the surrounding country. On the contrary, the Allied Nations clearly recognized that this small country held a unique position, unique in many respects. It was the birthplace of three great religions; it was held in veneration by half the world; it was the ancestral home of the Jewish people, whose continued historical association with the land was known and widely recognized throughout Christendom. On these grounds and because of the determination of the civilized world to facilitate the establishment of the Jewish National Home, Palestine was excluded from what was to be the Arab domain, and was placed under a special mandate which recognized the peculiar character of the land and the special purposes to which it was to be dedicated. That mandate, an international instrument validated by 52 nations, expressly recognizes the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and the grounds for reconstituting there their national home. In this connection, the prefix “re” is of decisive importance. What was clearly intended was not the creation of something new, vague and without precedent, but essentially the reconstitution of something which had existed in the past. By the force of this word “reconstitute” the national home was identified with the Jewish Commonwealth which had existed in Palestine in the Biblical period and in post-Biblical times.
The argument now offered is that this determination does not square with the principle of national self-determination, as a part of the Palestinian Arabs would interpret that principle. The discovery that there is at present a majority of Arab-speaking people in Palestine is not a new discovery. It was vividly present to the minds of Lloyd George and Balfour, of Woodrow Wilson and Prime Minister Smuts, and of all the allied statesmen when they rendered their verdict in favor of the Jewish National Home. The principle of self-determination did not emanate from Arabia, but from the minds and hearts of the most enlightened and progressive statesmen in Christendom. They, if anyone, were entitled to interpret the principle and give it proper applications. If they made this determination in the case of Palestine, they did so after weighing all the equities and balancing the needs and claims both of the Arabs and the Jews, the claim of both races to life, liberty, and happiness. They decided that the Jews were likewise entitled to national self-determination in the sense that they should be given the opportunity to reestablish a national existence on the one tiny spot of the entire globe to which they had a moral and historical claim. They squared it fully with their conscience on the ground that this disposition was necessitated and sanctioned by the dictates of humanity and justice on the highest plane. In their view the national interests of the Arab peoples and their national aspirations were being recognized in the vast Arab domain. So far as the Arab-speaking population of Palestine was concerned, who numbered at the time between 500,000 and 600,000 souls, their rights were to be safeguarded in Palestine not only as individuals but also as a religious and cultural community. All of these rights have been scrupulously safeguarded hitherto and must be scrupulously safeguarded in the future. No one who has spent time in Palestine can fail to be impressed with the extraordinary extent to which the Arabs of that country, the common people, have prospered under the mandate and benefited by Jewish immigration and economic development. They are undoubtedly in that regard the most fortunate group of Arabs in the world.
There is one further consideration. It must be borne in mind that whatever was the position in 1919 or 1922, and whatever were the contentions of the Arabs a quarter of a century ago, the situation has changed materially during the years which have intervened. The Palestine we know today is not the country we knew then. In a very real sense it is a new country, a new Palestine. The land has been transformed. In reliance upon the solemn pledges made to the Jewish people then, in reliance upon solemn international covenants, a half million Jews have entered and settled in the country. They have poured into it their energy, their love and devotion, and some $600,000,000 in cold cash. They have drained its swamps, reforested its naked hills, built cities, established industries, planted great stretches of orange groves, harnessed the waterpower of the Jordan and electrified the countryside, developed the mineral resources of the Dead Sea. In short, they took a neglected and derelict country, the mere carcass of a land, as someone has described it, and transmuted it by their labor, sweat, and blood into something new – thriving, modern, progressive, semi-industrial country. The new Palestine is almost as different from the old as southern California is different from the desert which we took over about a century ago. And it is this new Palestine, this oasis of civilization on the rim of the desert, which Arab nationalism would now have the democratic world place under Arab national control.
And why? What new claim has Pan-Arab nationalism upon the consideration of the democratic world? What contribution have the Arabs made to the democratic cause during this, its greatest crisis? Where did they stand when Rommel stood at the gates of Alexandria? What Arab banner was carried to the field of battle, to defend, not only the cause of democracy but their own countries, the freedom and independence which had been so dearly won for them with the lives of Britons and Frenchmen and Americans, during the First World War. For now it may be told. Now that the dire threat to the Near East which was so imminent 2 and 3 years ago has been definitely removed, the truth may be spoken. During those dark and anxious days, the whole Near East was a veritable quagmire of intrigue and treachery. Would-be Quislings, the leaders of fifth columns, were active everywhere. Axis-minded, Fascist-ridden Arab oligarchies attempted to seize power and stab the democratic nations in the back. In Egypt the Prime Minister himself, Ali Maher Pasha, had to be removed from power and kept in isolation in a country villa. The Egyptian Chief of Staff, al-Masri, had to be arrested under suspicious circumstances. In Iraq, Rashid Bey al-Gailani, struck at the British prematurely before help could reach him from his Nazi allies. The leader of the Arab extremists in Palestine, the notorious Mufti, was commuting between Rome and Berlin doing the Fuehrer’s work. Nowhere in this entire region did the democratic cause, hard pressed as it was, find firm and active allies save in Palestine, which had become an outpost and bulwark on our far-flung front—Palestine, with its Jewish National Home.
Ladies and gentlemen, the resolution you are considering is a reaffirmation of an American policy and a word of cheer and of hope to the harassed multitudes of the Jewish people in Europe and their brave vanguard in Palestine. Why this reaffirmation and why the express reference to the goal of a free and democratic Jewish commonwealth? The answer is obvious. The Balfour Declaration was unquestionably meant to help, in the words of President Wilson, “to lay the foundations of a Jewish commonwealth.” The policy was so understood, quite definitely, by our own Government at the time. There is clear documentary evidence of that fact. But in the course of these years, under pressure of Arab intransigence and a campaign of terror carried on with the help of the Axis, the original contract was gradually whittled down, interpreted and reinterpreted beyond recognition, a process which culminated in the White Paper. It is therefore, not enough to repudiate the White Paper, but to avoid recurrence, in the future. It is therefore necessary to go over the old contract now and cross the t’s and dot the i’s. That can best be done by a clear and unmistakable reference to the underlying purpose of the Balfour Declaration and the goal it contemplated—a free and democratic Jewish Commonwealth.
I am through, Mr. Chairman. I would only like to offer this America document as evidence. There was only passing reference made to it the other day. It is quoted in the diary of David Hunter Miller in connection with the peace conference. It is a memorandum prepared by the Intelligence Section in accordance with instructions for the President (Wilson) and the plenipotentiaries, January 21, 1919.
I would like to read it. This document drawn up more than a year after the Balfour Declaration sheds a remarkably clear light upon the manner in which the United States understood and interpreted that Declaration. It proves incontestably that our Government then contemplated the establishment of Palestine as a Jewish State. It says so in language of classic simplicity and with characteristically American directness.
Chairman Bloom. Very well, proceed.
Mr. Neumann (reading):
The Sections on Palestine in the “Outline of Tentative Report and Recommendations Prepared by the Intelligence Section in Accordance with Instructions for the President (Wilson) and the Plenipotentiaries, January 21, 1919”
It is recommended:
(1) That there be established a separate state of Palestine.
(2) That this state be placed under Great Britain as a mandatory of the League of Nations.
(3) That the Jews be invited to return to Palestine and settle there, being assured by the conference of all proper assistance in so doing that may be consistent with the protection of the personal (especially the religious) and the property rights of the non-Jewish population, and being further assured that it will be the policy of the League of Nations to recognize Palestine as a Jewish state as soon as it is a Jewish state in fact.
(4) That the holy places and religious rights of all creeds in Palestine be placed under the protection of the League of Nations and its mandatory.
(1) It is recommended that there be established a separate state of Palestine.
The separation of the Palestinian area from Syria finds justification in the religious experience of mankind. The Jewish and Christian churches were born in Palestine, and Jerusalem was for long years at different periods, the capital of each. And while the relation of the Mohammedans to Palestine is not so intimate, from the beginning they have regarded Jerusalem as a holy place. Only by establishing Palestine as a separate state can justice be done to these great facts.
As drawn upon the map, the new state would control its own source of water power and irrigation, on Mount Hermon in the east by the Jordan; a feature of great importance since the success of the new state would depend upon the possibilities of agricultural development.
(2) It is recommended that this state be placed under Great Britain as a mandatory of the League of Nations.
Palestine would obviously need wise and firm guidance. Its population is without political experience, is racially composite and could easily become distracted by fanaticism and bitter religious differences.
The success of Great Britain in dealing with similar situations, her relations to Egypt, and her administrative achievements, since General Allenby freed Palestine from the Turk, all indicate her as the logical mandatory.
(3) It is recommended that the Jews be invited to return to Palestine and settle there being assured by the conference of all proper assistance in so doing that may be consistent with the protection of the personal (especially the religious) and the property rights of the non-Jewish population and being further assured that it will be the policy of the League of Nations to recognize Palestine as a Jewish state as soon as it is a Jewish state in fact.
“It is right that Palestine should become a Jewish state, if the Jews, being given the full opportunity, make it such. It was the cradle and home of their vital race, which has made large spiritual contributions to mankind and is the only land in which they can hope to find a home of their own; they being in the last respect unique among significant peoples.”
At present however, the Jews form barely a sixth of the total population of 700,000 in Palestine, and whether they are to form a majority, or even a plurality, of the population in the future state remains uncertain. Palestine, in short is far from being a Jewish country now. England, as mandatory, can be relied on to give the Jews the privileged position they should have without sacrificing the rights of non-Jews.
(4) It is recommended that the holy places and religious rights of all creeds in Palestine be placed under the protection of the League of Nations and its mandatory.
The basis for this recommendation is self-evident.
Chairman Bloom. Thank you very much. Are there any questions? (No response.)
The Chair wishes to state that Rabbi Stephen Wise has come from California, and if you will be patient we will hear Rabbi Wise, and then there is one short witness after that and then we will recess until tomorrow morning.
STATEMENT OF RABBI STEPHEN S. WISE, REPRESENTING THE ZIONIST ORGANIZATIONS OF AMERICA
Rabbi Wise. I do happen to represent the Zionist organizations of America, of which I was the founder 46 years ago, and I am one of two cochairmen, together with Dr. Silver, of Cleveland, of the American Emergency Zionist Council.
Mr. Chairman, ladies and gentlemen, some of the things that Dr. Hitti said today might be considered valid if we had come to you and in a resolution proposed that Pan Arabia, the Arab Empire be converted or transmuted into a Jewish state. It happens though Dr. Hitti has made no reference thereto, but if you examine your map, Palestine constitutes about 1 percent, its 10,000 square miles of what is commonly known as Arab complex.
So, we are not dealing in any action with reference to the utility of Arabia or the Arabian Empire of the many Arab cantonments. We are dealing only with Palestine, reconstituting only 1 percent. Dr. Hitti told you today of the statement of Professor Gostein, whom I happen to know, a distinguished English archeologist. Dr. Hitti got it third or fourth hand, quoting Mrs. Gostein, who quoted Professor Gostein, quoting Lord Balfour, the statement that he was aghast over his discovery that there were Arabs in Palestine.
I had the privilege and the honor of meeting him through President Wilson of a long talk over the tea cups with Mr. Balfour, then Secretary for Foreign Affairs. Mr. Balfour’s words were these: “Rabbi Wise, I think the question as to a home for the Jews who may now or in the future wish to live in Palestine, is in Palestine.”
That was Mr. Balfour’s statement and he made it not to me personally alone, for personal testimony is always more or less of dubious value, but he made the parallel statement in most emphatic and unmistakable terms on a number of occasions.
The term was heard “pressure group,” and Professor Hitti of Princeton does not represent any pressure group. I represent, too, the members of which are in tragic need, the Jewish survivors of the thrice-damned Hitler regime, those surviving victims among the Jewish people who still dwell in those blighted lands. Well, that is a pressure group. I represent my people’s prayers, prayers which have been uttered since the year 70 A.D. of the Christian era when Titus expelled Jews for the most part from Palestine.
We were told today that England, the United Nations, or the Allies as they were known in 1917 and 1918, looked upon the Arabs as potential friends. They may have been potential friends but they have not borne themselves as friends and I venture with an amount of the knowledge of history to say to you the Arabs had a most insignificant part in the liberation of Palestine. General Allenby had virtually no help from the Arab, except from a handful, but the Arabs have done next to nothing for the United Nations in the present crisis.
Dr. Neumann has told you the story of Iraq going over to the coast, and Egypt and Arabia, what they have done. On the other hand, Mr. Chairman, if you happen to recall it, we had to keep down the figures of our enrollment in order that we should not outnumber them. In the British Army we had to reduce our figures to the lowest, and while 30,000 Jews enlisted under the British command and have rendered important service, most important service. If I were Dr. Hitti I would not say that the Arabs never accepted the Balfour Declaration. They have rioted, rioted, rioted continuously for 20 years against the Balfour Declaration which after all was not the personal declaration of Mr. Balfour but represented the considered judgment, for reasons of which I shall speak, of the Allied Nations, England, America, France, with no inconsiderable amount from His Holiness at Rome.
A highfalutin term “revolution” was used. There have been assassinations and crimes led by and instigated by Hitler’s personal representative, Mufti, who unhappily for civilization was pardoned by a Jew.
May I say a word about the Jewish population and the Arab? There are about 600,000 Jews in Palestine. There are somewhat over a million Arabs in Palestine. The Arabs have that vast territorial place of a million square miles in which to dwell. What have we done against the Arabs? I know Palestine and I have been in Palestine often. In 1880 the wage rate was 80 centimes. Today it runs to an increase of 500 percent, but more than that because of Jews in Palestine has not only lifted up the standard of the Arabs, but the Arabs today are free people because England intervened on their behalf. You say the Arabs control. I have seen Arabs bastinadoed by the Turks, treated with scorn and contempt. The Arabs have no part in the government, either in Palestine or any other part. They were merely condemned subjects out of whom the maximum of taxes were squeezed. I cannot understand it. I had the honor of meeting King Feisal, who was every inch a king. He was a great statesman. King Feisal was wise enough to know that lest an arrangement that was proposed to him would be of equal benefit to the Arabs and Jews it would not be worth while, but I have heard the term. I wish I were a lawyer and understood it. I heard a term I never heard before. Professor Hitti used the term the Arabs were dispossessed by purchase. I would like to sell a house of mine in New York. I am overtaxed. Suppose I find some fellow tomorrow to purchase it and he can have it for next to nothing. In fact I am prepared to make a gift to you, Mr. Chairman, of that house for any purpose you may designate.
Chairman Bloom. I am prepared to accept it.
Rabbi Wise. I wish you world. Purchase is a legal thing and Professor Hitti neglected to say the Arabs in Palestine could only buy little tracts of land. Our whole land possession is a little more than a quarter of a million acres. One is as large as the King ranch in Texas.
We paid 50 times as much as they would have gotten if they had sold the land to one another.
Not only have they been enriched by our purchases we have benefited the Arabs in every way.
I am here as a personal witness of the processing of the Balfour resolution. Three men were the authors of the Balfour Declaration. Their names were Woodrow Wilson, President of the United States, speaking not for himself, not for the Presbyterian Church, of which his father was a renowned pastor. Mr. Balfour spoke for England that trusted and followed him. Mr. Balfour, who knew of the historic interest and concern of the English people for centuries and centuries with everything related to Palestine. And for the Jews there was Dr. Weizmann, a great chemist and statesman, and Mr. Justice Brandeis, who the Jews trusted and followed. I think it was the early spring when Mr. Balfour came to America. What was it that was in the heart of Mr. Balfour and Mr. Wilson representing America? He brought us proof he was one who understood the heart of America. He said he felt the world owed something to the Jews for 1917 and 1918. What would he say they owed now? The next place they felt the war of 1914-18 was a war for self determination.
That declaration was issued. My own eyes were the last to see it in America before it went back to Mr. Balfour. I am proud to say Mr. Balfour, the President, Colonel House, and Secretary Lansing entrusted me with the privilege of returning the declaration to England.
Under the Balfour Declaration the 50,000 Jews of Palestine grew to more than a half a million, transformed the arid waste of Palestine into one of the most lovely, beautiful countries with a modern university with hundreds of schools and developed a civilization which had never been possible but for some European Jews and American Jews. Things grew and grew, and then in 1939 there came the white paper. I was present when that unhappy document was drawn up. I venture to say while it bore the seal of the House of Commons it represents the appeasement policy of the spring of 1938 and the spring of 1939. We protested and protested and I may say to you we are amazed to think that the present eminent representative of his great country here in Washington, Lord Halifax came to the pitiful necessity of presiding over that proceeding out of which grew the white paper, an attempt to appease Hitler and his adjutant, Mufti.
There is nothing new in the term we use, the democratic Jewish commonwealth. The only thing that is new is the white paper.
I may quote Mr. Churchill. He was not the Prime Minister in 1939, but he made one of his greatest utterances in the history of the country speaking of the white paper as a betrayal of the Balfour Declaration. Mr. Churchill as early as 1922 stated the Jews are in Palestine of right and not on sufferance.
One thing more, the Jewish national home. You know, Mr. Chairman, the Jewish national home has welcomed about a quarter of a million from Hitler-dominated Europe.
Now what is it that we ask for, that all refugees may enter. No, there will not be a million. Professor Hitti may not have any fear because half of Jewish citizens will be in Europe. I do not believe that more than one million and a half Jews in Europe today have the strength, have the will, have the power, and have the opportunity to go to Palestine. It is not a matter of millions. There may be several thousand from the United States and several thousand from the Soviet Union, the two countries of the world with the greatest Jewish populations. Those refugees that go to Palestine, some will return. They will not choose to repatriate themselves from lands of torture. Some may go to Latin America, but they are homeless. They have always understood and looked upon Palestine not as their Biblical home but traditionally as their home. They want to go to a home but they do not want to go to the lands of torture under the domination of Hitler.
I think I will say one last word and I am done. We had an American-Jewish Conference in August and September 1943, and I think it is fair to say they represent 3,000,000 of the 5,000,000 Jews. I happened to be the chairman of the session for which Dr. Silver made a most brilliant presentation of the commonwealth. We took a vote. There were some who abstained from voting but the vote was 498 to 4 in favor of the adoption of the resolution which finds it counterpart in the resolution proposed by the Members of Congress. If there could be a referendum of 5,000,000 American Jews I venture to say, and I cannot work for 50 years as a rabbi without knowing something about the Jewish people, if an honest vote could be taken 90 to 95 percent of the Jews of America would support this resolution.
Chairman Bloom. Would you mind an interruption, Rabbi?
Rabbi Wise. No.
Chairman Bloom. On the center of the table there are thousands and thousands of telegrams and letters from all over, every State in the Union. There are only, I think, 10 letters and telegrams of disapproval of the resolution. The letters and telegrams represent organizations of many thousands.
Rabbi Wise. Tens of thousands.
Chairman Bloom. But that will bear out your statement.
Rabbi Wise. Ninety to ninety-five percent if they could vote would say “yes, we favor the resolution.” It is not merely the Jews. I know my country. I was a citizen of Oregon for a number of years and was in danger of being elected to Congress and I might have had your place much to the loss of our country if I had accepted political office. Congressmen come and Congressmen go, but I go on forever. I visited President Wilson and he said, “Wise, what can I do for you”? and I replied “nothing.” He said, “Wise, you are the first man that has come to me who does not want something.”
I think I have a right to say I know my country and its people, and if a plebiscite could be taken of the American people I think the American feeling in the depth of the Christian faith in the light of its understanding of the plight of my tragic people would vote on a parity with the Jews. If the Jews wanted to have a democratic commonwealth in the land which was their homeland, I venture to say that some of my fellow Jews may follow them, but I repeat I know America and I know American integrity and I respect it and I know my people, and I assure you, Mr. Chairman, it is worth the while of my Christian fellow Americans to take into account the unutterable suffering of my people, almost their destruction, and tell you every day my people will watch with breathless attention what your country and what the Congress will do. It begs your help, but we are not beggars. We are self-revering people. We need a free and democratic Jewish commonwealth.
And as my last word I want my people to have the chance side by side with the Arabs to translate the teachings of the Bible into practice and into the manners and morale and spiritual achievement day by day of the Jewish commonwealth, free and democratic which with your help may yet come to pass.
Chairman Bloom. Rabbi Wise, thank you very much, and in 1922 you appeared before this committee. You appeared here at that time.
Rabbi Wise. Yes.
Chairman Bloom. And at that time there was inserted in the record a letter from Woodrow Wilson, then President of the United States. Would you desire that letter read?
Rabbi Wise. If the Chairman wishes it.
(The letter referred to was thereupon read by the clerk of the committee and is as follows:)
The White House
Washington, D.C. August 31, 1918.
Dr. Stephen S. Wise,
Chairman, Provisional Executive Committee for General Zionist Affairs, New York.
My Dear Rabbi Wise: I have watched with deep and sincere interest the reconstructive work which the Weizmann Commission has done in Palestine at the instance of the British Government and I welcome an opportunity to express the satisfaction I have felt in the progress of the Zionist movement in the United States and in the Allied Countries since the declaration of Mr. Balfour, on behalf of the British Government, of Great Britain’s approval of the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and his promise that the British Government would use its best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of that object, with the understanding that nothing would be done to prejudice the civil and religious rights of non-Jewish people in Palestine or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in other countries.
I think that all Americans will be deeply moved by the report that even in this time of stress the Weizmann Commission has been able to lay the foundation of the Hebrew University at Jerusalem with the promise that that bears of spiritual rebirth.
Cordially and sincerely yours,
Chairman Bloom. I thought you would like to be reminded of this and of the days gone by.
Rabbi Wise. I am glad to remember it, Mr. Chairman.
Chairman Bloom. I remember a lot of others.
The Chair wishes to state that the opposition has used an hour and three-quarters and the proponents of these resolutions have used an hour and a half. We have several witnesses yet for and against and we would like to hear them all, but it is half past one now and the committee cannot sit all day as we did before. We have one witness who wishes to place a statement in the record.
STATEMENT OF JOHN SLOWSON, EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT,
AMERICAN JEWISH COMMITTEE, NEW YORK CITY
Mr. Slawson. I do not wish to make any verbal statement, Mr. Chairman; merely to file this memorandum for your record.
Chairman Bloom. Without objection that will be done.
(The memorandum referred to is as follows:)
Memorandum on the Wright-Compton Resolution by the American Jewish Committee, New York, N.Y. (Submitted to House Committee on Foreign Affairs, February 14, 1944)
The American Jewish Committee respectfully submits to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs the following memorandum on the Wright-Compton resolution:
1. Concerned with the welfare of Jews everywhere, the American Jewish Committee which was established in 1906 has been deeply and actively interested in the development of the Jewish settlement in Palestine. Entirely apart from the political status of Palestine, we have given consistent and uninterrupted encouragement and support to all measures that have been taken to build there a large and prosperous Jewish community, which would dwell in the Holy Land “as of right and not on sufferance.”
2. With respect to so much of the resolution as deals with the subject of Jewish immigration into Palestine and with opportunity for colonization therein, the American Jewish Committee records itself as in full accord with the purposes of the resolution and strongly urges the adoption of this portion of the resolution.
In respect to the opening of the doors of Palestine the American Jewish Committee pledged its ‘most diligent efforts to bring about the abrogation of the White Paper.’ In conformity with that pledge, the committee prepared a memorandum on the White Paper in which it urged ‘that the British Government reexamine the 1939 White Paper, considering such reexamination to be of the utmost urgency in the light of the present needs of European Jewry.’ In this memorandum, the committee pleaded for the abrogation of the white Paper which among other things ‘discriminates against Jews as such’ and for the liberal immigration policy embodied in the Balfour Declaration and the Palestine mandate. This memorandum was submitted on January 17, 1944, by representatives of the American Jewish Committee to Viscount Halifax, Ambassador of Great Britain to the United States. A copy of this memorandum is submitted for the information of the committee.
3. With respect to so much of the resolution that declares the purpose ultimately to reconstitute Palestine as ‘a free democratic Jewish commonwealth,’ the American Jewish Committee, for the reasons stated below, earnestly urges that the final determination of this controversial question be deferred and that the resolution be amended accordingly.
A. The American Jewish Committee, as a preliminary to the discussion of this question, is glad to record its belief that all sections of American Jewry are in accord with the position heretofore taken by this committee and stated as follows “Since we hold that in the United States, as in all other countries, Jews, like all other citizens, are nationals of those nations and of no other, there can be no political identification of Jews outside of Palestine with whatever government may there be instituted.”
B. The committee at its thirty-sixth annual meeting, held on January 31, 1943, adopted a specific position with respect to the future government of Palestine on which we believe all persons interested in the welfare of the Jews in Palestine can unite.
The factors upon which the position of the American Jewish Committee is based are as follows:
(a) We recognize that there are more than a half million Jews in Palestine who have built up a sound and flourishing economic life and a satisfying spiritual and cultural life and that they comprise approximately one-third of the population. But while Palestine immigration has been a blessed amelioration in the condition of this large number of Jews, settlement in Palestine, though an important factor, cannot alone furnish and should not be expected to furnish the sole solution of the problem of post-war Jewish rehabilitation.
(b) We recognize wide divergence of opinion with respect to the ultimate government that should obtain in Palestine. It is a fact that there are many thousands of Jews in America and Europe today who do not favor the creation ultimately of a Palestinian Jewish state, and there are many thousands who do. The sharpness of the division is clearly indicated by the heated controversy which developed in the hearing before your congressional committee.
(c) Any predetermination of this question at this time must necessarily be affected by war conditions and problems. Many Zionists, proponents of a Jewish state, have themselves taken the view that the settlement of these problems must precede the determination of the ultimate form of government in Palestine. In the post-war world, many of these issues, it is earnestly believed, will fade in their sharpness as a result of the development of events, and we profoundly believe that a cool, dispassionate, and humane solution of this problem of the ultimate government of Palestine can much better be effected after the lapse of some years.
The position of the American Jewish Committee (based on the creation of an international trusteeship for Palestine which must in any event be an interim necessity) is as follows:
“We approve for Palestine an international trusteeship responsible to the United Nations for the following purposes:
“(1) To safeguard the Jewish settlement in and Jewish immigration into Palestine and to guarantee adequate scope for future growth and development to the full extent of the economic absorptive capacity of the country.
“(2) To safeguard and protect the fundamental rights of all inhabitants.
“(3) To safeguard and protect the holy places of all faiths.
“(4) To prepare the country to become, within a reasonable period of years, a self-governing commonwealth under a constitution and a bill of rights that will safeguard and protect these purposes and basic rights of all.”
4. The House Committee on Foreign Affairs will thus see that the American Jewish Committee takes into full consideration the immediate needs of the suffering Jews but does not prejudge the ultimate world order into the framework of which the determination of the political status of Palestine will be obliged to fit.
5. We accordingly ask that there be substituted in the resolution for the clause reading “so that the Jewish people may ultimately reconstitute Palestine as a free can democratic Jewish Commonwealth” a provision approving an international trusteeship as set for the in this memorandum.
We believe that the proposed amendment to the resolution, if adopted, will advance the basic purpose which is to help many thousands of persecuted Jews to find hospitable refuge in Palestine.
We believe that such action by the Committee on Foreign Affairs would be a long step forward toward reaching an ultimately just, fair, and beneficent solution of the Palestinian problem.
American Jewish Committee
Joseph M. Proskauer,
Alan M. Stroock,
Chairman, Administrative Committee.
Chairman, Executive Committee.
Executive Vice President.”
Chairman Bloom. I regret very much to have to ask the witnesses to come back tomorrow, but as I say, the first witness took up an hour and three-quarters and Dr. Neumann and Rabbi Wise took up an hour and a half. I do not want the thought to go out that we are not fair in dividing the time for the witnesses.
So, without objection the committee will stand in recess until 10 o’clock tomorrow morning.
(Whereupon, at 1:35 p.m., the committee adjourned until 10 a.m. Wednesday, February 16, 1944.)
THE JEWISH NATIONAL HOME IN PALESTINE
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 1944
House of Representatives,
Committee on Foreign Affairs,
The committee met at 10 a.m., pursuant to adjournment, Hon. Sol Bloom (Chairman) presiding.
Chairman Bloom. The committee will kindly come to order.
The committee has under consideration House Resolution 418 and 419 relative to the Jewish national home in Palestine.
The Chair would like to state that we have seven witnesses that want to appear today. We would like to close these hearings. Yesterday we sat for 3 hours and a half, which is rather unusual, which is twice as long as committees generally sit for hearings of this kind.
The Chair would like to suggest with the approval of the committee that we hold the witnesses down to 20 minutes each, 10 minutes to make their statement and 10 minutes for questioning; and if there is no objection to that we will proceed in that order, and the committee will kindly limit their questions to things pertinent to the resolution itself.
So, without objection, the suggestion of the Chair will be approved.
The first witness we have this morning is Mr. Twitchell.
STATEMENT OF K.S. TWITCHELL, CONSULTING ENGINEER, SAUDI ARABIA MINING SYNDICATE, AND FORMER CHIEF OF UNITED STATES AGRICULTURAL MISSION TO SAUDI ARABIA, MAMARONECK, N.Y.
The Chairman. Mr. Twitchell, will you kindly take a seat, and would you kindly for the record state just who you are and who you represent; and the Chair will notify you when your 10 minutes are up.
Mr. Twitchell. Thank you. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen, I am simply a free-born American citizen and I represent nobody but myself.
I have been in that part of the world a great deal, and my last trip was last year I returned last year. It was a trip to Saudi Arabia. That is not part of Palestine, but it is part of that section. I visited Palestine for a short period last year.
In the hope that my experience in Yemen and Saudi Arabia, and so for the, may be of benefit in considering the matter of Palestine, I have come here. Everyone agrees upon two aspects:
(1) That it is a most complex matter.
(2) That American have the greatest sympathy for the persecuted Jewish and other minorities.
I have spent a number of years in the Near East, 1915-19 and 1926 to date, it is possible that I realize the dangers and ramifications better than many people. We desire to help solve this question in a way that will not involve bloodshed and injustice. First, I want to point out the dangerous possibilities, as I see them and I may be wrong; and secondly, I wish to make suggestions for your consideration.
At the outset, I wish to emphasize that it is not only the 1,000,000 or less Arabs which are concerned in Palestine, but that 300,000,000 Moslems throughout the Near East and India are vitally interested in this matter.
DANGERS OF IMPLEMENTING THE PROPOSED RESOLUTION
Supposing the recommendation I have seen advertised in one of the great newspapers were adopted for the removal of Arabs from Palestine to Iraq? Who would finance such a removal and the development of new farms and homes? Would not the average American taxpayer resent any such thought and consequently become perhaps anti-Semitic? I am afraid there would be the following results:
First. Recent history indicates there would be a great deal of resistance and bloodshed in Palestine itself as it is well known that both Arabs and Jews have considerable amounts of arms;
Second. The Moslems in Yemen, Arabia, might annihilate the 40,000 Jews now there. I wonder if they might not be viewed as hostages and in a similar manner the 100,000 Jews now in Iraq and who have lived there peacefully for over 1,300 years.
Third. In Egypt there might be great riots and anti-non-Moslem reactions which could result in the greatly handicapping of the large non-Moslem interest in education, the American University, and so forth, and in business.
Fourth. In Turkey the non-Moslems might be treated in a manner similar to the Arabs from Palestine and be deported – in this case, Jews (70,000) and Christian Armenians would, perhaps, suffer most.
Fifth. In India the 90,000,000 Moslems who have upheld the British Government when the Hindu Indian Congress was making passive resistance, would very probably voice great opposition to the removal of Arab Moslems and might cause great disturbance and trouble which would interfere with our war against Japan in that sphere.
Sixth. There are many Moslems in Java, China, and the Philippines to whom this matter would undoubtedly be broadcast by the Japs and Germans so might cause a great antagonism toward the Allies as these people might fear similar removals after the war.
Seventh. Along the African routes of our air transport, most of the countries traversed are Moslem inhabited; could not there be many acts of sabotage by angry Moslems all along both the north African and central African routes?
Eighth. If the proposed pipe line for bringing American-controlled oil from the Persian Gulf eventuates, an unfriendly Arab people along this line would be a constant menace and might involve American troops.
Do you believe the American public would wish their sons to be sent to the many points in Moslem countries on police duty and possibly lose their lives in a matter entirely aside from our fight for the four freedoms? Might this not cause anti-Semitic feelings? Troubles in Boston suggest this possibility.
The British Government can tell you what it has cost in lives and money to keep their Palestine Mandate. Does the American Government wish to assume such liabilities?
Would it not be wise to leave such a many sided question to be worked out cooperatively with the British after victory is won?
Now for the other side. The United States Department of Agriculture can confirm, or not, my statement that Palestine has now been developed to nearly its maximum productivity under present conditions. The Palestine Government Partition Report to the British Government, 1938, Command 5854, tends to confirm this statement. Only if the irrigation project to bring water from Syria to Palestine eventuates, can any very considerable additional acreage be cultivated. But in Palestine there are great areas which are steep limestone mountains with very thin soil and able only to support grazing—and not much of that during the hottest parts of the summer seasons. My first trip from Jerusalem to Jericho was in July 1929. The progress made to date in agriculture is a very great achievement and a credit to the energy of the present population and Jewish financing.
To add greatly to the present population would not seem to be sound economy and would not attain the aims of those of Jewish faith for the above reasons.
There are four places which I suggest be seriously investigated for the benefit of those who wish new homes. Other locations like the Dominican Republic and Benguela in Angola, Portuguese West Africa have already been suggested and considered, I believe.
Chairman Bloom. Your time is up. You can put your statement in the record.
(Discussion off the record.)
Chairman Bloom. Proceed, Mr. Twitchell. We will see how far we can get along. Confine yourself to the resolution we have under consideration and state your views with respect to that.
Mr. Twitchell. Mr. Chairman, my thought was this resolution might raise these different troubles which I point out.
Chairman Bloom. That is your personal opinion?
Mr. Twitchell. Yes. Our Government is made up of personal opinions.
Mr. Jarman. You are appearing here personally?
Mr. Twitchell. Yes sir.
Chairman Bloom. Proceed, please.
Mr. Twitchell. We wish to help out minorities. Now, do you wish to hear these suggestions or not? I am entirely at your service.
Mr. Bolton. I wonder if it would help matters if Mr. Twitchell were permitted to insert the balance of this in the record.
Chairman Bloom. Proceed, Mr. Twitchell.
Mr. Twitchell. Shall I read the suggestions? I will go as fast as I can.
Chairman Bloom. Proceed, please.
Mr. Twitchell. Cirenaica, north Africa: This is of cultural and historical interest, as well as agricultural. The Italians have established a very fine foundation on which much could be developed. Our Government can furnish details.
Gojam, Abyssinia: There have been people of Jewish faith in this province for a great many centuries. I have seen the country to the south of here which is said to be similar. It has a fertile, deep soil, good rainfall and invigorating climate, and is largely a plateau region of approximately 5,000 feet elevation. The Italians have made this country much more accessible than formerly by building good roads to connect with the seaport of Masowa via Asmara, or via Addis Ababa to the seaport of Jibouti. Our Government and Army have full details of this whole country. I was in Abyssinia in 1926-27.
Brazil: The district about Barreiras in the Province of Minas Geraes is reported to be very sparsely populated and to be a fine flat brush country with an average elevation of 2,500 to 3,000 feet. The area is roughly 5o to 15o south latitude and 45 west longitude. The Brazilian Government could give complete information.
British Guiana: Roraima and vicinity, latitude 5o south, longitude 60o west. The great plateaus are 4,000 to 7,000 feet above sea level with broad, flat, fertile brush-covered river valleys at elevations of 1,700 feet and more. A road of 100 to 150 miles could be built from the neighborhood of Georgetown to give access to a huge area where only a few hundred of people now live. There might be profits from mining diamonds and gold in this vicinity as well as from agricultural developments.
I am very much afraid that the Jewish interests in America as well as in the Near East will suffer if the proposed resolution is passed, especially during this present time of stress when we should be cooperating to the fullest with our allies and not raising controversial questions and resolutions.
I shall be glad to try to answer any questions to which I am competent to reply.
Dr. Eaton. Mr. Twitchell, I would like to call attention to the fact that the object of this resolution is to permit the Jewish people to return to their ancestral homes in Palestine.
Mr. Twitchell. That is just it. From what I have seen there it is not a country that can support many other people, and I am afraid if they go there they will push some already there out and there may be bloodshed.
Dr. Eaton. What we are anxious about is how to find out the actual conditions that will confront us in Palestine and how they can be solved best for everybody.
Mr. Twitchell. That is why I was calling attention to these other places where there is room.
I am an American. I am not of any one faith or the other. I want to see the whole thing done for the good of America and I foresee a good many ramifications that perhaps some people do not see.
Chairman Bloom. Proceed.
Mr. Twitchell. That is all.
Chairman Bloom. Judge Kee?
Mr. Kee. Mr. Twitchell, you seem to fear that the passage of this resolution would cause trouble to Jews in other sections of the world, many other places, and I think you mentioned 100,000 in Iraq.
Mr. Twitchell. Yes.
Mr. Kee. Do you think the Jews can be given any more trouble than they are already in?
Mr. Twitchell. Yes, indeed, in Yemen and Iraq, they have been there for centuries and centuries and they are well treated, but if there were a strong anti-Jewish movement, I fear the treatment would not be so good.
Mr. Kee. You would have us avoid passing a resolution to avoid trouble for a few Jews in other countries. It that your idea?
Mr. Twitchell. It would seem to me that would be true. It would be better that you do not make that resolution now.
Mr. Kee. Do you not think the question of finding other places throughout the world to settle the Jews has already been gone into?
Mr. Twitchell. Yes, but I have not heard of these four places mentioned. I imagine a great deal has been done, but having had a little different knowledge I offer my suggestions for what they are worth. It is my desire to help, not to add to the controversy. That is my only thought.
Mr. Kee. You have no information whatever as to whether the Jewish people would be welcome to any of these countries?
Mr. Twitchell, I think it is pretty well indicated with our own people there would be no trouble about people coming in, the same as we settled our western plains.
Mr. Kee. You know so far as the history of the movement shows that the doors have been closed to them in practically all the countries?
Mr. Twitchell. Not these places I have mentioned.
Mr. Kee. You mean down in the jungles of Brazil?
Mr. Twitchell. Yes; I think they could do well there, but also Cirenaica is a place that has just been released from the Italians. I do not know details. These are constructive suggestions.
Mr. Kee. Yes; I recognize that fact.
Chairman Bloom. Mr. Chiperfield?
Mr. Chiperfield. Do you not think this committee should also secure the views of the War Department and State Department on this resolution and to a considerable extent be guided by those views?
Mr. Twitchell. That is why I put in the very last part. Would it not be better to give more time for a correct solution that would be equitable to everybody, as you say, from the State Department and War Department, certainly all of this has a bearing. A very great deal of care should be taken, especially during time of war.
Mr. Chiperfield. That is all.
Chairman Bloom. Mr. Jarman?
Mr. Jarman. No questions.
Chairman Bloom. Mr. Jonkman?
Mr. Jonkman. No questions.
Chairman Bloom. Mr. Burgin?
Mr. Burgin. No questions.
Mrs. Bolton. No questions.
Chairman Bloom. Mr. Rogers?
Mrs. Rogers. No questions.
Chairman Bloom. Mr. Wadsworth?
Mr. Wadsworth. No questions.
Chairman Bloom. Mr. Wright?
Mr. Wright. No questions.
Chairman Bloom Thank you very much Mr. Twitchell.
Mr. Twitchell. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, ladies and gentlemen.
STATEMENT OF FARIS S. MALOUF, PRESIDENT, SYRIAN AND LEBANESE AMERICAN FEDERATION OF THE EASTERN STATES, BOSTON, MASS.
Chairman Bloom. Peace state your name, address, and connection for the record.
Mr. Malouf. My name is Faris S. Malouf, attorney, from Boston, president of and represent the Syrian and Lebanese American Federation of the Eastern States composed of 65 clubs of American citizens of Syrian and Lebanese extraction.
Mr. Chairman, I think I can save time it I could now be told about how much time I will be given. I have taken much time and pains to prepare a presentation in 17 typewritten pages and have limited myself to the issues presented by this resolution. I think it fair that this committee should hear all that I have to say.
Chairman Bloom. Go ahead please.
Mr. Malouf. I do not understand that this committee is sitting as a court to judge the merits and demerits of the conflicting Jewish-Arab claims. Therefore, I shall not enter into controversial details and much discussion of ancient as well as modern historical facts which may have very remote bearing on the resolution. I think your committee has been very patient. The chairman probably was sometimes oversolicitous and patient.
The only question before your committee is whether or not the Congress shall adopt this resolution and whether or not the United States can properly use its good offices with the Government of Great Britain to abrogate the white paper of 1939 and advocate the establishment of a Jewish commonwealth in Palestine.
I, as a citizen of the united States, question the advisability of the adoption of this resolution and very much question the right of the United States to interfere in this matter.
I also think that the rank and file of American citizens will not want to have anything to do with the Palestine controversy although they will very much like to help solve the Jewish problem and protect them against persecution.
Rabbi Wise stated yesterday that he thinks an overwhelming majority of the American people, if given an opportunity to vote whether or not this resolution should be adopted, will vote for it.
I say to you, Mr. Chairman, and members of this committee, the Zionist organization is very powerful in this country and they are located in every State in the Union. I don’t know of any reason why they can’t carry some such policy as raised by this resolution to the voters of the individual States or at least some of them and thus test the will of the people. I am positive that the American people will not want to impose on a free people an artificial religious foreign state.
There was a long period of time, the last part of which is in the memory of us here when there was no claim by anybody in the world to Palestine contrary to the rights of the people living in Palestine, for centuries, long before the advent of the Jews, and ever since they were banished from the land, something happened which gave birth to this dispute.
Some speakers for the resolution have stated that the Arabs did not seek independence prior to the First World War or even during the present war. I think it is only fair that I should make a very brief statement regarding this point.
Speaking about the efforts of the Arabs for independence, the Royal Commission, under the chairmanship of Earl Peel, reported as follows: “For many years before the war the Arab Provinces of the Turkish Empire were restive under the Sultan at Constantinople, and the Turkish Army had often been engaged in repressing the outbreaks of the free spirited Arabs. No less dangerous to Ottoman ascendancy was the growth of a nationalistic movement among the young intelligentsia of Syria. Its origin may be traced to the awakening, about 1869, of the new interest in Arab history and culture…Among them were the ideas of self-government and nationalism.”
Therefore no just, peaceful or lasting disposition can be made of Palestine which does not take into consideration the righteous claims of Syria and the entire Arabic world.
It is a well-known fact that hundreds of Syrians, Lebanese, and Palestinians died on the gallows as martyrs for the cause of the allies because they carried out organized efforts to hamper the German-Turkish armies and to facilitate the conquest by General Allenby of the Arab land. One-third of the population of Lebanon and many thousands of other parts of Syria and Palestine were starved to death by Jamal Pasha. At the same time Arab recruits were dying on the battlefields under the leadership of Emir Faisal and Colonel Lawrence.
At a time when Great Britain was fighting with its back to the wall, as then described by Lloyd George, shrewd Zionist leaders drove a bargain with His Majesty’s Government and in an unfortunate moment for the three parties, the Jews, the Arabs, and the English, the Balfour—a secret document secretly arrived at, so far as the Arabs were concerned—was born, and with it began the Palestine controversy. The Zionists then began their efforts for a national home which has since then developed through their ambitions into a Jewish commonwealth. For the following reasons the claims of the Zionists cannot be maintained:
1. The most important element in this whole controversy which is being lost sight of is that Palestine has been an integral part of Syria for 25 centuries. The fact that international chicanery and Zionist-British schemes separated it from her motherland does not make it a separate country. Syria is determined that the Balfour Declaration and Congressional resolutions based upon it shall not be the final chapter in the history of Palestine or binding on either Syria or Palestine.
2. At the time Lord Balfour made this declaration, November 2, 1917, Palestine was not a part of the British Empire, nor was it in possession of the Jews, whose population of Palestine was only 55,000 as against 800,000 Arabs, and England had no right to make any promises in respect thereto.
3. At the time Balfour made his declaration, Britain had through Sir Henry MacMahon already entered into a solemn agreement with King Husein in behalf of the Arabs, October 24, 1915, that England would recognize and assist in the establishment of an independent Arab state, including Palestine. The Arabs were then in complete possession of Palestine and were about to declare their independence and revolt against the Turkish Empire. In consideration of this agreement on the part of England the Arabs revolted against Turkey and shed their blood for 3 years with the armies of the Allies against the combined forces of the Central Powers and Turkey.
4. Lord Balfour’s declaration was made secretly to a private English gentleman, Lord Rothschild, and it was more than a year later that the Arabs learned of it. One cannot help asking what right has England to give somebody else’s country to a people who were disunited, unorganized, and scattered among the nations of the world, without consulting the people who are immediately concerned and who have occupied that land as its natives from time immemorial and certainly owned it and inhabited it exclusively for the last 13 centuries?
5. In view of the clear binding agreement between England and King Husein, the Balfour declaration, secretly issued and intentionally concealed from the Arabs, was dishonest, insincere, ambiguous and impossible of enforcement.
It was dishonest because the Arabs who were the primary party in interest were not consulted; it was insincere because it does not purport to give the Jews any definite or specific rights, for careful study and consideration of the wording of the declaration will show that the establishment of a Jewish homeland in Palestine is subordinated to and conditioned upon a statement which reveals conscious guilt of the part of England. That statement is found in the second half of the declaration as follows: “It being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil or religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine.”
One wonders what does the phrase “A home for the Jewish people in Palestine” mean.
Does it mean independent Jewish state?
Does it mean the superimposition of a Jewish majority upon the Arab people in Palestine?
Does it mean unrestricted Jewish immigration into Palestine?
And if it does not mean any one of these three propositions, what else can it mean?
And if it means any one of these three propositions how could that be obtained without “prejudicing the civil or religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine.”
With the Balfour Declaration and the efforts of the Zionist to establish their Jewish national home in Palestine in disregard of the Arabs’ wishes, a revolution was begun. Concerning this revolution the Royal Commission reported the following findings of facts:
“It is, indeed, one of the most unhappy aspects of the present situation – this opening of a breach between the Jewry and the Arab world. We believe that in ordinary circumstances the Arabs would be ready enough to permit a measure of Jewish immigration under their own conditions and control, but the creation of a national home has been neither conditioned nor controlled by the Arabs of Palestine. It has been established directly against their will….The reasons of this breach are:
“First. The establishment of a national home involved at the outset a blank negation of the right implied in the principle of national self-government;
“Second. It soon proved to be not merely an obstacle to the development of national self-government, but apparently the only serious obstacle;
“Third. As the home has grown the fear has brown with it, that if and when self-government is conceded, it may not be national in the Arab sense, but government by a Jewish majority.”
I should make this distinction. I should say to the Zionists: Your resolution is based upon the Balfour Declaration and if the Balfour Declaration is weak and invalid in any respect—I feel as a free American citizen I am entitled, rather it is my duty to say that it ill behooves the United States to support that declaration. I would rather see our Government take an initial step in saving my cousins, the Jews, and not simply blindly follow the Balfour Declaration, which does not mean anything at all and which is without authority.
Chairman Bloom. Pardon me. Did I understand you to say your cousins, the Jews?
Mr. Malouf. Yes. I am proud of it. As a matter of fact, I am happy to see so many of them here. If the room was not so small, I would have brought some of my division of the cousins here, but I hardly think it is a matter for a crowd or mob psychology.
I would rather my country put out a policy of its own.
Chairman Bloom. Would you mind an interruption there?
Mr. Malouf. No.
Chairman Bloom. Has not the United States already established a policy in the convention signed by President Coolidge?
Mr. Malouf. I am happy you brought that up. I will be happy to discuss it after I finish the reading of my prepared presentation.
Chairman Bloom. Proceed in your own way.
Mr. Malouf. I would be very happy to discuss it later on.
My friends, if you would present this conspiracy of the Balfour Declaration and this resolution to any court and jury in the land an indictment would be issued. The value of any citizen lies in the fact he can speak freely.
Let us see why you cannot establish a commonwealth or home in Palestine without prejudicing the rights of the people already there.
I know what freedom and opportunity mean. I arrived here 37 years ago, penniless, and trudged the dusty roads of Alabama and Georgia peddling. There were some of my Jewish cousins peddling too. So I have learned the true American spirit and the American way of life the hard way. I also know the great pressure being exerted on this committee to pass this resolution.
The resolution before your honorable committee is based on the Balfour Declaration and follows a similar resolution adopted by the Congress June 30, 1922, which is better known as the Lodge-Fish resolution, except that the present resolution goes much farther than the Lodge-Fish resolution.
The Balfour Declaration goes as far as “viewing with favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people” and pledges His Majesty’s Government to “use their best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this objective.” The Lodge-Fish resolution does not go any farther than that “the United States of America favors the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.”
The present resolution advocates the establishment of Jewish commonwealth in Palestine.
Now, there are countless reasons and I shall deal with only a few of those reasons why this resolution should not pass.
There are countless reasons why this resolution ought not to pass. I shall deal with only a few of these reasons.
1. All the three documents, the Balfour Declaration, the Lodge-Fish resolution and the present resolution, are full of inconsistencies. If these inconsistencies could be removed or someone could reconcile them perhaps it would go a long way toward solving the problem, for each one of them provides that nothing shall be done to prejudice the rights of the people in Palestine. Here the reference is to the people who were in Palestine prior to the Balfour Declaration. Then the language of these documents goes on to provide for national home and now a Jewish commonwealth. How can anyone establish a political state composed of people who are recently gathered and more of them are to be gathered from the four corners of the globe and put them in Palestine and wait until such a time as they become the majority before self-government can be established? This certainly prejudices the rights of the Arabs in Palestine.
The next inconsistency is the establishment of a Jewish commonwealth which is a religious state. How can you establish a Jewish state after the Jews have become the majority in Palestine and still call it a democratic state as against the people who profess different religions? Our understanding of democracy is a complete separation of the state and the church.
2. It took Great Britain 22 years from November 1917 to the spring of 1939, to discover its grave mistake at the cost of several uprisings in Palestine which culminated in the Arabs’ war for independence for 1936 to 1939, resulting in the destruction of thousands of Arab homes and the shedding of much Arab, Jewish, and English blood, and also after endangering the relations of Great Britain with the Arab and Moslem world.
“In 1939, England sought to rectify the wrong by issuing the white paper, after long conferences with representatives of the Arabs and Jews and after recommendations of several royal commissions appointed by His Majesty’s Government to study the situation. Therefore the white paper is not an appeasement measure. Rather, it is a solemn pledge and a binding open covenant openly arrived at after exhaustive study and consultations by the British Government with both the Arabs and the Zionists. Now, after all of this, we find the Zionist influence at work in these United States to get Congress to adopt this resolution as if the lesson learned by Great Britain after a quarter of a century of struggle and bloodshed has been of no value to the Zionists in the United States who would advocate a Jewish commonwealth in Palestine at the expense of the Arabs. Great Britain is now seeking to rectify this wrong. Shall we go on to aggravate it. Do we want Great Britain to break a promise?
3. Passage of this resolution makes imperative the continuation of the British mandate over Palestine until such a time as the Jews shall become the majority there, and not even then, but until both the Jews and Arabs have been forced by the sword to live together in peace. Is there anything in your experience or in history to show that such a thing is possible if the Arabs are forced to remember forever that they were denied their independence and self-government for the sole purpose of imposing upon them a Jewish state in which they shall become the minority?
4. In order to make the mandate of this resolution effective, force must be used. If Great Britain rejects our good offices does the Congress want the United States Government to war upon our friends, the Arabs? Will the American people sanction the use of force upon the Arabs so that they may give way to the establishment of a Jewish commonwealth in Palestine? If this is not contemplated by this resolution, is it then our purpose simply to give the Jew lip service without any genuine conviction behind it? Or is it simply a nice expression of sympathy which might be all right to please the Zionists among us, but which will gain for us the suspicions and the lack of confidence on the part of the Arabs.
If you entertain the possibility of subduing and silencing the Arabs of Palestine by some magic and because they are not a strong nation, what about the 50,000,000 Arabs in the Near and Middle East? What about the 300,000,000 more Mohammedans in Asia and Africa? Great Britain has heard from them and saw the justice of their cause.
5. The passage of this resolution strikes at the foundation and the principles for which our men and women are dying on every battle field and on every continent today. Its passage will strike at the confidence the United States enjoys throughout the world. It will nullify the Atlantic charter which guarantees self-government and sovereignty for all nations.
Here I want to beg your indulgence to mention statements made to this committee by the House leaders of both the majority and minority parties who appeared before you the other day and pleaded for approval of this resolution. My purpose in mentioning what these two gentlemen had to say to you is not in the spirit of condemning persons whom I respect, but for the sole purpose of touching upon the noble motives which constrain some of our governmental and civil leaders to support the establishment of a Jewish homeland in Palestine, and to show that these noble motives, to say the least, are misplaced, misguided, and wrongly applied. I deeply regret to say that such an attitude on the part of public officials and legislators as displayed by my two good Massachusetts neighbors and representative, marks them as men who have not familiarized themselves with the truth or that they willfully disregarded the truth out of respect for organized pressure groups. This is especially so when such an attitude seeks to influence legislation which affects international relations and world peace. Such an attitude will in the long run corrupt and weaken the confidence of the American people and threaten our institutions.
My neighbor from south Boston is reported by the United Press to have said: “The least the House of Representatives can do is to go on record showing it thinks along humane lines.”
Is it humane to drive the Arabs out of their homes and country in order to give them toothers who by all legal and moral codes have lost any claim to them for more than 2,000 years?
Is it humane to reduce the Arabs to a minority in their land which the Royal Peel Commission described in its report to the British Government in July 1937 as follows: “Palestine or, more strictly speaking, Syria, of which Palestine had been a part since the days of Nebuchadnezzar (605-562 B.C.), was to the Arabs their country, their home, the land in which their people for centuries past had lived and left their graves.”
The speaker before you last week further said, “We could not close our eyes to the plight of 2,000,000 homeless Jews in Europe. This is a challenge of all kinds of justice, particularly Christian justice.” O Lord! How many iniquities have been committed in Thy name? Will it not be more within the right and privilege of the majority leader to offer part of his own country to the Zionists than to be so human, Christian and generous at someone else’s expense?
The other gentleman, also from Massachusetts, said he had been in sympathy with the attitude of the resolution for 20 years and believed the guaranty of Palestine as a Jewish homeland offered “solution to a world problem.” This gentleman, leader of the minority, failed to take into consideration the sacred rights of the people of Palestine who have been its rightful owners and whose soil is made of their blood and of the remains of their forebears long before the Jews came into Palestine. This gentleman has utterly failed to visualize the bloodshed which will be necessary in order to oust the Arabs out of their homes.
6. The passage of this resolution will strike at the principles for which we are fighting this war as declared in the Atlantic Charter because it tends to withhold self-government from the Arabs of Palestine until such a time as the Jews have become the majority when they and not the Arabs will be in control.
7. The passage of this resolution broadcasts to the willing ears of our enemies as well as to India, the Balkans, eastern Europe, and all of the countries whose future will need to be influenced either by their confidence in us and our way of life or to be influenced by some other theories and alignments if their confidence in us is undermined. So if this resolution is passed it will weaken their confidence and make us just another nation whose pronounced fundamental theories of what is politically true and right are not controlling in the face of organized racial, religious, and sectional pressures.
Chairman Bloom. Mr. Witness, you have occupied an hour and a half and we have not gone on with the questions.
Mr. Malouf. I have almost finished, Mr. Chairman.
Chairman Bloom. Go ahead.
Mr. Malouf. The passage of this resolution will be contrary to the spirit expressed by a Jewish leader, Chancelor Magnes: “The Joshua method is not the way for us of entering the Promised Land. The retention of bayonets against the will of the majority of the population is repugnant to men of good will, and the Eternal People should rather continue its long wait than attempt to establish a home in the Holy Land except on terms of understanding and peace.”
9. It is very important for the molding of the United States policy toward the Near East to take into consideration the fact that Palestine is the southern part of Syria and has been a part of Syria for 25 centuries, that Syria and Lebanon inspired, I believe, by the United States and Great Britain have just attained their full independence and Syria has never relinquished her right to Palestine as its natural southern part, nor do the people of Palestine wish to be separated from Syria.
10. The passage of this resolution is an interference with the affairs of Great Britain. We have just witnessed the indignation of a great allied nation when one of our prominent citizens unofficially expressed an opinion concerning Poland. Let us not do too much interference.
11. The passage of this resolution will be the greatest disservice to Palestine in the last 20 years and who number 500,000 may, if further immigration is stopped and the establishment of a political Jewish state is given up, live in Palestine in peace and participate in its affairs on equal footing with the Arabs. If this resolution is passed and if our Government and the Government of Great Britain undertake to enforce its provisions you will have endangered not only the interest but the very lives of the Jews in Palestine and consequently placed them in an unenviable position throughout the world.
Proposals for solution of the Jewish problem:
I wish to say with the most sincere conviction that history cannot justly attribute to any distinct element of making greater, continuous, or more lasting contributions to civilization, than those made and being made by the Jews. Those of us who are opposing this resolution do condemn and abhor their persecution as repulsive to human conscience and we do not attempt to ignore the existence of a Jewish problem or the urgency for its just solution. The solution, however, requires frankness and courage to face the truth.
If the Jews are really seeking a refuge and a homeland where they can live in peace and develop their distinct abilities, Palestine can never become that refuge and it can never solve their problem, certainly not through political Zionism. Palestine, however, will welcome the establishment within it gates of spiritual and cultural Zionism which will revive for the benefit of the entire world the idealism which marked the ancient Hebrews and Jews as a distinct people.
This can be accomplished by a restricted and moderate immigration into Palestine of the type of Jewish people who desire to revive for themselves and the world a spiritual and cultural Zionism in the same manner as that of the American missionaries and educational groups who have gone to work in the Near East and in other parts of the world.
It is not for me and it is doubtful whether it is for anybody else but the Jews themselves to determine their future course. I will, however, say that if the great and able leaders of thought among the Jews insist that they should have a political state, then it would seem to be the sacred duty and the happy privilege of the United States and Great Britain to offer out of their vast and practically vacant territories, a suitable place for the establishment of a Jewish state, where they can enjoy self-government without losing the sentimental and religious values which they entertain for Palestine, and let Palestine be their missionary home.
A Jewish state can be an economic, as well as social blessing to the British Empire or the United States if it could be established in some territory where the present population is so thin that racial adjustments could be made without inflicting injustice as it is in the case of Palestine.
I cannot conceive of any Jewish state with a greater population than anywhere from 1,000,000 to 5,000,000 for many generations to come, and certainly that number compared to the vast territories in question cannot constitute inconvenience to any part of the British Empire or the United States. Any statesman or organization of leaders who can reason this proposition to the acceptance of the Jews and the English speaking people will have rendered the greatest service to the world which history may record.
Insofar as the present Jewish population in Palestine is concerned, the Arabs intend, provided immigration is stopped and a proportionate representative government is created, to afford them protection with all the privileges of the land which are enjoyed by the Arabs themselves, and to guaranty their minority rights by constitutional provisions and proper international obligations. This the Arabs will consider their sacred obligation for a world trust.
Finally, as the Jewish problem calls for a just solution, it ill behooves the Jews who are rightly clamoring for their minority rights, and who are protesting against Hitler’s methods, to disregard the rights of the great majority in Palestine, and to urge and advocate a policy which requires the use of force against the Arabs.
It certainly ill behooves the Jews that while arousing the sympathy of the American people against their persecutors to at the same time bring pressure upon our politicians, statesmen, clergymen, Government, and people generally to use their influence with the British Government for the purpose of having it force upon the Arabs of Palestine an alien Jewish majority for the establishment there of a Jewish homeland. The building of such national home by force of arms is neither a fulfillment of Biblical prophesies nor a task worthy of the chosen people. Indeed, Orthodox Jews have repeatedly expressed their disapproval of the ungodly methods employed by political Zionists.
While the Arabs acclaim the efforts of America and England against the German atrocities, there can be but little justification and a great deal of inconsistency in finding these good people urging greater atrocities by Great Britain and political Zionism against the Arabs.
Finally, I can close my effort here in no better words than to say in the spirit of the immortal emancipator, Abraham Lincoln, that “The world will little note nor long remember what we say here” but will never forget what you do here. So, Mr. Chairman and members of this honorable committee, the world will to a great extent judge our sincerity and our future dealings as a great democracy by what we do in this matter.
Mr. Chairman, I have a statement by Mahatma Gandhi which I shall not take the time to read but would like to include in the record.
Chairman Bloom. You may put that in the record, without objection.
Mr. Malouf. All right.
(The statement referred to is as follows:)[Reprinted from the Christian Science Monitor, March 3, 1930, by the Arab National League, Boston Chapter, room 315, 60 State Street, Boston, Mass.]
Gandhi’s Message to Jewry—Palestine Belongs to the Arabs
By a staff correspondent of the Christian Science Monitor
London, March 3.—Mohandas K. Gandhi who, according to Bombay dispatches, today stated a hunger strike to induce the native ruler of the State of Bajkot, in the northwest corner of India, to give this people “a voice in the government, has expressed his views on the Arab-Jew question in Palestine.
At the moment when the London Conference with Arabs and Jews is almost deadlocked over the British proposal for an Arab state his name in a Church of England newspaper which said: “My sympathies are all with the Jews.”
“I have known them intimately in South Africa” he went on. “But my sympathy does not blind me to the requirements of justice. The cry for a national home for the Jews does not make much of an appeal to me. The sanction for it is sought in the Bible and the tenacity with which the Jews have hankered after Palestine. Why should they not, like other peoples of the earth, make that country their home where they are born and where they earn their livelihood?
“Palestine belongs to the Arabs in the same sense that England belongs to the English or France to the French. It is wrong and inhuman to impose the Jews on the Arabs. What is going on in Palestine today cannot be justified by any moral code of conduct. The mandates have no sanction but that of the last war. Surely it would be a crime against humanity to reduce the proud Arabs so that Palestine can be restored to the Jews, partly or wholly as their national home.
“The nobler course would be to insist on a just treatment of the Jews wherever they are born and bred.
“This cry for the national home affords a colorable justification for the German expulsion of the Jews.
“But the German persecution of the Jew seems to have no parallel in history. If there could be a justifiable war in the name of and for humanity; a war against Germany to prevent the wanton persecution of a whole race would be completely justified. But I do not believe in any war. A discussion of the pros and cons of such a war is therefore outside my province or horizon.
No Alliance with Germany
“But if there can be no war against Germany, even for such a crime as is being committed against the Jews, surely there can be no alliance with Germany. How can there be alliance between a nation which claims to stand for justice and democracy and one which is the declared enemy of both? Or is England drifting toward armed dictatorship and all it means?
“Can the Jews resist this organized and shameless persecution? Is there a way to preserve their self-respect and not feel helpless, neglected and forlorn? I submit that there is.
“I am convinced that if someone with courage and vision can arise among them to lead them in nonviolent action the winter of their despair can in the twinkling of an eye be turned into the summer of hope. And what has today become a degrading man hunt can be turned into a calm and determined stand offered by unarmed men and women possessing the strength of suffering, given them by Jehovah. It will then be a truly religious resistance offered against the Godless fury of dehumanized man.
Palestine in the Heart
“And now a word to the Jews in Palestine. I have no doubt that they are going about it the wrong way. The Palestine of the Biblical conception is not a geographical tract. It is in their hearts. But if they must look to the Palestine of geography as their national home, it is wrong to enter it under the shadow of the British gun.
“A religious act cannot be performed with the aid of the bayonet or the bomb. They can settle in Palestine only by the goodness of the Arabs.
“They should seek to convert the Arab heart. The same God rules the Arab heart who rules the Jewish heart.
“I am not defending the Arab excesses. I wish they had chosen the way of non-violence in resisting what they rightly regard as an unwarrantable encroachment upon their country. But, according to the accepted canons of right and wrong, nothing can be said against the Arab resistance in the face of overwhelming odds.
“Let the Jews who claim to be the chosen race prove their title by choosing the way of nonviolence for vindicating their position on earth. Every country is their home, including Palestine, not by aggression but by loving service.”
Chairman Bloom. In your last statement you claim in your opinion it would be a disservice to the Jews to adopt this resolution. Now, do you not think the Jews are best able to decide for themselves what is best for them?
Mr. Malouf. I would love to see the Jews decide for themselves, but I am not sure the Zionists represent the Jews.
Chairman Bloom. Do you not think the Jews should say who represents them?
Mr. Malouf. Right.
Chairman Bloom. I want to get these things right because there are so many things in your statement as to the Jews I object to. I do object to your opening remarks when you referred to those people who took part in the mandate. You called them shrewd Zionist leaders. I think Dr. Weizmann and all of those people did not do anything improper and they were working for something the Jews have been praying for for thousands of years, and I think it is wrong to put in the record that these people were shrewd.
Mr. Malouf. I thank you for calling it to my attention. I did not intend to carry an insult by any means. I mean by shrewd, men who are on the job and who are looking out for themselves. If it meant otherwise I certainly apologize.
Chairman Bloom. Thank you. You have not discussed the convention.
Mr. Malouf. No; but I shall do that.
Chairman Bloom. Very well.
Mr. Johnson. No questions.
Chairman Bloom. Dr. Eaton?
Dr. Eaton. No questions.
Chairman Bloom. Mr. Kee?
Mr. Kee. No questions.
Chairman Bloom. Mrs. Rogers?
Mrs. Rogers. I think you said your home was in Concord?
Mr. Malouf. No, in Boston
Mrs. Rogers. Mr. Chairman, I was very much interested in his solution, and if he will put that in the record I will ask no questions.
Chairman Bloom. Mr. Jarman?
Mr. Jarman. You referred to your cousins because you are both Semitic?
Mr. Malouf. Yes; and we issue out of the same spiritual depths. We came from that spot of land there. I hope nobody else will get between us and make us enemies.
Mr. Jarman. I think you spoke of roads in Alabama and Georgia, did you not?
Mr. Malouf. Yes, sir.
Mr. Jarman. I am glad to say those roads in Alabama are not nearly so dusty now.
Mr. Malouf. I know, because I passed by last winter.
Chairman Bloom. Mr. Chiperfield?
Mr. Chiperfield. You stated there was great pressure on this committee?
Mr. Malouf. Yes, sir.
Mr. Chiperfield. I want to say for myself there has been no pressure on me. Strange as it may seem I have not received one single letter from my district either for or against and I hope your statement will not be construed as an invitation to write.
Chairman Bloom. Mr. Burgin?
Mr. Burgin. No questions.
Chairman Bloom. Mr. Jonkman?
Mr. Jonkman. No questions.
Chairman Bloom. Mr. Rogers?
Mr. Rogers. Yes; I have a few questions.
Is most of your opposition to this resolution because it seeks the establishment of a commonwealth?
Mr. Malouf. No; that is not so.
Mr. Rogers. Would you be opposed to this question of immigration?
Mr. Malouf. Yes; and if you want my reasons I will state them.
Mr. Rogers. Yes.
Mr. Malouf. I think it is a fundamental principle throughout the civilized world that the immigration into a nation is a matter of right inherent in the people of that nation. We had that question in California. Probably you were not born then. Personally, if I were a legislator in Palestine elected by the people of Palestine, I would want my say about it.
Chairman Bloom. What was that in California?
Mr. Malouf. I am referring to the Chinese and Japanese exclusion.
Chairman Bloom. It was cured by the Congress.
Mr. Malouf. Probably, but the Congress did not give up the right to legislate. I am in hearty sympathy with that cure.
Mr. Rogers. It is the governments of the various countries which have the right to raise or lower the immigration quotas.
Mr. Malouf. If the government is a government of the people, by the people, and for the people.
Mr. Rogers. It has not always been.
Mr. Malouf. I wish you would keep that in mind on this resolution.
Mr. Rogers. You are opposed to Jewish immigration?
Mr. Malouf. I am opposed to anything that does not come from the heart and soul of the people of Palestine themselves as a self-governing people.
Mr. Rogers. I have understood there are several different types of Arabs and that in the main the opposition has come from the wealthy ones.
I think you called this the Arab war for independence. I understood a good part of that was stirred up by Nazi and fascist groups who were spreading anti-Semitic propaganda all over the world and had particularly good success with it in Palestine. So much so that some of the Arab leaders found themselves in Berlin.
Mr. Malouf. I would like to say it is not true. First, the Arab resistance is not the result of any propaganda by the Nazi or Fascist. It dates back to the Zionist-Balfour Declaration long before the advent of Hitler or Mussolini. Secondly, it is the right of the people to determine what system they want to live under. It is not a matter for us to dictate to the Arabs unless we are willing to declare war. What you say is absolutely impertinent to the question.
Mr. Johnson. Mr. Chairman, I want to make a point of order. I think the witness should be a little more respectful in his answers to the committee and instead of arguing he should attempt to answer.
Mr. Malouf. I accept the correction and I have no intention of being discourteous. I have great faith in the committee.
Chairman Bloom. Any other questions, Mr. Rogers?
Mr. Rogers. No.
Chairman Bloom. Mr. Bolton?
Mrs. Bolton. No questions.
Chairman Bloom. Mr. Wadsworth?
Mr. Wadsworth. No questions.
Chairman Bloom. Mr. Wright?
Mr. Wright. Yes, Mr. Chairman.
In the first part of your testimony you said we were sitting as a court, to judge the merits of the controversy, I believe?
Mr. Malouf. Will you permit me to make a statement? I did not state that you are sitting as a court. I said you are not sitting as a court.
Mr. Wright. I refer you again to the convention, and we thought it was to our national interest to agree to the mandate and require that Britain make no changes in the terms of the mandate without our consent.
As to your point that the shrewd Zionist leaders high-pressured the British when their backs were against the wall, I wish to say it was consented to by this country and the Allies and the League of Nations, and as a consequence it was an expression of settled policy, not only by Britain in time of stress, but all nations after mature deliberation.
Mr. Malouf. Let me say on this point that Great Britain had issued what to every fair-minded student or judge, a paper which has no legal standing, which was not binding on the other parties; the ratification of it or approval of it by anybody else does not give it that which it lacked at its inception.
Mr. Wright. All right.
Mr. Malouf. And further if that declaration was in every respect according to the standard I would still say it cannot blind us to the elementary principle no matter how many nations combined to give somebody’s home to somebody else, as—
Mr. Wright (interposing). I would like to go to the point where you say the declaration had no binding effect.
Mr. Malouf. Yes.
Mr. Wright. I think you will agree an agreement of all nations at least had force.
Mr. Malouf. United States was never a party to that mandate.
Mr. Wright. By later convention it affirmed the mandate.
Mr. Malouf. It never did.
Chairman Bloom It certainly did. You are mistaken.
Mr. Malouf. No; you are mistaken. I know what you have in mind.
Chairman Bloom. I say you are mistaken.
Mr. Wright. You stated that the Arabs were in possession of Palestine. I believe it was true until General Allenby, with some help of the Arabs, freed the entire peninsula and although they were on the land were subjects of the Turks.
Mr. Malouf. That was historically true.
Mr. Wright. Also I might refer you to the statement and even the agreement signed by Feisal, who was the accredited representative of the Arab delegation to the Peace Conference at Versailles, agreeing to the establishment of a national home and sympathizing with the Jew.
Mr. Malouf. You do not have it complete yet. I am referring to the Life magazine article.
Mr. Wright. You state further we should have our own policy rather that follow the policy of an old man in Britain.
Mr. Malouf. Yes.
Mr. Wright. I believe our policy was stated in the convention between the United States and Great Britain, and rather than being a mere pronouncement of an individual Britain, that the settled policy of the United States at that time was that the mandate should be enforced in accordance with the terms.
Mr. Malouf. If any one has the convention I would like to have it.
Chairman Bloom. It begins on page 10 of the pamphlet. That is the convention, and it is signed by President Coolidge and by Mr. Chamberlain.
Mr. Kee. Will the gentleman yield just a moment?
Mr. Wright. Yes, sir.
Mr. Kee. In the first three lines on page 18 you will find it. It states:
Whereas the Government of the United States and the Government of His Britannic Majesty desire to reach a definite understanding with respect to the rights of two Governments and their respective nationals in Palestine;
The President of the United States of America and His Britannic Majesty have decided to conclude a convention to this effect.
Mr. Malouf. All right, what is the question about it?
Chairman Bloom. I do not think there should be any question about it.
Mr. Malouf. I do not think there ought to be.
Chairman Bloom. Mr. Wright, the witness has been on for nearly an hour.
Mr. Burgin. Mr. Wright is asking questions.
Chairman Bloom. We would like to get through in a couple of minutes.
Mr. Malouf. That evidently was for the only purpose of protecting interest of American nations in Palestine, because we were not parties to the Treaty of Versailles. There was a change of situation in Palestine. We entered into a convention with Great Britain together with seven other nations. The 1924-25 convention addresses itself to the rights of American nationals and their institution s in Palestine.
This explanation was given word for word in a letter from President Roosevelt to the mayor of Hartford, ad after a great deal of discussion, Secretary Hull stated—
Chairman Bloom. We have everything here.
Mr. Wright. I do not like to delay the proceedings but I have several further questions.
Chairman Bloom. If you can get the answers it will be all right.
Mr. Wright. Now, you further stated the White Paper was an open covenant openly arrived at unlike the Balfour Declaration, and I think we agree the mandate was; but the white paper was unilateral and consequently it is not a covenant at all.
Mr. Malouf. It is in this respect.
Mr. Wright. You are a lawyer.
Mr. Malouf. The mandate which Great Britain agreed to assume charged Great Britain with the duty not to use it as it pleases but to assist the people of Palestine in their efforts for self-government as soon as possible and to consult them along in that direction and Great Britain has a perfect right to change the mandate for that purpose.
Mr. Wright (interposing). Are you aware of the letter which Mr. Ramsay MacDonald, then Prime Minister, sent to Secretary Lansing, and also the resolutions of the Permanent Mandates Commission?
Mr. Malouf. Yes.
Mr. Wright. You further state that the Arabs are being forced to leave Palestine by the immigration of the Jew. You probably know the Arab population of Palestine has increased from 600,000 to a million since the mandate was established.
Mr. Malouf. They do not have birth control in Palestine.
Mr. Wright. You seem to be opposed to Jewish immigration and do you think your attitude is the attitude of the Arab people in Palestine.
Mr. Malouf. Yes.
Mr. Wright. Would it not follow if the Arab majority were allowed to control the government there would not be any more Jewish immigration?
Mr. Malouf. No; that does not follow.
Mr. Wright. If your ideas are the ideas of the Arabs—
Mr. Malouf. The Arabs do not want anything imposed on them by other than their own wishes.
Mr. Wright. You stated that the Arabs resented coming of the Jews into their land. You further said they are not going to give up their lands without a fight.
Mr. Malouf. That is right.
Mr. Wright. At the time of the Balfour Declaration and the mandate at least Feisel was satisfied with the Jews coming in, and was very happy because the Arabs were being liberated by the British, and this opposition to the Jew started afterward.
Mr. Malouf. You put the Balfour Declaration and the mandate as coming all one time and of course that is not true. Feisel was faced with the Balfour Declaration, great pressure from a great empire which in effect was ‘either take this or don’t take anything.” He was confronted with a demand of a great empire “take this or nothing.”
Mr. Wright. He agreed to the Jewish Home and to national independence. He was the accredited representative and made that agreement.
Do you not think that should be binding?
Mr. Malouf. This is a term which means a person elects another person as his representative, but Feisel came there as a military leader who represented himself and could by no stretch of the imagination be considered as an accredited representative.
Mr. Wright. If he did not speak for the Arabs, who did? I understand they do not have any democratic processes.
Mr. Vorys. I would like to have in the record the letter or letters the Government referred to.
Chairman Bloom. The Chair is going to state we will get copies.
Mr. Malouf. I have the President’s letter of October 21, 1938.
Chairman Bloom. How long is it?
Mr. Malouf. One paragraph.
Chairman Bloom. Read it.
Mr. Malouf. It will take a moment to find it.
The President’s letter to Mr. Thomas J. Spellman, dated October 21, 1938:
I understand, however that under the terms of our convention with Great Britain regarding the Palestine mandate we are unable to prevent modification of the mandate. The most we can do is to decline to accept as applicable to American interest any modification affecting such interests unless we have given our consent to them.
Chairman Bloom. Who is that signed by?
Mr. Malouf. President Roosevelt. If you want to have Secretary Hull’s letter, I will read it.
Chairman Bloom. Is it long?
Mr. Malouf. No.
Chairman Bloom. Give us the date and we will get a copy.
Mr. Malouf. A statement made publicly by the New York Times.
Chairman Bloom. It is a public statement by Cordell Hull?
Mr. Malouf. It is a public statement by Cordell Hull.
Chairman Bloom. What is the date? The Chair would like to ask this question, did that letter from the President contain other matter besides what you read?
Mr. Malouf. No I am not sure. Toe the best of my memory that is all that appeared in the New York Times.
Chairman Bloom. Does the letter contain other paragraphs?
Mr. Malouf. I am not sure.
Chairman Bloom. You have not the letter?
Mr. Malouf. Of course not.
Chairman Bloom. Mr. Schiffler?
Mr. Schiffler. Mr. Witness, are you acquainted with the provisions of the original resolution passed by the Congress of the United States in 1922 and signed by President Harding?
Mr. Malouf. Yes, sir.
Mr. Schiffler. Are you also familiar with the peace treaty, particularly the renunciation by Turkey of jurisdiction over any part of Palestine?
Mr. Malouf. Yes, sir.
Mr. Schiffler. Are you familiar with the provisions of the mandate, especially articles 2 and 6?
Mr. Malouf. In a general manner.
Mr. Schiffler. And its final approval and the signing of it by the secretary of the State and President Coolidge?
Mr. Malouf. Yes, sir.
Mr. Schiffler. Suppose this committee took action today or any time, do you not think that action is belated in view of the action taken by Britain in 1939, and that action should have been taken at the time of the issuance of the white paper and may wipe out the white paper or protest its issuance by our action here?
Mr. Malouf. I think we would not be justified in doing so.
Mr. Schiffler. Assuming this resolution was in accordance with articles 2 and 6, then we would be treating it purely realistically irrespective of the rights of the Arabs or anybody else, who insisted that conditions be complied with by wiping out the white paper. Would we be justified taking action?
Mr. Malouf. No; there is no connection between the articles you referred to and the pending resolution. The articles are a part of the mandate binding only on Great Britain and which we simply recognized.
Mr. Schiffler. Please do not evade my question. I say if we had a resolution insisting the provisions in accordance with articles 2 and 6 be carried out, which is in existence and which—
Mr. Malouf (interposing). We had no right to.
Mr. Schiffler. We are party signatory to it.
Mr. Malouf. We are not signatory to the mandate or any of its articles. I know what you are driving at. The convention does not make us a party to the mandate. The convention simply recognizes the mandate.
Mr. Schiffler. We were not a party to the League of Nations and did not join in the original.
Mr. Malouf. No.
Mr. Schiffler. But we did by this agreement executed in complete form and consented to by our Congress in joint resolution in 1922 and in 1925 and proclaimed under President Coolidge and Secretary Kellogg. Is there anything we can think of doing 5 years later?
Mr. Malouf. No. We only recognize the mandate and that recognition gave us no right to interfere now.
Mr. Schiffler. Unfortunately, you and I disagree.
Chairman Bloom. The Chair would like to ask unanimous consent that that part of the President’s letter the witness read be deleted from the record at this time, and the entire record be inserted.
Mr. Vorys. I think the witness’ testimony can stand.
Chairman Bloom. It is unfair to the President to have part of the letter. The question was asked the witness and he said it was only one paragraph. I think it is unfair to the President and of course if we are going to have part of it we should have it all.
Mr. Malouf. I think that was all of that letter, but I am not sure.
Chairman Bloom. If that is all, that is all right, but if it is not I want the complete letter.
Mr. Malouf. I think unless the full letter and the statement of the Secretary of State goes in, we should let it stand, one paragraph.
Mr. Vorys. These two statements one the witness has not read and one he has read I want to have them in, and the President’s letter in there.
Chairman Bloom. I ask unanimous consent the entire letter be put in and not a misstatement.
FEBRUARY 16, 1944
STATEMENT OF HON. THOMAS D’ALESANDRO, JR., A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF MARYLAND
Mr. D’Alesandro. Mr. Chairman, I favor the Wright-Compton resolution as I have always objected to persecution of any kind, and I feel that our country must take the leadership in this matter and that Palestine must be kept open as a haven to the Jewish people.
In 1922 we passed the Balfour Declaration. Great Britain was given the mandate by the League of Nations. It promised the Jewish people a national homeland. Some fifty-odd nations constituted the League. This promise must be kept. The covenant must be respected.
The bleeding children of Israel have no place to lay their heads. How can we in America stand by without sounding a might protest that will be heard around the world, should the doors of Palestine by closed next April. Several years ago I cabled Neville Chamberlain that England must keep its sacred covenant.
The Wright-Compton resolution must be passed, and I urge favorable action by your committee so that the stricken, bleeding, homeless refugees may be saved. There is one country which was designated by the nations of the world after the last World War as the national home for the Jewish people—that country is Palestine, the land of their forefathers.
Chairman Bloom. Rabbi William H. Fineshriber.
STATEMENT OF RABBI WILLIAM H. FINESHRIBER, D.D., PHILADELPHIA, PA.
Chairman Bloom. Rabbi, you are from Philadelphia, are you not?
Dr. Fineshriber. I am, sir.
Chairman Bloom. You may be seated if you would prefer it.
Dr. Fineshriber. Thank you.
Chairman Bloom. Will you kindly give a little more detail about yourself and who you represent and the synagogue you represent?
Dr. Fineshriber. I am a rabbi of the Reform Congregation of the Temple Keneseth Israel of Philadelphia, Pa.
I do not speak for any organization though I am connected with a number of organizations.
I come here because I feel very keenly the gravity of the situation, and I want to contribute what I have in order that it may help to at least a partial solution of one of the most difficult problems we have had to face in many years.
Chairman Bloom. Rabbi, kindly keep your voice up.
D. Fineshriber. I come to you as a spiritual leader of my people, to lay before you my views in regard to the resolutions that are here being deliberated. I come, in particular, to protest, as earnestly as in my power, against that section of your resolution which speaks of the “Jewish people” constituting a so-called Jewish commonwealth.
I confess that I may not quite understand what that means, so alien is it to my thinking as a teacher of Judaism, so bizarre is it to a preacher of God’s truth. Palestine, a “Jewish commonwealth.” Does this mean that all of the citizens of the “commonwealth” will become Jews, just as we are Americans by virtue of being citizens of the United States of America? Does it mean that Jews outside of that so-called “Jewish commonwealth” shall, thereafter, cease to be Jews just as those not native or citizens of this country are not Americans? Or does it mean some confused mixed pattern, unlike anything else in the world political order, a bewildering intermixture tending to make Jews an abnormal group, a riddle to the rest of the world?
What strange experiment is here being considered, when the simple, the humane, the urgent task is to help rescue people, to help extend freedom of opportunity?
What is this puzzling attempt to “reconstitute a Jewish commonwealth”, if it does not mean setting back the clock 2,000 years? For there was such a commonwealth up to about 2,000 years ago, a state like other states, only smaller and perhaps more helpless.
That nation had its own language, its own authorities, its own political development. And it went the way of all nations. It had its beginning, it had its flowering, it had its decline. During its history it went through all of the vicissitudes, normal to man’s political structures. It conquered. It was in turn conquered more than once. It laid tribute upon others; it, in turn, paid tribute to other countries. It fought wars, it had internal strife, civil war, dissensions, political upheavals, until finally the enmity of its neighbors swept over it and the Jewish nation was obliterated.
One thing only survived; one thing that being greater than a nation ever is, could hope to endure through the millennia that followed. For from among the people living in that land of Palestine a vision emerged that gradually took form as a great religion. From this land came the vision of the oneness of God and, consonant with that, the eternal Commandments as a guide to conduct, and later the exhortation of prophets and rabbis. And those prophets gave voice to eternal truths. In our own literature later to be known as the Bible, there was the admonition, “Thy shall love thy neighbor as thyself” (Leviticus 19:18) of which Rabbi Akiba said: “This is a fundamental principle of religion.” The prophets of that Bible spoke of a vision of peace when “the lion shall lie down with the lamb.” The great Rabbi Hillel said: “Whatever is hateful unto thee, do it not unto thy fellow. This is the whole law, the rest is but commentary.” And the great prophet Micah gave the essence of our faith when he said: “What doth the Lord require of thee? Only to do justly, and love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God.”
It is, of course, true that much of the Jewish religion, going back to its ancient cradle in Zion, has local characteristics. But as the years proceeded, those local qualities were transmuted and given a wider spiritual interpretation. They have become symbolic, as religion must be, of man’s eternal quest for the true and the good and the holy.
From these deep spiritual wells there gushed forth a great religion, a world-wide, a universal religion. It gave birth to a daughter religion Christianity, which has since enriched the Western World. It profoundly influenced still another manifestation of the divine in the religion of the Moslems.
The religion of the Jews, Judaism, has survived and has sustained its adherents through centuries of religious conflict and hostility, through trial and agony, through persecution and exile. It is a faith by which men have known how to die; it is a faith by which men have lived and hope to live the good life. It is today the touchstone of those who call themselves Jews. There is no other.
Will you now take it upon yourself to turn the block back to divert that ancient and universal faith into secular channels, into the channels of nationalism?
All this is premised on the proposition that the Jews are a nation or a nationality.
What are the elements that make for nationality or nationhood? A common language, common folkways, customs, laws, social traditions, and a land on which the nationals have lived continuously for generations. We Jews possess few of these characteristics. We have no common language. Hebrew is spoken as a living tongue only by Jews in Palestine, and that only within recent years. Five million Jews in America speak English; French Jews speak French. When there were Jews in Germany they spoke German. Millions speak Russian, Polish, Yiddish, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Turkish, Arabic, and so forth. Hebrew is the language of prayer.
We have no folkways and customs common to all Jews. Since the destruction of the second commonwealth we have been nationals of various countries and have adopted the customs and manners of the land in which we lived, even when we were immured in ghettos. The folkways of Jew in northern Africa differ widely from those in Poland or India or Russia. There is no such thing as a Jewish culture or Jewish civilization. There are Jewish cultures if by culture we mean the complex of ways of life.
There is no such thing as Jewish sculpture or painting, and I have had no convincing proof that there is a specific Jewish music.
(Discussion off the record, after which the following occurred.)
And there has been no Jewish land for 2,000 years. How then can we speak of a Jewish nation?
What is the link that binds us. The answer is on every page of our history. Religion is this tie that binds us. We have a common religious tradition, a common origin and common suffering.
The Friends or Quakers have had a similar experience. Can we speak of a Quaker nation? Our enemies speak of us as a nation hoping thereby to insinuate the idea of alienism, and it seems to me stark tragedy that Jews under the impact of fear and panic should adopt the language of anti-Semitism.
What do you think was the force that kept Israel alive during all the 2,000 years of torment and suffering? Was it the passionate attachment to land they have never seen or lived in? Do you think that Jewish Americans, Jewish Russians, Jewish Britains, Jewish Frenchmen, Jewish Hollanders in the muck of the South Seas are dying or fighting for Palestine? They are fighting for their homelands in which they and their ancestors were born, lands in which they have lived for centuries animated by faith in a God of justice and mercy who had been revealed to them by their religion.
When Jews prayed and today pray for restoration to Jerusalem, mark you, Jerusalem, not Palestine, they pray not because of an impelling Jewish national consciousness desirous of fulfillment in a Jewish State, but because Jerusalem and Zion are symbols of our faith. It is a devout religious aspiration, a simple yearning for communion with the source of our spiritual strength. For from Zion shall go forth the Law and the Word of God from Jerusalem. The Law and the Word of God are synonymous.
I know that in a period of great strain and stress and emotional confusion, under the pressure of tragedy, there is always the inclination to raise a hue and cry for false gods. But do not for a moment suppose that in the quiet of our hearts we have anything to hold us together but our ancient faith. The very messages you have received supporting this resolution, out of the compassionate concern for our fellow Jews, no doubt speak to you in the name of “Americans of Jewish faith.” Ask your Jewish fellow citizen in this room, or anywhere in the whole expanse of our beloved country, ask him what his religion is. His answer will be: “I am of the Jewish faith.” Ask him what his nationality is. And he will speak with justified pride in the world’s greatest title: “I am an American.”
This being so, I pray that no act of yours, no act of the American people whom you represent, will entangle this crystal-clear concept of a religion with secular, political complexities of a state or commonwealth.
And just as I turn to you with a profound appeal not to let this wrong be done, so I turn to you with equal fervor to plead that you give expression to the purpose of the first part of the resolution.
The doors of Palestine threaten to be shut to Jews as Jews. Our great ally has, alas, under the pressure of darker circumstances, permitted discrimination against Jews who seek to enter Palestine and acquire land there. Your voice may well have a determining influence. Your clear expression against discrimination may make all the difference.
The Jews of Europe, and indeed all the world over, are going through a nightmare. It will not fully be lifted until the powers of tyranny and brutality will have been utterly laid low. God alone knows how many will survive the systematic extermination which has been planned for them. Those who have survived must not be further shamed by the spectacle of a great democracy raising barriers against them as Jews and of its great ally, the United States, standing by without protest.
I am no prophet, nor son of a prophet. I do not know the shape of things to come. It is my hope and prayer that after the war the free world for which we are fighting will be a freer world than we have yet had, and that the remaining Jews of Europe may find equality in the homes from which the invading scourge shall have finally been driven; equality, their one quest, their basic quest.
The first part of your resolution is consistent with the spirit of the statement by that great American, our Secretary of State, the Honorable Cordell Hull, who said that we must have a world in which Jews, like all others, “are free to abide in peace and in honor.”
By that worthy standard I appeal to you in behalf of the purpose of the first part of the resolution.
I am not in sympathy with the attitude of the Arab world. Palestine must be kept open to free immigration to Jews who have no other place to come. There they will have a home which will be adequate for them, a home which has been prepared for them, and I am glad to pay my tribute of intense admiration to the Zionist organization which has made possible the preparation of that home, and to those Jews not Zionist who have quietly and with humility also contributed to make it possible for them.
But as a teacher of an ancient faith I ask you not to blur the shining luster of that appeal for equality by injecting secular and deeply controversial elements such as are found in the second part of your Resolution.
I thank you.
(Discussion off the record, after which the following occurred:)
Chairman Bloom. Do I understand, Rabbi, that you would say then that you believe that the mandate and the Convention entered into between the United States and Great Britain should be adhered to to the letter? Is that you contention?
Dr. Fineshriber. Mr. Chairman I do not pose as an expert on international law, nor upon the legality or validity of the Balfour Declaration or of the mandate. I think this question has been sufficiently ventilated by the previous speakers who have been here. I speak only as a rabbi, as a teacher of the Jewish faith.
Chairman Bloom. I am a little bit out of order. I should ask the other members if they wish to ask questions, but I would like to get this thought clear. You said the first part of the resolution you agreed to?
Dr. Fineshriber. Correct.
Chairman Bloom. That is considered part of the mandate and also of the Convention entered into between the United States and Great Britain?
Dr. Fineshriber. Correct.
Chairman Bloom. Now, would you not say if we had a convention or a treaty, or whatever you want to call it, all of it should be adhered to?
Dr. Fineshriber. No, sir; I do not think so.
Chairman Bloom. You do not?
Dr. Fineshriber. I think the second part has very little relation to the first part of this resolution.
Chairman Bloom. No, I am talking about the Convention between the United States and Great Britain, the Convention signed by President Coolidge in 1925. Would you not say that that, Rabbi, in its entirety should be lived up to by the signatories of that Convention?
Dr. Fineshriber. I do not so interpret it, if you compel me to answer that question.
Chairman Bloom. I do not compel you.
Dr. Fineshriber. I do not interpret the Balfour Declaration as being the equivalent of a Jewish State in Palestine.
Chairman Bloom. Whatever is in there, irrespective of that interpretation, we have a mandate and we have a convention, and that mandate is part of that convention. And the two countries agreed to adhere to that because Coolidge signed it as President of the United States for the United States in 1925, and Chamberlain signed it for Great Britain. That was in 1925. Would you not say whatever is in that mandate should be lived up to by the two countries?
Dr. Fineshriber. Does not that depend on the last interpretation of the mandate?
Chairman Bloom. I am not asking you to interpret it. Whatever the two Governments should agree, do you not think the entire paper should be lived up to? I am through if you answer that.
Dr. Fineshriber. I think I have answered it.
Chairman Bloom. And your answer is?
Dr. Fineshriber. My answer is it depends upon the many interpretations of the Balfour Declaration and the mandate. Which of those interpretations do you want me to discuss?
Chairman Bloom. Not at all. I take your answer as you gave it.
Mr. Johnson. No Questions.
Chairman Bloom. Dr. Eaton?
Dr. Eaton. First of all, as a member of this committee I want to express my gratitude to the rabbi for the instruction he has given our chairman on Jewish music. He evidently needed it very badly.
Dr. Fineshriber. I am glad to have been helpful to the chairman.
Dr. Eaton. And I have a suspicion a good deal of his music would not go in a synagogue.
Secondly—I am not going to question you—I want to express my feeling, and I am sure it is agreeable to every member of our committee including our chairman, of pleasure and satisfaction over the very fine spirit which the rabbi has exhibited here.
I have had something to do in days gone by with the word of God, and I was greatly impressed with your speech. I am afraid if I lived in your neighborhood I would be seduced to come and hear you preach occasionally.
Dr. Fineshriber. I am very grateful to you.
(Discussion off the record, after which the following occurred:)
Chairman Bloom. Mr. Jarman?
Mr. Jarman. No questions Mr. Chairman.
Chairman Bloom. Mr. Chiperfield?
Mr. Chiperfield. No questions.
Chairman Bloom. Mr. Burgin?
Mr. Burgin. No questions.
Chairman Bloom. Mr. Vorys?
Mr. Vorys. No questions.
Chairman Bloom. Mr. Rogers?
Mrs. Rogers. Well, sir, I came in a little late. Was your disagreement with this resolution the word” commonwealth”? If it happened to have been the word “homeland” would you similarly have felt it should not be passed?
Dr. Fineshriber. No, I object to the words “Jewish commonwealth.” I have no objections to the Palestine commonwealth being formed, but I object to the words “Jewish commonwealth.”
Mrs. Rogers. How would you feel about the words “Jewish homeland”?
Dr. Fineshriber. It is a very ambiguous term.
Mrs. Rogers. Yes; I know.
Dr. Fineshriber. That is the difficulty about it.
For example, you speak of a Jewish homeland. Is not America a Jewish homeland for a great many Jews?
Mrs. Rogers. I understood the words “Jewish homeland” had a religious connotations and had been used in previous documents and that it might be a satisfactory solution to getting the groups together.
Dr. Fineshriber. I do not know of any document prior to the document of the Balfour Declaration in which the phrase “Jewish homeland’ was used. My own feeling about the matter was that was an ambiguous term consciously devised.
Mrs. Rogers. Then you would have the same opposition even if it included the words “Jewish homeland” instead of the word “commonwealth”?
Dr. Fineshriber. Even greater opposition. I prefer the words “Palestine commonwealth” to either “Jewish homeland” or “Jewish commonwealth.”
Mrs. Rogers. No more questions.
Chairman Bloom. Mr. Stearns?
Mr. Stearns. No questions.
Chairman Bloom. Mr. Wright?
Mr. Wright. No questions.
Chairman Bloom. Mrs. Bolton?
Mrs. Bolton. No questions.
Chairman Bloom. Mr. Wadsworth? I did not see you, Mr. Jonkman.
Mr. Jonkman. That is all right. I have no questions.
Mr. Wadsworth. Rabbi, you have undoubtedly studied the Balfour Declaration, the Mandate, the convention and the background and history of this whole movement?
Dr. Fineshriber. Yes.
Mr. Wadsworth. Can you identify or point out, rather, the use of the term “Jewish commonwealth” has ever been in any of the official documents up to this point?
Dr. Finshriber. I do not think so.
The word “commonwealth” was introduced into the famous Biltmore organization meeting of the Zionist organization of America in the Biltmore Hotel in New York, and they used the word “commonwealth” because they were a little afraid of using the word “State” at that time. There had been a good deal of opposition on the part of the Zionists themselves to the use of the words “Jewish State,” and they decided to use the word “commonwealth.”
Mr. Wadsworth. I was going to ask the difference.
Dr. Fineshriber. Personally, I have never seen any difference.
Mr. Wadsworth. You referred to its first use at a conference held at the Hotel Biltmore. I meant has it been used in any of the official communications, treaties or declarations?
Dr. Fineshriber. Not to my knowledge.
Mr. Wadsworth. Up to this point?
Dr. Fineshriber. Not to my knowledge.
Mr. Wadsworth. Am I far wrong in saying if it was included in this resolution it is the first time used by a governmental body?
Dr. Fineshriber. The phrase “Jewish commonwealth”?
Mr. Wadsworth. That is right.
Dr. Fineshriber. I think so.
Mr. Wright. Mr. Wadsworth, the phrase was used by Lloyd George in his testimony before the Royal Commission. Of course, that is not an official declaration.
Mr. Wadsworth. Of course, I would like to see the context as to that.
Mr. Wright. Here it is. You might want to read it.
Dr. Fineshriber. To my mind they are synonymous.
Mr. Wadsworth. Mr. Lloyd George, giving evidence before the Royal Commission, said:
The idea was, and this was…that a Jewish state was not to be set up immediately by the peace treaty, without reference to the wishes of the majority of the inhabitants. On the other hand, it was contemplated that, when the time arrived for according representative institutions to Palestine if the Jews had meanwhile responded to the opportunity afforded them by the idea of a national home and had become a definite majority of the inhabitants, they Palestine would thus become a Jewish commonwealth.
Mr. Wright. May I also refer on page 89 to what President Wilson stated on March 3, 1919? I have it underlined.
Mr. Wadsworth. With that suggestion of Mr. Lloyd George you are not in agreement?
Dr. Fineshriber. As to what?
Mr. Wadsworth. I mean what I have just read to you?
Dr. Fineshriber. What was the particular point? I do not remember.
Mr. Wadsworth. “On the other hand, it was contemplated—” I suppose he is referring to the Balfour Declaration— “that, when the time arrived for according representative institutions to Palestine, if the Jews had meanwhile responded to the opportunity afforded them by the idea of a national home and had become a definite majority of the inhabitants, then Palestine would thus become a Jewish commonwealth.”
Dr. Fineshriber. I am not in agreement with that point of view.
Mr. Wadsworth. Why?
Dr. Fineshriber. I am not in favor of a Jewish commonwealth at any time. I am in favor, however, if I may express myself, Mr. Chairman, ladies and gentleman—
Chairman Bloom (interposing). Yes, please do. The floor is yours.
Dr. Fineshriber. May I? I am in favor of free immigration of Jews into Palestine. I, personally, am not concerned as to whether they have a majority or not. And the reason I think so is because I have a rather radical suggestion to make in reference to the solution of this problem.
May I be permitted to state it?
Chairman Bloom Please do.
Dr. Fineshriber. I am convinced that the position of the Zionists of the world will not change. I am equally convinced that the position of the Arabs in opposition to a Jewish state or commonwealth will not change. One of the reasons why I agree also the reconstitution of the Jewish commonwealth is not wise is because I fear the effect upon the Jewish people in Palestine to say nothing of the repercussion against the rest of the Jews in the rest of the world. I anticipate bloodshed and destruction of much of the things worth while that have been achieved. They, I think, are in inevitable while conflict, and so I have been thinking for sometime as to how we can manage to get away from this dilemma.
My suggestion, as I say, is radical and it may be thoroughly impractical. Why not constitute all of Palestine into a Holy Land which neither the Jews nor the Arabs shall dominate politically? After all Palestine is a Holy Land to Jews, Christians, and Moslems. It is one of the great historic places of the world. We have set aside historic places of that kind not dominated by any particular group, religious or political. The District of Columbia is a place set aside in which inhabitants have no vote. It is controlled politically by I believe, a commission of Congress.
The Vatican is another place set aside by Italy with, I believe, the tacit accord of the rest of the world into a holy place. Why cannot we do that with Palestine and thereby avoid the horrible destruction and pain and suffering I am afraid will come inevitably if we allow either of those groups to dominate? Then as many Jews as possible may come into the land to develop it. Then the Jews will develop their talents to the greatest possible extent. After all a political dominate will be of no avail to them and they may emphasize their religious and spiritual powers.
In my interpretation of Jewish history I find Jews have been great in that and in that alone. We have had men of great talent who have made amazing contributions to all forms of civilized life, but it has never been unique. In the realm of philosophy we have had a great number of philosophers, but it cannot be said we are a people that develop philosophies. There are many non-Jewish philosophers greater than we have produced. We have a great many Jewish scientists that have done much for the world. It cannot be said our greatest scientists are Jews. Our talents are spiritual things. That is what we have done.
Take the literature of Judaism throughout the ages and there are thousands upon thousands of volumes written by Jews, not only the Bible, but the great Talmud, and the Babylonian Talmud is the one they follow, and not the Palestinian as to their great code of laws. The tremendous bulk of Jewish literature has been religious. That leads me to the conclusion that our talents are in this specific channel.
I say to you even if we constitute a Jewish state there it will be a little state. Do you think that we save the Jews of Palestine and of the world from pain and suffering simply because there is a little state there? Zionists say by that means we create dignity and give the Jews self-respect.
If by any mischance—God forbid—there should be a kind of pogrom in America or anywhere in the world do you think that the appeal or protest of the Jewish ambassador is going to make the slightest difference? Do you think the chancelors of Europe will tremble when the little state in Palestine will threaten?
And that is why I say, ladies and gentlemen, it would be wise if we can devise a plan whereby this terrible threat of political domination could be removed from the scene. And that is why I suggest, which may be fantastic, let the land of Israel be Holy Land to all the world. Let refugees of all kinds and faiths go there and let political matters be vested in the United Nations of the world.
And let us not forget in our great emphasis upon Palestine even at best or its highest it can contain only a few Jews. Dr. Weizmann prays for 2,000,000 to occupy Palestine. There are still 14,000,000 left. Should we not give some consideration to the possible chance for the Jews’ status elsewhere in the world? I wish it were possible to have a united Jewish world. It might have been possible a little while ago, but some men decided against it. To me that is tragedy.
Chairman Bloom. Thank you very much.
Mr. Chiperfield. What do you mean by that last statement?
Dr. Fineshriber. I mean this: There was called into being an organization called the American Jewish Conference. It should have been a real representative gathering of all kinds of Jews no matter what their political view or their religious views may be. It did not so eventuate. The Zionist Organization of America, which is a very powerful organization, dominated the scene, and among them some men had the power to insist upon the adoption of that one platform; namely, to reconstitute a Jewish state in Palestine. If that would have been omitted all the Jews in America would have been united. There would have been no opposition whatever. We missed that opportunity. I consider that one of the great tragedies of history.
Chairman Bloom. Are there any further questions?
Is it the wish of the committee to go down and answer the roll call and then come back?
(Discussion off the record, after which the following occurred:)
Chairman Bloom. We will recess for 10 or 15 minutes.
Thank you very much, Rabbi.
Dr. Fineshriber. I appreciate the courtesy, Mr. Chairman.
(The committee then recessed because of a vote on the floor of the House.)
Chairman Bloom. The committee will resume its discussion of H.R. 418 and 419.
Before calling the next witness, we have Members of Congress here who would like to be heard.
Mr. Marcantonio, Representative from New York, the floor is yours, sir.
STATEMENT OF HONORABLE VITO MARCANTONIO, A REPRESENTATIVE FROM THE STATE OF NEW YORK
Mr. Marcantonio. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, I would like to state for the record that I wholeheartedly recommend the adoption of this resolution and do hope that the committee will act on it speedily. I deem that this is a most realistic approach to this whole problem. There is no question of imperialism involved; there is no question of trampling upon the rights of any other people at all. The problem can be worked out amicably between existing people in that territory if the leading nations of the world take a hand in it, cooperate in it, support it.
I am confident there will be the minimum of friction if the leading nations of the world go into this thing with a full desire to bring about the solution as set for the in the House Resolutions 418 and 419, and I hope the committee will act upon them as speedily as possible.
Chairman Bloom. Mr. Klein, do you wish to make a statement?
Mr. Arthur G. Klein (Member of Congress from New York). No. I have made my position clear.
Chairman Bloom. Are there any other Members of the House here, who wish to be heard? (None.)
For the record, in case we adjourn before he gets here, I would like to mention the fact that Representative Sabath, of Illinois, wishes to be recorded as in favor of the resolution also.
Mr. Herman Schulman is next. Mr. Schulman, would you kindly give your name, address, and whom you represent?
STATEMENT OF HERMAN SHULMAN, MEMBER, EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE, AMERICAN ZIONIST EMERGENCY COUNCIL, STAMFORD, CONN.
Mr. Shulman. My full name is Herman Shulman. I am from Stamford, Conn. I am a member of the executive committee of the American Zionist Emergency Council; also a member of the interim and administrative committees of the American Jewish Conference.
I come here on my own behalf to present some views concerning the proposed resolutions and to speak in support of House resolutions 418 and 419. I had intended, Mr. Chairman, to devote the few minutes allotted to me to a brief discussion of two aspects of the resolution before the committee; (1) what is meant by a “free and democratic Jewish commonwealth,” and (2) why the two parts of the resolution are inseparable, each part being definitely dependent upon the other.
As a result of the pertinent question asked by Representative Wadsworth, Mr. Neumann did answer the first question; namely, What do we mean by a “free and democratic Jewish commonwealth”? I therefore shall not take time to discuss that issue, except to say that I identify myself completely with the definition which he has already given you.
Now with respect to the second question, the resolution asks that the doors of Palestine shall be open for free entry of Jews into that country, and that these shall be full opportunity for colonization, so that the Jewish people may ultimately reconstitute Palestine as a free and democratic Jewish commonwealth.
Now, ladies and gentlemen of the committee, what in my humble judgment is asked for is a reaffirmation of an established policy. What is asked for is the full and speedy implementation of the underlying intent and purpose of the Balfour Declaration and the mandate. What was the original intent and purpose of the Balfour Declaration at the time when it was issued?
Fortunately I have before me the report of the Palestine Royal Commission of July 1937, the commission which was headed by the late Lord Peel. That question was examined into by the royal commission. They took testimony on that subject and made certain findings, which I should like to read to you.
Mr. Johnson of Texas. May I ask the date of the instrument you are going to read?
Mr. Shulman. July, 1937.
I am reading now from paragraph 20 on page 24 of that report. “We must now consider what the Balfour Declaration meant.” They then proceeded to give the answer. Mr. Lloyd George, who was Prime Minister at that time, informed us in evidence that: “The idea was, and this was the interpretation put upon it at the time—” (“it”) meaning, of course, the Balfour Declaration) —“that a Jewish state was not to be set up immediately by the peace treaty without reference to the wishes of the majority of the inhabitants. On the other hand, it was contemplated that when the time arrived for according representative institutions to Palestine if the Jews had meanwhile responded to the opportunity afforded them by the idea of a national home, and had become a definite majority of the inhabitants, then Palestine would thus become a Jewish commonwealth.”
The Royal Commission then reached the following conclusion:
Thus His Majesty’s Government evidently realized that a Jewish state might, in the course of time, be established but it was not in a position to say that that would happen, still less to bring it about of its own motion. The Zionist leaders, for their part, recognized that an ultimate Jewish state was not precluded by the terms of the declaration and so it was understood elsewhere.
“I am persuaded,” said President Wilson, on the 3rd of March 1919, “that the Allied Nations with the fullest concurrence of our own Government and people are agreed that in Palestine shall be laid the foundation of a Jewish commonwealth.”
General Smuts, who had been a member of the Imperial War Cabinet when the Declaration was published, speaking at Johannesburg on the 3rd of November 1919, foretold an increasing stream of Jewish immigration into Palestine and “in generations to come a great Jewish state arising there once more.”
Lord Robert Cecil, in 1917, Sir Herbert Samuel, in 1919, and Mr. Winston Churchill, in 1920, spoke or wrote in terms that could only mean that they contemplated the eventual establishment of a Jewish State.
These were the findings made by the Royal Commission after reviewing the testimony before it on the meaning and intent of the Balfour Declaration. The report then goes on to say: “The leading British newspapers were equally explicit in their comments on the Declaration.”
Mr. Wadsworth asked one of the witnesses whether he knew of any official document in which the term “Jewish commonwealth” was used. Answering that question, I should like to say that, in addition to the documents I have already referred to, Chief Justice Hughes, then Secretary of State Hughes, also used the term “Jewish commonwealth” in his correspondence with the British Government concerning the 1925 convention.
Chairman Bloom. Would you mind an interruption? Could you go on to something else and wait until Mr. Wadsworth returns? You can then give him the benefit of that.
We will return to that when Mr. Wadsworth returns.
Mr. Shulman. I shall be glad to do that, but at this point I should like to refer to another finding of the Royal Commission which has a bearing on a statement made by Mr. Mundt on either the first or second day of these hearings. Mr. Mundt at that time intimated that statements made by Mr. Churchill in 1922 contradicted certain prior statements made by him concerning the meaning and intent of the Balfour Declaration. The Royal Commission also dealt with Mr. Churchill’s statements as contained in his 1922 Declaration of Policy. Mr. Churchill testified before the Royal Commission on the subject. After hearing his testimony the Royal Commission concluded that nothing which Mr. Churchill said in 1922 was intended to preclude the establishment of a Jewish commonwealth in accordance with the original intent and purpose of the Balfour Declaration. In this connection the Royal Commission said (par. 39, p. 33 of its report):
This definition of the National Home (the definition contained in the 1922 Declaration of Policy) has sometimes been taken to preclude the establishment of a Jewish state. But, though the phraseology was clearly intended to conciliate, as far as might be, Arab antagonism to the National Home, there is nothing in it to prohibit the ultimate establishment of a Jewish state and Mr. Churchill himself has told us in evidence that no such prohibition was intended.
I say, therefore, Mr. Chairman and ladies and gentlemen of the committee, what we are asking for is a reaffirmation of what was promised the Jewish people 26 years ago and it is entirely just and proper that we should ask it at this particular time. The Jewish people were the beneficiaries of the promise made by 52 nations of the world. We today are in a sense the trustees of that promise. It is our task to see to it that that promise is fully implemented and to do everything in our power to aid in its speedy fulfillment. It is just and proper, therefore, that we should at this time, when the terms of the peace are in the making, when many groups are presenting their just claims, when conferences and discussions are going on continuously concerning the formation of an Arab federation, that we ask the nations of the world to fulfill the promise made to the Jewish people in accordance with its underlying intent and purpose.
When we ask you, as we do, to pass this resolution, we are asking you again to do no more than you have done heretofore. It has been the traditional American policy to favor the full implementation of the Balfour Declaration. It has already been pointed out that every successive administration since the adoption of the 1922 joint resolution has favored that policy, and I might at this point bring to your attention a declaration which was issued November 2, 1942, on the occasion of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Balfour Declaration. It was a statement called” A Traditional American Policy Reaffirmed.” This statement was signed by 68 Members of the Senate and 194 Members of the House of Representatives of the Seventy-seventh Congress. Among those who signed the statement were 18 members of the Foreign Relations Committee of the Senate. I am also happy to say that many members of this committee, including Representative Bolton, Representative Jonkman, Representative Mundt, Representative Pfeifer, Representative Rogers, Representative Vorys, Representative Wright, and Representative Wadsworth also signed this declaration.
That statement, after reviewing the 1922 joint resolution, declares: “The Balfour Declaration was justly hailed throughout the world as an act of historic reparation and as a charter of freedom for the Jewish people. It was designed to open the gates of Palestine to homeless and harassed multitudes and to pave the way for the establishment of a Jewish commonwealth.”
It then proceeds to speak of the tragic plight of the Jewish people, and indicates clearly that the need for the reestablishment of that commonwealth is a thousand-fold greater today and concludes with the statement—“Our Government may be assured that in continuing the traditional American policy in favor of so just a cause, it can rely upon our individual support and the approbation of the American people.”
I think, Mr. Chairman, it might be helpful if I file this statement, because I cannot begin to tell you what hope and what courage the issuance of that statement brought to the Jew of this country and to Jews everywhere.
Chairman Bloom. There were no riots after that statement?
Mr. Shulman. There were no riots after that statement, and it was widely publicized throughout the Near East. Despite all the predictions that if the Crimean laws were reinstated there would be riots and revolts, there were also no riots after these laws were reinstated.
The fact of the matter is, Mr. Chairman, that the military situation in the Near East has improved so considerably, that what the Arabs are concerned with today is to press their own claims, and a day hardly passes without some reference in some newspaper to some proposal for an Arab federation.
Is it just and proper that at this time, when the terms of the peace are in the making, that we ask this Government again to reaffirm its traditional American policy? And may I remind you that the Balfour Declaration itself was issued during the midst of World War I. The statesmen then did not wait then until after the war to issue that declaration, and it was issued, as Mr. Neumann has already pointed out, only after open consultation with our Government and with other governments.
Now, Mr. Chairman, I say that this resolution must be adopted as a whole, because whatever rights we have to the free entry of Jews into Palestine and to the full opportunity for colonization in that country rest upon the fact that as a result of the decision made some 26 years ago the Jews of the world were given a special right, a privileged position with respect to that particular part of the world. Our rights there rest not, as some of the witnesses have said, because there should be no discrimination against Jews because of their religion. Of course it is unthinkable that Jews will be denied the right to enter their own national home because of their religion. But the right of the Jews to go to Palestine rests upon the fact that 25 years ago it was determined, after weighing all the equities of the case, that the Jews as a people were entitled to settle in Palestine and to reconstitute their national home there. By virtue of that decision they were given the right to enter Palestine freely and the right to insist that that opportunity be continued.
Once you remove the basis for that right, namely, the decision which was made at that time to permit the Jews to reestablish their national home there, then the whole structure falls.
Chairman Bloom. Mr. Shulman, I see that Mr. Wadsworth is here.
Mr. Wadsworth, Mr. Shulman was answering the question you asked the previous witness, so it was requested that he withhold his answer until you returned, so that you could hear his answer.
Mr. Wadsworth. I shall not interrupt his testimony. I can read it afterward.
Chairman Bloom. He has not stated it yet. He is going to state it now.
Mr. Shulman. Mr. Wadsworth, I shall not go over that again. I shall merely point out that I was reading from the findings made by the Royal Commission in 1937, after examining into the question what was the original intent and purpose of the Balfour declaration. I indicated to the committee that Mr. Lloyd George, the then Prime Minister, Mr. Winston Churchill, and other important witnesses testified before the Royal Commission on that question, and the conclusion of the Royal Commission was that the original intent and purpose was to afford the Jews an opportunity to create a Jewish state there if, in fact, they become a majority in that country.
I was about to say that the statement of policy of Mr. Winston Churchill of 1922 was also reviewed at the time, and after hearing Mr. Churchill the committee said that “the definition of the national home has sometimes been taken to preclude the establishment of a Jewish state but though the phraseology was clearly intended to conciliate so far as possible Arab antagonism to the national home, there is nothing in it to prohibit the ultimate establishment of a Jewish state, and Mr. Churchill himself has told us in evidence that no such prohibition was intended.”
I might add that the findings of that commission in the main were adopted by the British Government.
I was also about to say, in response to the question which you raised, namely whether there is an official document which speaks of the Jewish commonwealth, that the former Chief Justice, the then Secretary of State of the United States, Charles Evans Hughes, in his correspondence with Great Britain dealing with the 1925 convention, referred to the Jewish commonwealth.
I also quoted before you arrived, Mr. Wadsworth, statements of President Wilson, General Smuts, Lord Robert Cecil, Sir Herbert Samuel, and Mr. Winston Churchill. That will all be found in this report which I shall introduce as evidence, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Smuts said, on the 3rd of November 1919, there will be “in generations to come a great Jewish state arising there once more.”
Now, Mr. Chairman, there were a number of witnesses who indicated that they do not oppose the first part of the resolution, but that they object to the second part of the resolution. The last witness said it did not matter to him whether the Jews became a majority or whether the Arabs constituted a majority in Palestine.
It seems to me that they fail to appreciate what was the opportunity afforded to the Jewish people by the issuance of the Balfour Declaration, and they fail to appreciate that our right to come to this committee and to our Government, and to ask that the Jews be given the right to enter Palestine freely, and a full opportunity for colonization in that country, springs from the fact that the Balfour Declaration gave us a privileged position, a special interest, in that part of the world. Unless we are entitled to establish a Jewish majority in accordance with the original intent and purpose of the Balfour Declaration and to reconstitute our national home in Palestine, is seems to me, sir, that we have no greater right to ask for the free entry of Jews into Palestine than we have a right to ask for the free entry of Jews into this country.
These gentlemen, whether they realize it or not, fail to appreciate that what the Balfour Declaration gave us, was not the same right to emigrate into Palestine as we have to emigrate into any other country, but a special right to reconstitute there our national home.
The emphasis is not on the right of the individual Jew, but the right of the Jewish people to reconstitute their national home in Palestine. And when the last witness told you that it mattered not to him whether the Jews were a majority or a minority, or whether or not a self-governing commonwealth was established there with a guaranteed Jewish majority, he does not appreciate what would happen to Jewish immigration into Palestine should an Arab state be established in Palestine.
The Mufti also testified before the Royal Commission, and it might be of interest to you if I read a few questions and answers from his testimony. In the course of his testimony before the Royal Commission the Mufti was questioned as to what the position of the Jews would be in case Arab independence were granted in Palestine, and testified as follows:
Question. If the Arabs had this treaty, they would be pleased to welcome the Jews already in the country?
The Mufti. That will be left to the discretion of the government which will be set up under the treaty, and will be decided by the government on conditions most favorable and most beneficial to the country.
Question. Does His Eminence think that the country can assimilate and digest the 400,000 Jews now in the country?
The Mufti. No.
Question. What would happen?
The Mufti. Some of them would have to be removed by a process kindly or painful, as the case may be. We must leave this to the future.
It is also important, Mr. Chairman, to call to your attention the testimony given before the Royal Commission of Auni Bey, the leader of the Arab Independence Party. He testified as follows. His attitude is revealed by the following remarks: “In Germany, 70,000,000 Germans who are cultured and civilized, and have all the necessary means of government, cannot bear 600,000 Jews.”
The implication is clear. Palestine cannot bear 400,000 Jews.
He then said further:
Frankly speaking, we object to the existence of 400,000 Jews in the country.
The Chairman. They are not to be driven out, and yet there are too many of them. What happens, then?
Auni Bey. A large number of them are not Palestinians.
In other words, those who are not Palestinians should be sent out of the country.
The Chairman. Auni Bey says that he does not want to drive them out, but he says that there are too many, and I want to know how he would reduce them.
Auni Bey. That is not a question that can be decided here.
Now, Mr. Chairman, those of us who deal in the field of business or in our professions or in the field of government must view this problem from a practical point of view. We surely realize that if there is created a self-government in Palestine, with a guaranteed Arab majority, the national home of the Jewish people would, for all practical purposes, be liquidated. And what is overlooked by these gentlemen who object to the white paper is that it deals not only with stoppage of immigration, with restrictions against the purchase of land, but that there is a third part to that white paper, the constitutional provisions by the terms of which Great Britain promises to establish a self-government in Palestine with a guaranteed Arab majority in 10 years, in complete violation of the underlying intent and purpose of the Balfour Declaration.
Now, when we oppose the white paper we must oppose the white paper in its entirety and all of its provisions, and those provisions include not only the complete stoppage of immigration by the end of March, the prohibitions against the purchase of land, but also the crystallization of the Jewish population in Palestine into a permanent minority; in other words, to fix their status there as their status is now fixed in all other parts of the world.
Therefore I say to you that if you really oppose the white paper as being a clear breach and repudiation of the Balfour Declaration, of the Palestine mandate, of the 1922 joint resolution unanimously passed by the Sixty-seventh Congress of the United states, and signed by the President of the United States, as well as the terms of the 1925 convention between Great Britain and America, then you must oppose each and every part of the white paper. That means the restrictions against immigration, the restrictions against the purchase of land by Jews, and the constitutional provisions, and there must be a continuation of the opportunity afforded to the Jewish people to constitute a majority there and to reconstitute their commonwealth in their ancestral home.
Either the decision made at the time of the issuance of the Balfour Declaration stands or it is repudiated. And surely today there is every reason why the promise made then should be fully and speedily performed. The conditions which made imperative the reestablishment of the Jewish homeland over 26 years ago have been intensified beyond the darkest forebodings. The last hope of millions of homeless Jews is threatened with extinction. The Jews of Palestine have demonstrated a constructive capacity which as Dr. Lowdermilk has pointed out to you, has converted a derelict area into a progressive and thriving agricultural and industrial country. Palestine can absorb most of the homeless and tortured Jews of central and Eastern Europe who may survive the present struggle. Surely every consideration of justice requires that the promise made to the Jewish people over a quarter of a century ago be fulfilled now as speedily as possible.
Mr. Chairman, I say, therefore, that the resolution stands as a whole. Each part is dependent upon the other, and it must be adopted as a whole. And in adopting this resolution you are doing no more and no less than to give effect to the original intent and purpose of the Balfour Declaration at the time when it was issued.
One more word with respect to the testimony of the last two witnesses. You have heard the last two speakers, Mr. Chairman, draw a distinction between the Jewish religion and Zionism, which recognizes that there is a Jewish people, that there exists a historical connection between the Jewish people and Palestine, and that the Jewish people are entitled to reconstitute their national home in Palestine. These witnesses apparently find some inconsistence between their Jewish religion and Zionism.
I should like, Mr. Chairman, to take a minute of your time to read from an article two paragraphs which have a bearing upon that subject:
Take my case, and you will pardon, please, the personal reference. I use it only to illustrate and strengthen my point. I was not always a Zionist. I remember to my regret an occasion shortly after I came to Baltimore when I, too, took the position that to be a Jewish nationalist meant to lay one’s self open to the charge of dual loyalty. I made the eagle scream one night when Stephen Wise was explaining the meaning of Jewish nationalism.
I trust whatever little service I may have rendered to the Jewish national cause since then has more than made right that wrong.
I became a Zionist when I made contact with the Jewish masses, when I knew intimately the spirit of my people, when I studied more earnestly the needs of my people; above all, when I had achieved the ability to feel emotionally and intellectually with my people. I do not believe I am any less a good citizen. Jewish nationalism does not set itself up as opposed to the Jewish religion, nor the state where the Jew makes his home, but by inculcating definitely, positively, loyalty to Israel, love of Israel, it deepens the Jewish love of Israel’s religion and makes him a better citizen.
This quotation, Mr. Chairman and ladies and gentlemen of the committee, is from an article entitled “Reformed Judaism and Jewish Nationalism,” by Rabbi Morris S. Lazaron, who has just testified here today. It was printed in the Jewish Times of Baltimore on January 2, 1931.
Mr. Chairman, I say most respectfully that it seems that the learned rabbi thinks in cycles. First he was a non-Zionist. Then he became a Zionist. Now apparently he is an anti-Zionist. We do not know what he may be tomorrow. But I humbly submit that the tragic plight of the Jewish people, their need for a homeland, their imperative need to be among their own people in Palestine, who are prepared to share their bread with them, their homes with them, and to make them welcome at a time when they so desperately need that welcome – that crying need cannot wait, Mr. Chairman, until Rabbi Lazaron completes another cycle in his thinking.
And I submit that no more should be asked of us than would be asked of any other group of American citizens. There is no more reason for all Jews in this country to agree upon Zionism or to favor the establishment of a free and democratic Jewish commonwealth in Palestine than there is for all Americans to agree upon any other issue concerning which some Government action is urged. The important fact is that the overwhelming majority of the Jews in this country supported the Palestine resolution which was adopted at the American Jewish Conference and favor the passage of this resolution. It is true, as Rabbi Fineschriber stated, that at the American Jewish Conference we did not achieve complete unity. What he failed to point out was that such complete unity was not achieved because the 500-odd delegates at that conference, in line with the American tradition, felt that the obligation which rested upon them was to express the will of the overwhelming majority and not to barter away their right and obligation to do so in order to satisfy a small and insignificant minority and for the sake of getting a unanimous verdict.
And may I call your attention to the fact – it has already been stated by Rabbi Heller—it needs to be restated—that all of the gentlemen who have spoken to you, that is, Rabbi Woolsey, Rabbi Fineschriber, and Rabbi Lazaron represent only a minority view in only the reform rabbinate. Even in their own rabbinate they clearly represent a minority view. Rabbi Heller has given you the figures; I do not need to repeat them. In the conservative rabbinate there is no difference of opinion, and in the orthodox rabbinate there surely is no difference of opinion.
We can only ask you, with respect to their testimony, to consider the fact that theirs is a minority opinion, and it must be considered as such. In fact, in speaking to you of the opinion of the overwhelming majority of the Jewish people on this issue, as I believe Congressman Rogers correctly stated, what we are doing is merely to bring to your attention one pertinent fact, namely, that the Jewish citizens of this country are overwhelmingly in favor of this resolution because they feel that a sacred trust has been placed in their hands to continue to do their part to see to it that the Jewish national home is reestablished in Palestine. And I might add in that connection that only recently on the occasion of the last convention of the Zionist Organization of America, the President of the United States said: “I am confident that the helpful contributions made by American citizens toward the establishment of a national home for the Jewish people in Palestine will be continued.”
We shall continue to make these contributions.
Chairman Bloom. The date of that?
Mr. Shulman. September 11, 1943.
Mr. Chiperfield. Is that the President of the United States?
Mr. Shulman. Signed, “Franklin D. Roosevelt.”
Mr. Chiperfield. Would you repeat it/ I did not quite get it.
Mr. Shulman (reading): “I am confident that the helpful contributions made by American citizens toward the establishment of a national home for the Jewish people in Palestine will be continued—”
And may I remind you, sir, that up to the present time there has been invested in Palestine some $600,000,000; and that 550,000 Jews have settled there. There is in public law, as in private law, a doctrine of estoppel. In reliance upon the promise made to the Jewish people by the issuance of the Balfour Declaration we went forward and made this contribution and this investment, to the great benefit of our fellow Jews. And I say to you, sir, that this is not the time when we should be asked to liquidate that national home. On the contrary, there is every reason why, quite apart from the considerations of justice and equity the law of estoppel requires that the nations of the world carry out their promise to the Jewish people.
Thank you, sir.
Chairman Bloom. Thank you very much.
Mr. Kee. No questions.
Chairman Bloom. Dr. Eaton?
Mr. Eaton. No questions.
Chairman Bloom. Mr. Jarman?
Mr. Jarman. No questions
Chairman Bloom. Mr. Chiperfield?
Mr. Chiperfield. If the executive branch of our Government favors the passage of this resolution at this time, do you not think they should come down before our committee in open and public hearings and say that they favor it or are against it, and give the reasons why?
Mr. Shulman. Well, Mr. Chairman, I cannot say what is proper for the executive branch of the Government to do. I have been under the impression that on many occasions Congress has taken action without the consent or approval of the executive branch of the Government. I certainly do not want, however, to have my answer misunderstood, because I have no reason to believe that the executive branch of the Government does not intend to carry out its clear obligation in this respect.
Mr. Chiperfield. May I call your attention to this: The President, in a message very recently, did not hesitate to give his view on a certain current issue, and asked us to stand up and be counted. All I am doing is asking for the same thing now.
Mr. Shulman. I do not question your right; sir to ask it. I merely say that I believe that the legislative branch of the Government has the right to make the laws of the land, and you have a right to reaffirm the position which you took by unanimous action in 1922.
Mr. Chiperfield. I will agree with that statement. I have no more questions.
Chairman Bloom. Mr. Rogers?
Mr. Rogers. No questions.
Chairman Bloom. Mr. Vorys?
Mr. Vorys. You spoke about the Congress having the duty and the right to make laws. In your judgment does this resolution have any effect as a law?
Mr. Shulman. No; I think, unlike the 1922 resolution, this is not a joint resolution, and therefore will not require the signature of the President or joint passage by both Houses of Congress. Therefore it is, as I understand it, a restatement of the traditional American policy, and it is in effect a recommendation to the executive branch—an expression of the will of this honorable body.
Mr. Vorys. It is not a restatement. It goes further than any statement that has ever been made by the Congress before, in that it does not merely restate either the Balfour Declaration or the resolution of the Congress back in 1922, but adds some further expressions which are considered of importance. There is no use to sit here and say it is a restatement when it is something more than a restatement? Now, what else is it, in your judgment?
Mr. Shulman. No. I would like to differ with you, that it is more than a restatement. What it does is to make clear what might have been ambiguous, and it is necessary that it be made clear at this time because, as I pointed out, the white paper not only prohibits immigration and the purchase of land; it also would constitute Palestine as an Arab state and crystallize the Jewish population there into a permanent minority, thus forever depriving the Jews of an opportunity to continue to enter Palestine freely until they become a majority, and then to reconstitute the Jewish Commonwealth. And, as I pointed out, while it was premature to speak of the Jewish Commonwealth in 1922, it certainly is not unrealistic to do so today, because in the first place there are 550,000 Jews there, and there will be this compelling necessity to transfer to Palestine many hundreds of thousands, if not millions, as soon as the occupied countries are liberated.
Therefore, Mr. Chairman and Representative Vorys, it seems to me that you are doing no more than to carry out the original intent and purpose of the Balfour Declaration, but what you are doing is to indicate in clear and unequivocal language, what was that intent, and it seems to me that it is just and proper for those of us who urge the passage of this resolution to come to you and tell you what we conceive to be the original intent and purpose of the Balfour Declaration, and to point out to you as we have our conception of that intent and purpose as well as the understanding of the persons who were most prominent in framing the declaration and the findings of the Royal Commission.
Mr. Vorys. Of course, it is quite proper for you to come here and tell us your views. I am trying to get your views on just what force this resolution has, or would have. You mentioned, in answer to an earlier question by my colleague, that it is the duty and the right of the Congress to make laws.
Mr. Shulman. Clearly, unless it is a joint resolution which in turn is signed by the President of the United States, it is my understanding it would not become the law of the land. Therefore it is an expression of good will and support, and a reaffirmation of a policy which we hope will be favorably considered by the executive branch of the Government, by those who are in charge of dealing with the matter; and I, for one, am confident it will greatly strengthen the hands of those friends in Great Britain – and there are many, including Mr. Winston Churchill and other members of the Cabinet – who want to see the promise fulfilled and the1939 white paper repudiated.
Mr. Vorys. But even if we passed this resolution, any action would be taken by the executive, is that not correct, in our country—any action to use the good offices of the United States, or to take appropriate measures, would be taken by the executive? Is that not true?
Mr. Shulman. Well, that is true, is it not, of all situations where our Government seeks to have its policy implemented or enforced?
Mr. Vorys. Yes.
Mr. Shulman. This being a matter of foreign policy, the Government would necessarily act through the Secretary of State, so therefore I assume that whatever actions are to be taken will be taken through the proper executive branch of the government.
Mr. Vorys. And since this adds no legal sanction or authority to their present authority, the president and the Secretary of State are in as good a position to act now as they would be after this would pass, so far as any legal authority or power to act, is that not true?
Mr. Shulman. Well, Mr. Vorys, may I just answer that this way, if I may.
Mr. Vorys. I just wish you would answer it.
Chairman Bloom. Answer it, if you please. We would like to get on here, because we have another witness and we are late.
Mr. Shulman. This Congress acted in 1922. In 1939 the white paper clearly violates the 1925 convention between Great Britain and this country; it definitely violated the act of this Congress of 1922. Do you not feel that a responsibility rests upon you to take action to see to it that that act is not violated or repudiated or whittled down so that it is absolutely meaningless, to see to it that the national home is not liquidated, quite apart from whatever action is taken by the executive branch of the Government?
Mr. Vorys. The gentleman has not answered my question, but I will yield to Mr. Rogers and not ask any further questions.
Chairman Bloom. Mr. Rogers.
Mr. Rogers. I just wanted to say I thought the point Mr. Shulman was making here was a very good one, about the Commonwealth and the reason why this whole resolution hangs together. I agree with Mr. Vorys; this is not a restatement. It is a clarification and it is a much needed clarification, because the word “homeland” has now been distorted out of all previous meaning by the white paper, and it is needed at this time because the white paper has distorted this past definition of the homeland. That is why I feel that it all hangs together and that it is essential that it be passed or not passed as a unit.
Chairman Bloom. Is that all, Mr. Rogers?
Mr. Rogers. I would like to have one more word.
It would strengthen the hands and hopes of many good people in England who are disturbed over the present British policy in Palestine. I know that, because I was there and spoke with many members of the House of Commons, and I do know that if we should make such an expression, purely unofficially but just an expression, it would bring great heart and hope to them.
Chairman Bloom. Mr. Jonkman?
Mr. Jonkman. No questions.
Chairman Bloom. Mr. Wright?
Mr. Wright. No questions.
Chairman Bloom. Mrs. Bolton?
Mrs. Bolton. No questions.
Chairman Bloom. Mr. Wadsworth?
Mr. Wadsworth. Are you of the opinion that the passage of this resolution would have its principal effect in England?
Mr. Shulman. Well, I think that since we are dealing with the mandatory power, it would definitely have its principal effect there.
Mr. Wadsworth. Then it is directed more to the British than it is to our President?
Mr. Shulman. Well, I think it would definitely have an effect on the British policy. I think it may also have an effect, and in all probably will have the effect, of indicating to the President where the House of Representative stands on the question. My own feeling is that it would serve a useful purpose, both in this country and in Great Britain.
Mr. Wadsworth. That is all.
Chairman Bloom. Mr. Mansfield?
Mr. Mansfield. No questions.
Chairman Bloom. Mr. Schiffler?
Mr. Schiffler. I have one question. Have these questions ever been presented to the International Court of Justice, so far as you know, since the issuance of the white paper?
Mr. Shulman. The 1930 white paper was submitted to the Mandates Commission of the League of Nations and I think, as has been testified to, it was considered by the Mandates Commission as clearly in violation of the terms of the mandate. We will put in evidence the decision of the Mandate Commission to that effect.
Chairman Bloom. You mean you will put in evidence?
Mr. Shulman. Yes, sir.
Chairman Bloom. Without objection it is so ordered.
Thank you very much, Mr. Shulman.
(Notes submitted for the record, by Mr. Herman Shulman: (1) Testimony submitted to Royal Commission by Arab leaders. (2) On the observations of the Permanent Mandates Commission relative to the 1939 White Paper)
TESTIMONY SUBMITTED TO ROYAL COMMISSION BY ARAB LEADERS
Evidence of Haj Amin Al-Hussein, Mufti of Jerusalem
Question. If the Arabs had this treaty (proposed treaty between Palestine Arab State and Britain) they would be prepared to welcome the Jews already in the country?
Mufti. That will be left to the discretion of the Government which will be set up under the treaty and will be decided by the Government on considerations most equitable and most beneficial to the country.
Question. Does His Eminence think that this country can assimilate and digest the 400,000 Jews now in the country?
Question. Some of them would have to be removed, by a process kindly or painful, as the case may be?
Mufti. We must leave all this to the future.
Evidence of Auni Bey Abdul-Hadi, Leader of the Arab Independence party (Istiqlal)
Abdul-Hadi. Frankly speaking, we object to the existence of 400,000 Jews in the country.
Question. They are not to be driven out and yet there are too many of them. What happens then?
Abdul-Hadi. A large number of them are not Palestinians.
Question. Auni Bey says that he does not want to drive them out, but he says there are too many and I want to know how he would reduce them.
Abdul-Hadi. That is not a question which can be decided here.
(Palestine Royal Commission, Minutes of Evidence Heard at Public Sessions, London 1939, Col. No. 134, p. 298 and p. 314.
Supplementary Note on the Observations of the Permanent Mandates Commission on the 1939 White Paper
In the Report to the Council of the League of Nations the Permanent Mandates Commission at the Thirty-Sixth Session held at Geneva, June 1939, unanimously declared: “The policy set out in the White Paper was not in accordance with the interpretation which, in agreement with the Mandatory Power and the Council, the Commission had places upon the Palestine Mandate.”
(Permanent Mandates Commission, Minutes of the Thirty-Sixth Session, Geneva.
COMMON PURPOSE OF CIVILIZED MANKIND
A Declaration by 68 Members of the Senate and 194 Members of the House of Representatives of the Seventy-seventh, Congress on the Occasion of the Twenty-fifth Anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, November 2nd, 1942
A TRADITIONAL AMERICAN POLICY REAFFIRMED
(American Palestine Committee, New York)
The Balfour Declaration
Issued by the British War Cabinet November 2, 1917, and signed by Arthur James (later Lord) Balfour, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
His Majesty’s Government view with favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will their best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious right of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.
Twenty-five years ago the British Government issued the Balfour Declaration pledging itself to facilitate the establishment of a National Home for the Jewish people in Palestine. The Declaration was published to the world with the approval of the other Powers allied with Great Britain in the World War, and with the encouragement and support of the Government of the United States. It was written into the Peace Treaty with the aid and approval of President Wilson who publicly expressed his confidence that the purposes of the Declaration would be fulfilled. A few years later, the House of Representatives and the Senate of the United States, by unanimous vote, adopted a joint resolution favoring the establishing of the Jewish National Home, and on September 21, 1922, the resolution was duly signed by President Harding. Since then, this policy has been reaffirmed by every succeeding Administration, including the present. It has thus become the declared and traditional policy of the United States to favor the restoration of the Jewish National Home.
The Balfour Declaration was justly hailed throughout the world as an act of historic reparation and as a charter of freedom for the Jewish people. It was designed to open the gates of Palestine to homeless and harassed multitudes and to pave the way for the establishment of a Jewish Commonwealth.
The reasons which, twenty-five years ago, led the American people and the Government of the United States to favor the cause of Jewish national restoration in Palestine are still valid today. In fact, the case for a Jewish Homeland is overwhelmingly stronger and the need more urgent now than ever before. In Palestine the resettlement has advanced from the status of a hopeful experiment to that of a heartening reality, while in Europe the position of the Jews has deteriorated to an appalling degree. Millions of uprooted and homeless Jews will strive to reconstruct their lives anew in their ancestral home when the hour of deliverance will come.
We, therefore, take this occasion, the twenty-fifth anniversary of the issuance of the Balfour Declaration, to record our continued interest in and support of the purposes and principles which it embodies. We wish to send a message of hope and cheer to those in Palestine who are confronting the common enemy with courage and fortitude and are contributing unstintingly of their manpower and effort to the democratic cause.
Faced as we are by the fact that the Nazi government, in its Jewish policy, is attempting to exterminate a whole people, we declare that, when the war is over, it shall be the common purpose of civilized mankind to right this cruel wrong insofar as may lie in our power, ad above all, to enable large numbers of the survivors to reconstruct their lives in Palestine where the Jewish people may once more assume a position of dignity and equality among the peoples of the earth.
Our Government may be assured that in continuing the traditional American policy in favor of so just a cause, it can rely upon our individual support and the approbation of the American people.
The subjoined list of signatories includes, Senator Alben, W. Barkley, of Kentucky, Majority Leader of the Senate, Senator Charles L. McNary, of Oregon, Minority Leader of the Senate, John W. McCormack, of Massachusetts, Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, and Joseph W. Martin, Jr., of Massachusetts, Minority Leader of the House of Representatives.
The list contains also 18 members of the Foreign Relations Committee of the Senate, including Senator Tom Connally of Texas, Chairman of the Committee.
MEMBERS OF THE UNITED STATES SENATE
Joseph H. Ball of Minnesota. Kenneth McKeller of Tennessee
John H. Bankhead, 2nd, of Alabama. Charles L. McNary of Oregon
W. Warren Barbour of New Jersey. Francis Maloney of Connecticut
Alben W. Barkley of Kentucky. Burnet R. Maybank of South Carolina
Theodore G. Bilbo of Mississippi James M. Mead of New York
Ralph O. Brewster of Maine Abe Murdock of Utah
Styles Bridges of New Hampshire. James E. Murray of Montana
Prentiss M. Brown of Michigan Arthur E. Nelson of Minnesota
Harold H. Burton of Ohio George W. Norris of Nebraska
Hugh A. Butler of Nebraska Gerald P. Nye of North Dakota
Harry Flood Byrd of Virginia W. Lee O’Daniel of Texas
Arthur Capper of Kansas Joseph C. O’Mahoney of Wyoming
Albert B. Chandler of Kentucky John H. Overton of Louisiana
D. Worth Clark of Idaho Claude Pepper of Florida
Tom Connally of Texas George L. Radcliffe of Maryland
James J. Davis of Pennsylvania Robert R. Reynolds of North Carolina
Sheridan Downey of California Joseph Rosier of West Virginia
Walter F. George of Georgia Richard B. Russell of Georgia
Guy M. Gillette of Iowa H.H. Schwartz of Wyoming
Carter Glass of Virginia William H. Smathers of New Jersey
Theodore Francis Green of Rhode Island Tom Stewart of Tennessee
Joseph F. Guffey of Pennsylvania Robert A. Taft of Ohio.
Chan Gurney of South Carolina Elbert D. Thomas of Utah
Carl A. Hatch of New Mexico Elmer Thomas of Oklahoma
Carl Hayden of Arizona Charles W. Tobey of New Hampshire.
Clyde L. Herring of Iowa Harry S. Truman of Missouri
Lister Hill of Alabama James M. Tunnell of Delaware
Rufus C. Holman of Oregon Millard E. Tydings of Maryland
James H. Hughes of Delaware Arthur H. Vandenberg of Michigan
Edwin C. Johnson of Colorado Frederick Van Nuys of Indiana
Harley M. Kilgore of West Virginia Robert F. Wagner of New York
William Langer of North Dakota David I. Walsh of Massachusetts
Josh Lee of Oklahoma Alexander Wiley of Wisconsin
Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. of Massachusetts Raymond E. Willis of Indiana
MEMBERS OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Leo E. Allen of Illinois Vergil Chapmen of Kentucky
John Z. Anderson of California J. Edgar Chenoweth of Colorado
August H. Andresen of Minnesota Charles R. Clason of Massachusetts
Walter G. Andrews of New York John M. Coffee of Washington
Homer D. Angell of Oregon John M. Costello of California
Joseph Clark Baldwin of New York Francis D. Culkin of New York
William B. Barry of New York Thomas H. Cullen of New York
Alfred F. Beiter of New York Paul Cunningham of Iowa
George H. Bender of Ohio Thomas D’Alesandro, Jr. of Maryland
Philip A Bennett of Missouri Clifford Davis of Tennessee
Hale Boggs of Louisiana John J. Delaney of New York
Frances P. Bolton of Ohio Charles S. Dewey of New York
Frank W. Boykin of Alabama Samuel Dickstein of New York
Fred Bradley of Michigan John D. Dingell of Michigan
Michael J. Bradley of Pennsylvania Everett M. Dirksen of Illinois
Charles A. Buckley of New York James Domengeaux of Louisiana
Alfred L. Bulwinkle of North Carolina Fred J. Douglas of New York
Thomas G. Burch of Virginia Le Roy D. Downs of Connecticut
Usher L Burdick of North Dakota Carl T. Durham of North Carolina
William T. Byrne of New York Herman P. Eberharter of Pennsylvania
Gordon Canfield of New Jersey Clyde T. Ellis of Arkansas
Clarence Cannon of Missouri Charles H. Elston of Ohio
Pat Cannon of Florida Albert J. Engle of Michigan
Louis J. Capozzoli of New York Charles I. Faddis of Pennsylvania
Francis Case of South Dakota Frank Fellows of Maine
Joseph E. Casey of Massachusetts Ivor D. Fenton of Pennsylvania
Emanuel Celler of New York William J. Fitzgerald of Connecticut
James M. Fitzpatrick of New York John A Meyer of Maryland
Thomas A Flaherty of Massachusetts Thomas B. Miller of Pennsylvania
John H. Folger of North Carolina Wilbur D. Mills of Arkansas
Aime J. Forand of Rhode Island Arthur W. Mitchell of Illinois
Leland M. Ford of California Karl E. Munct of South Dakota
Thomas F. Ford of California Francis J. Myers of Pennsylvania
Richard P. Gale of Minnesota Mary T. Norton of New Jersey
Ralph A Gamble of New York Joseph J. O’Brian of New York
E.C. Gathings of Arkansas Caroline O’Day of New York
Joseph A. Gavagan of New York Joseph P. O’Hara of Minnesota
Bertrand W. Gearhart of California Emmet O’Neal of Kentucky
Charles L. Gerlach of Pennsylvania Donald L. O’Toole of New York
Charles L. Gifford of Massachusetts Nat Patton of Texas
Wilson D. Gillette of Pennsylvania Joseph L. Pfeifer of New York
George W. Gillie of Indiana William T. Pheiffer of New York
George M. Grant of Alabama Walter C. Ploeser of Missouri
Robert A. Grant of Indiana Charles A. Plumley of Vermont
Lex Green of Florida D. Lane Powers of New Jersey
Leonard W. Hall of New York J. Percy Priest of Tennessee
Charles A. Halleck of Indiana Robert Ramspeck of Georgia
Oren Harris of Arkansas Chauncey W. Reed of Illinois
Winder R. Harris of Virginia Robert F. Rich of Pennsylvania
Edward J. Hart of New Jersey A. Willis Robertson of Virginia
Dow W. Harter of Ohio Charles R. Robertson of North Dakota
Fred A. Hartley, Jr., of New Jersey Lewis K. Rockefeller of New York
Joe Hendricks of Florida Robert F Rockwell of Colorado
Elmer J. Holland of Pennsylvania Robert L. Rodgers of Pennsylvania
Pehr G. Holmes of Massachusetts Edith Nourse Rogers of Massachusetts
Frank E. Hook of Michigan Thomas Rolph of California
John M. Houston of Kansas Sam M. Russel of Texas
Evan Howell of Illinois Adolph J. Sabath of Illinois
Ed. V. Izac of California Leon Sacks of Pennsylvania
Joshua L. Johns of Wisconsin Lansdale G. Sasscer of Maryland
Anton J. Johnson of Illinois David Satterfield, Jr. of Virginia
Loydon B. Johnson of Texas Harry Sauthoff of Wisconsin
Nobel J. Johnson of Indiana Thomas E. Scanlon of Pennsylvania
Bartel J. Jonkman of Michigan Leonard W. Schuetz of Illinois
Robert W. Kean of Ney Jersey Hugh D. Scott, Jr. of Pennsylvania
John Kee of West Virginia John A. Shanley of Connecticut
Frank B. Keefe of Wisconsin Harry A. Sheppard of California
Estes Kefauver of Tennessee John Edward Sheridan of Pennsylvania
Augustine B. Kelley of Pennsylvania Robert L. F. Sikes of Florida
Edward A Kelly of Illinois Francis R. Smith of Pennsylvania
John H. Kerr of North Carolina Joe L. Smith of West Virginia
Clarence E. Kolburn of New York Lawrence H. Smith of Wisconsin
Cecil R. King of California Margaret Chase Smith of Main
Arthur G. Klein of New York Martin F. Smith of Washington
Harold Knutson of Minnesota John J. Sparkman of Alabama
Herman P. Kopplemann of Connecticut Brent Spence of Kentucky
Charles Kramer of California William H. Stevenson of Wisconsin
John C. Kunkel of Pennsylvania William H. Sutphin of New Jersey
Thomas Lane of Massachusetts Joseph E. Talbot of Connecticut
Clarence F. Lea of California Henry O. Talle of Iowa
Karl M. LeCompte of Iowa Rudolph G. Tenerowicz of Michigan
Louis Ludlow of Indiana Lewis D. Thill of Wisconsin
Walter A Lynch of New York William R. Thom of Ohio
John W. McCormack of Massachusetts Harve Tibbott of Pennsylvania
Raymond S. McKeough of Illinois John H. Tolan of California
Donald H. McLean of New Jersey Philip A. Traynor of Delaware
Melvin J. Maas of Minnesota James E. Van Zandt of Pennsylvania
Anton F. Maciejewski of Illinois Jerry Voorhis of California
Lucien J. Maciora of Connecticut John M. Vorys of Ohio
Joseph W. Martin, Jr. of Massachusetts James W. Wadsworth of New York
Noah M. Mason of Illinois Zebulon Weaver of North Carolina
Matthew J. Merritt of New York Samuel A Weiss of Pennsylvania
Richard J. Welch of California Roy O. Wodruff of Michigan
Compton I. White of Idaho James A Wright of Pennsylvania
William M. Whittington of Mississippi Stephen M. Young of Ohio
Earl Wilson of Indiana Oscar Youngdahl of Minnesota
Charles A Wolverton of New Jersey.
Statement by Senator Robert F. Wagner of New York, Chairman of the American Palestine Committee
This declaration, signed by Sixty-eight members of the United States Senate and 194 member of the House of Representatives, is an action of world significance. It is expressive of a deep-seated sentiment in favor of the Jewish Homeland in Palestine which is widespread among the American people, and represents also a striking reaffirmation of a traditional American Policy. I am gratified that the initiative in this matter has come from the American Palestine Committee which Senator McNary and I have the honor to head, and by the further fact that more than two-thirds of the Senate has expressed itself in such clear terms. It will be noted that the support which it records is nonpartisan. The list of signatories is headed by Majority Leader Barkley and Minority Leader McNary in the Senate and by Majority Leader McCormack and Minority Leader Martin in the House of Representatives. It includes eighteen members of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.
We have been impelled to reiterate our position as this time by the horrifying reports which have been pouring in concerning the mass slaughter of European Jews—acts of brutality which have shocked decent humanity everywhere. These terrible facts not only call for universal condemnation of the Nazis and sympathy for their victims, but also demand of us a statesmen-like, constructive policy which will provide a more secure and dignified future for the Jewish people in the democratic world of tomorrow. The statement which we are releasing today is in a sense an answer to the Nazis; but it is, above all, the public declaration of such a constructive polity aiming at the solution of the problem through the reestablishing of a Jewish Commonwealth in Palestine.
In behalf of the signatories, I have today submitted the statement to President Roosevelt and to Secretary of State Hull.
I just would like to state for the information of the committee that we have one more witness. Time is getting on. Mr. Louis Lipsky, our remaining witness, appeared before this committee in 1922 on a similar resolution. Mr. Lipsky, will you kindly give your name, business, and place of residence to the reporter?
Statement of Louis Lipsky, Representing the Zionist Organization of America and the American Jewish Conference
Mr. Lipsky. Louis Lipsky, 386 Fourth Avenue, New York. I am representing the Zionist Organization of America and the American Jewish Conference.
Chairman Bloom. And your position there is what, Mr. Lipsky?
Mr. Lipsky. I am the American member of the Jewish Agency for Palestine.
Chairman Bloom. That is the official agency under the mandate?
Mr. Lipsky. Yes. I am also a member of the Zionist Emergency Commission and of the interim committee of the American Jewish Conference.
Mr. Rogers. Are you the American member of the Jewish agency?
Mr. Lipsky. Yes.
Chairman Bloom. Proceed, Mr. Lipsky.
Mr. Lipsky. I may also add that, as the chairman has indicated, I am one of the survivors of the hearing of 1922 before this House committee.
Chairman Bloom. At this very table.
Mr. Lipsky. It was at this very table, and we went through a similar interesting experience with similar excitement, satisfactions, and disappointments. But in the end the resolution which we submitted at that time was adopted unanimously. It was then a smaller committee, as I recall.
Chairman Bloom. Twenty-one members.
Mr. Lipsky. It seemed to me smaller.
Chairman Bloom. And there are no members of the committee today that were members at that time.
Mr. Lipsky. Except Ham Fish.
Chairman Bloom. He is no longer a member of the committee.
Mr. Lipsky. But the hearing was animated by the same courtesy and tact and sympathy as has permeated the sessions of the committee before whom I am now privileged to appear. In fact, the members were even more active in their inquisitions. Some of the members became so interested in their probings that they greatly lightened the burden of the Zionist representatives.
I still remember the historic knowledge and penetrating wisdom of Bourke Cockran, one of the great Democratic orators of his day, who at that time harassed with unusual pertinacity the anti-Zionist counterpart of Rabbi Lazaron, who at that time was Dr. David Philipson of Cincinnati. Dr. Philipson, in his old age, in spite of the revolution that has taken place in the world, in spite of the disastrous conditions that now confront the Jewish people, still remains an opponent of the national home of his people, and still regards himself as a teacher in Israel, although all of Israel refuses to follow his teaching.
It may not be proper for me to observe—it may not be tactful, but I think it is accurate to say—that the Syrian Arab representatives, who come from Lebanon—not from Palestine—are far abler and more adroit and more generally complicated that those who spoke at that time against the joint resolution. The only difficulty we had then was to convince Stephen Porter, of Pittsburgh, who was the chairman of the committee.
Chairman Bloom. Tom Connally was on the committee.
Mr. Lipsky. And Judge Cooper.
Chairman Bloom. And Judge Sabath. We had a good committee then.
Mr. Lipsky. And Representative Burton.
Chairman Bloom. Representative Porter was chairman.
Mr. Lipsky. However, Mr. Porter, after the acrimonious debates that took place, joined in voting for the resolution, which was unanimously adopted.
Chairman Bloom. I may state, if you will permit an interruption there, that Mr. Rogers, the husband of Mrs. Rogers, who is now a member of the committee, was the ranking Republican member of the committee at that time.
Mr. Lipsky. Not all of them are clear in my mind, but I remember vividly Mr. Cochran, Judge Cooper, Mr. Burton, Mr. Linthicum, and others.
Life was much more simple then than it is today from a foreign political point of view. The joint resolution was a joint resolution; it had to be signed by the president. It was simple, clear. It was a formula that everybody could understand. At that time the resolution represented the affirmation on the part of the people of the United States of an ancient hope of the Jewish people which was to be fulfilled by an agreement between all nations. Specifically, it reaffirmed and endorsed the Balfour Declaration.
The fact that Henry Cabot Lodge, one of the leading Republicans in opposition to President Wilson’s peace proposals, was the prime mover, the most eloquent advocate of the Zionist resolution, was an indication of the fact that the resolution was most generally regarded as a subject that transcended parties. It touched a sentiment which reflected a manifest American tradition. Mr. Lodge approached the subject not only as any American but, as I know and as Mr. E.D. Stone, who sits here, remembers through personal conversations with him, as a Christian of the old school.
He had certain ideas about Palestine and the presence of the Turks controlling the land. His public address after the resolution had been adopted—he did not speak in the Senate because there was no discussion in the Senate—reflected the sentiment that Palestine and the Jewish people are historically bound together, and that the Holy Land, the birth place of the Christian and the Jewish religions, could with justice be given back to the people from whose travail a great religious impulse incorporated in two great religions had radiated throughout the world for thousands of years.
He believed that that people could be entrusted with the task of protecting the sanctity of the holy places and that they would find there freedom and security in the promised land for their own benefit and for the good of mankind in general.
I would like to put into the record the speech that Mr. Lodge made at that time.
Chairman Bloom. Without objection, it is so ordered.
(Address of Senator Henry Cabot Lodge is as follows:)
In 1917 I gave public expression to my approval of the Balfour Declaration dated November 2nd of that year, which, as you all know, set for the policy of the British Government in regard to Palestine. This declaration was issued just before General Allenby took possession of Jerusalem on December 11, 1917. Since that date, Great Britain has held possession of Palestine, and will no doubt continue to do so in any event, although it is probable that she will soon receive a mandate from the League for that purpose. This means that Great Britain will be in control of Palestine and that the laws will be administered thereby British courts. It is under this declaration of Mr. Balfour in behalf of the British Government, and the further agreement of San Remo, that the question has arisen about the establishment of a national home by the Jewish people in Palestine. It is this proposition which is favored by the resolution which I had the pleasure of presenting to the Senate, by which it was passed unanimously.
It seemed to me that it was entirely becoming and commendable that the Jewish people in all portions of the world should desire to have a national home for such members of their race as wished to return to the country which was the cradle of their race, and where they lived and labored for several thousand years, running back to days just apparent in the dim dawn of recorded history. What could be more praiseworthy or more appealing than such a desire? Why should it not be gratified? Surely the days of religious intolerance have gone by among all the most highly civilized nations of the western world. Religious freedom is one of the cornerstones of the constitutional government of the United States.
Complete religious tolerance is an American doctrine, and I think all Americans would deplore, and ought to deplore, any attempt to bring race or religion in any manner into our political life. It seems to me that religious freedom as we understand it in the United States must always be one of our most cherished principles.
For this reason, I was glad to propose the resolution to the Senate which favored allowing the Jewish people to have a national home in Palestine. Thee seem to be many mistaken ideas abroad in regard to this national home for the Jews in the land from which they sprang. Some people seem to think that it is a project to have all the Jews in the world go to Palestine. I cannot conceive that anyone who gives it a moment’s thought should not see the utter impracticability of any such plan. There are twelve to fourteen million Jews, I suppose, in the world, according to the best statistics, and it would be physically impossible for them to go to Palestine and live there.
It is a small country, not suited for a great industrial population. It has a population now of seven hundred thousand, and the prospect of development, which must be chiefly along agricultural lines, is necessarily limited. The Jewish people in the world generally have very deep sentiment in regard to it, and it would be astonishing indeed if they did not have it; but, as I understand it, the idea is that this national home should be created and protected, and those of the Jewish people who desire to go there will then be able to go, find employment, and establish themselves upon their ancestral soil. The great mass of the Jewish people will remain necessarily where they now are taking an active and important part in the life of the countries in which they live, but they would be something more or less than human if they did not cherish and reverence this sentiment for the representation of their people in the ancient land from which they come.
I am unable to see any possible objection to it, and on the other hand, there ought to be great sympathy in the gratification of such a sentiment at once so powerful and honorable, among the people who hold it. The United States has no direct interest in Palestine of a material kind, but its people have as Christians the profoundest feeling of veneration for the country which enshrines the holy places, the very holy of holies of all Christendom. This resolution of sympathy with the desires of the Jewish people neither threatens nor invades any rights of any other people. It says, to quote the words of the Senate Resolution: “That the United States of America favors the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of non-Jewish communities in Palestine, and that the holy places and religious buildings and sites in Palestine shall be adequately protected.”
That protection will, of course, be afforded by Great Britain, a great Christian nation, thoroughly devoted to the principles of religious freedom and toleration, and all the rights and all the religious feelings of Christians and Jews alike, to whom the land is sacred, will be guarded as never before. The President of the United States has also recently given public utterance to the cordial sympathy which he feels for the wishes of the Jewish people to have in Palestine a national home. But, strongly as I believe in religious freedom and religious tolerance, I never could accept in patience the thought that Jerusalem and Palestine should be under the control of the Mohammedans, as they have been since 1244 with only a brief interval.
You may smile when I tell you that although as a child I read my Bible, both the Old and New Testaments, I got my first idea of the present condition of Palestine and of the Mohammedan possession from two of Scott’s novels, which absorbed my thoughts when, as a boy of nine, I read with most passionate interest Sir Walter Scott’s stories of The Talisman and Ivanhoe. I had, of course, intense sympathy with the Crusaders, and it seemed to me a great wrong that Jerusalem should be beneath the Moslem rule. You will also recall that in these two stories the Jewish characters were touched by the great writer with a sympathetic hand, and I am sure all of you remember that beautiful character, Rebecca, the daughter of Isaac of York, in Ivanhoe, and the real heroine of the story, and you must, I think, know by heart Rebecca’s hymn of devotion, uttered in the darkest hour alike of her own life and of her race, which begins:
When Israel, of the Lord beloved,
Out of the land of bondage came,
Her father’s God before her moved,
An awful guide, in smoke and flame.
By day, along the astonish’d lands
The cloudy pillar glided slow’
By night, Arabia’s crimson’d sands
Return’d the fiery column’s glow
Our harps we left by Babel’s streams,
The tyrant’s jest, the Gentile’s scorn’
No censer round our altar beams,
And mute our timbrel, trump, and horn.
But THOU hast said, ‘The blood of goat,
The flesh of rams, I will not prize;
A contrite heart, and humble thought,
Are Mine accepted sacrifice.”
But the dominant impression of the boyish mind was hostility to the Mohammedan and an intense admiration for Richard of the Lion-Heart. As I grew older, I learned that the followers of Saladin—great warriors great artists, great architects, great men of learning—no longer held Jerusalem, but that in 1517 it passed into the hands of the Turks, where it has remained ever since. The Turks were very different from the Saracens or the Moors, as they were later known in Northern Africa and Spain. The latter were Semitic. The Turks were of a race generally regarded as related to the Mongols, who had come down from Asia and invaded the Empire of Byzantium. If they ever did anything of value to mankind, history does not disclose it. They were brave soldiers—that has never been questioned—they could fight and oppress weaker peoples, and there their ability stopped. The prosperous towns and cities which had grown up in the region we now call the Balkans, after the fall of the Roman Empire and which enjoyed great commercial prosperity and high civilization for that period, withered away into wretched villages. Wherever the Turk set his foot, poverty, ignorance, and degeneration followed. He could conquer, but he could not govern, and his rule has been a curse to every land it touched. That Jerusalem and Palestine, sacred to the Jews, who had fought through centuries to hold their city and their temple, a land profoundly holy to all the great Christian nations of the West, should remain permanently in the hands of the Turks has seemed to me for many years one of the great blots on the face of civilization, which out to be erased.
The rescue of Palestine by Great Britain and the Allies removed this stigma from the western nations, and never again must the Holy Land, as all Christians call it, pass into Turkish possession. The great result, I am sure, has been not only a joy to all those who think of the Holy Land with devout reverence, but will be a service to all mankind. If its government be properly administered, it must carry with it an extension on to hate oppression and persecution born of religious differences. Thus will be spread farther than ever before among the people of the earth, the belief which all American s cherish so deeply— that no man’s liberty of conscience must be questioned so long as he does not question that of this neighbor, ad that men of varying faiths may live together in harmony and good will.
Mr. Lipsky. The joint resolution did reflect the sentiments of the American people and when under consideration in the House, it was given generous support in the editorial columns of the American press. The views of a large number of Senators and Representatives all be found, if the committee desires to read them, in a little book—not a little book; quite a big book—entitled “The War Congress and Zionism.” I do not know who of the membership of the House is not represented in this book—that is, the membership of the House at that time. It seemed to be practically a roll call of the House, because there was not one opposed to the proposal.
The adoption of the joint resolution was not a chance register of a resolution, as often happens, but the expression of a conclusion thoroughly discussed and quite well understood throughout the country. The position taken by Woodrow Wilson was based upon his deep knowledge of American traditions as well as by his Christian attitude. The same thoughts were expressed in the endorsement of the Zionist position by succeeding American Presidents; they were reflected in the views of our State Department. The joint resolution was immediately signed by President Harding and within less than 2 years, after a great deal of discussion between the State Department and the British Foreign Office, a convention was entered into in 1924 or 1925—
Chairman Bloom. December 1925.
Mr. Lipsky. At the suggestion of Lord Curzon, the British Secretary for Foreign Affairs, the convention included the text of the preamble of the mandate in which the following relevant paragraphs appear—that is, in the American convention.
Whereas the principal Allied Powers have also agreed that the mandatory should be responsible for putting into effect the declaration originally made on the 2nd November 1917 by the Government of His Britannic Majesty, and adopted by the said powers, in favor of the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, it being clearly understood that nothing should be done which might prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country; and
Whereas recognition has thereby been given to the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country;…
In the hearing before the House committee, a discussion on practically the same lines as we have had here took place. In spite of the fact that surrounding the hearing there was manifested in press and pulpit an overwhelming popular support of the resolution, the same categories of opponents appeared. Their names are different; but the same arguments were presented, with the same fervor and the same eloquence and the same piety on the part of some rabbis.
I am very reluctant to enter the dispute raised by the opposing Jewish representatives as to the distinction between race and religion in Jewish life. It is better to leave it to rabbis. This is a matter that has gone on among Jews for 40 years, and the matter has become very clear, and there is no serious difference between Jews except as between the vast overwhelming majority of the Jews and a few dissenting minority groups who take positions that are wholly at variance with what is regarded by all Jews as their fundamental, vital interest.
In my opinion this discussion is irrelevant to the question in issue. The definitions given as to race and religion and people and proposals for a new regime in Palestine, all have to have some relation to the realities they attempt to describe. You cannot come into a committee meeting and propose things that have no relation to the political thinking of the world, that have nothing to do with things that have been under consideration for decades, and assume that an operation that emanates out of a solution of a practical problem can be taken up de novo and made the subject of discussion in a House committee, which is called upon to act in a practical, political situation.
The House is not in a position to enter into these devious discussions as to proposals as to what could be done in the ultimate with Palestine or with any other country, if, in connection with these countries, certain positions have been taken and certain relations have been established, as have been established in the case of Palestine.
There is no doubt whatsoever, it is a matter of continuous recording by the Jews themselves, of how they regarded themselves in world relations and their relations to one another. No one will question the constant and uninterrupted and unequivocal hope of the Jewish people throughout the ages up to this very day, which is imbedded in their religious ideals, principles, in their customs, in their legends, in their laws, in the constant trickle of Jews into Palestine; that there is evident on the part of the Jewish people a clear expression of the aspirations of an enduring people, who express themselves through their democratic forms but who never are able to reach unanimity.
It is a peculiar characteristic of the Jews, as it may be regarded a peculiar characteristic of other peoples, that they never agree unanimously. And the farther away you go from the United States, you will probably find that these differences prevail much more frequently among other peoples than among the Jews themselves.
Always there has been a small contingent of secessionists who have reasons of their own that condition their thinking, that motivate their action. Always there has been a fringe of Jewish life, due to pressure, eager to disappear into the anonymity they might be able to find in alien circles, or in establishing contacts with these other circles, and they have always tried to impress Jewish life with their opinions. They have never prevailed; they have never made any impression and either they have come back to the fold or they have disappeared into nothingness. That historic fact is recorded in Jewish history over hundreds of years.
The strange situation is that Jewish advocates have appeared here who are not content with merely expressing their opinions or their convictions in Jewish circles, and living their own lives in their own way and preaching the Judaism that they believe in; but they have appeared as active crusaders, determined to frustrate the hopes of their people. Because they are not frank, their position is equivocal and inconsistent.
We are talking of the life and the destiny of Jews throughout the world. We are talking of a people who are fundamentally religious, but who have other qualities in addition. We are talking of this people which is not suffering persecution and humiliations. We are talking of a people whose life is spread out upon the map of Europe in blood which still continues to flow. You cannot approach a situation like this and preach an abstract idea of Jewish life and confine it within a shell they call Jewish religion.
The most peculiar thing about the preachers of this form of Judaism is that among Jews they are regarded as being as far away from Jewish religion as anybody could possibly be without becoming Unitarian or Universalist. Among Jews they are not regarded as being representatives of Jewish religion; they have so reformed Jewish religion that it has become almost unrecognizable as Jewish. And so Jews regard them.
It may be said, “Well, they have a perfect right under a democratic form of government to do as they please.” But they are engaged in an active campaign to disprove what has been established by the Jews themselves. We have established a registered point of view of the Jewish people. At that time, in 1919, we had an American Jewish Congress. If you will read the record which I have here of the hearing in 1922, you will see that Dr. Philipson appeared and presented the record to show that the Jews are not in favor of the Jewish National Home, and he cited figures. At that time the Central Congress of American Rabbis, which is the Reform Jewish body, was officially, by a majority vote, against the Jewish National Home. But the joint resolution was adopted by the House committee and by the House and Senate and signed by the President of the United States. But at that time the Reform Jews were not in favor of it.
Today an overwhelming majority of the members of the Central Conference of American Rabbis is on record in favor of this resolution, in favor of our position. At that time the Union of American Hebrew Congregations was wholly against us. The House committee adopted it unanimously nevertheless. Today the Union of American Hebrew Congregations is a member of the American Jewish Conference.
At that time the B’nai Brith was neutral; today it is a member of the American Jewish Conference which adopted the Palestine resolution. Today the same group, represented by Dr. Philipson in 1922, is an emaciated group, a group that has lost its standing among Jews, that is, fumbling around for some formula that will keep them within the fold of Jewish life and at the same time enable them to establish their isolation from the ancient hope of the Jewish people.
I was an official of the American Jewish Conference that conducted the elections. We devised a system of democratic representation of proportional group representation with the conference. We organized a conference which gave an opportunity to every group to express its opinion. We represented, according tour calculations—there being 1 delegate for every 50 Jews that came to the conference—we had a representation there of two and a half million Jews, of all national organizations with the exception of two. It was the most impressive ceremonial act on the part of the Jewish people when they voted on the Palestine resolution. And the vote on the Palestine resolution was taken after there had been 2 days’ deliberation in a subcommittee in which some of these men, who subsequently did not vote, participated in the debate. They participated on the floor by making statements and declarations. And at the end of the proceedings every Jew in the United States was convinced that this represented the opinion of the Jews of this country.
Now, how can the impression be avoided that there are some who do not agree? Mr. Rosenwald testified here that he represented, after an effort, after an expenditure of quite a good deal of money, the achievement of 2,500 Jews who had registered with the Council for American Judaism—2,500 Jews as against the two and a half million who were in the American Jewish Conference, as against the active elements of Jewish life which control and direct the Zionist movement, which is a permeating influence in every field of Jewish life, in the religious, in the social, in the philanthropic features of Jewish life. Yet the impression that is made by well-meaning gentlemen with erudition and piety is that this represents dissension.
If that is dissension, then the United States is a seething maelstrom of dissension. If that is dissension, England today, in the midst of the war, is a turbulent revolutionary country. In any well-ordered democracy that would be regarded as disorderliness, not dissension, as the refusal on the part of eccentric persons to abide by majority rule.
I said that the position, because of the uncertainties and the two-faced attitude they take with regard to Jewish life—one looking to life on the outside; the other looking to the Jews—produces equivocation and inconsistency. They say they favor all the practical aspects of the building of a Jewish community in the promised land. They say they favor free Jewish immigration. They say they favor a cultural and social center for the Jewish people in Palestine. They seem to be sympathetic to the creation of a Jewish economic life in Palestine, but for reasons that are incomprehensible, they are adverse to the establishment of the necessary political armaments that may be required to maintain the life thus created, whether it be religious or social or economic.
There must be some protection for that life. Al the Jews may be religious, and of the school of Rabbi Fineshriber, or all the Jews may be religious of the school of Rabbi Gold, but it must be recognized that they have common interests that are human and mundane, and these interests have to be protected by the forms of political institution s. But they refuse to accept the possibilities of the Jews becoming the majority. They are willing to abandon the idea of majority rule in Palestine as soon as the Jews become the majority.
And for what reason? Is there anything offensive to good taste in the Jewish people having a majority in a land which they built up themselves with their own labor and sacrifice? Is there anything offensive to democracy if the Jews come to Palestine under the mandate and establish a majority?
On the contrary, is it not very proper for them to establish a majority and to maintain that majority ad to give certain agreements, if necessary, as to the fundamental rights that are to be guaranteed to all citizens, regardless of race or creed.
Does anybody sitting around this table believe for one second that the Jews will go back to Palestine, after their experience of hundreds of years of persecution, and start their state with an attempt to oppress people, with an attempt to get the best of people, who are, as has been said here, their cousins, and with whom they would get along very well if there were no political implications involved? Does anybody believe for 1 minute that the Jews will not endeavor to the best of their ability to establish for their own interests a state in which every man will be free and equal, regardless of race or color or religion? Does anybody doubt that? Do the Arabs need to be protected against the Jews, or the Jews against that Arabs?
What is happening today is the best proof of what Jews are capable of doing. Without any compulsion, without any control of the state, the Jewish people have moved into the building of Palestine with the utmost consideration for every individual living in the land. They have not conquered the land by force; they have bought land in a free market. They have overpaid for the land. They have walked in peace and with justice as their guide. They have given every consideration to Arab citizens there, regardless of the attitude taken by the irregulars among the Arabs. And that can be expected also in the future.
It seems to me—it may not be fair for me to say this—that our rabbinical friends who are opposing the resolution cling to these inconsistencies in spite of their obviousness because of their fear that the words that are being used contradict their self-chosen definitions, and that they may inconvenience them or embarrass them in the preaching of the doctrine that they have adopted 40 or 50 years ago, before Hitler, and which they still maintain, regardless of what life had done to the Jewish people. Even if the Jewish people are a religious group, the essence of a political situation still remains and it has to be applied, whether we are a race or a religion.
I say that this situation here has been greatly complicated unnecessarily. We are not dealing with a new problem nor with a new issue, with a new conflict. So far as the United States is concerned, what the policy with regard to Palestine was to be was determined and registered in 1922, and through Executive action in 1925. What we are called upon to do relates to an unwarranted, an unsanctioned, an illegal departure from a policy which was agreed to in 1917, which was confirmed in 1922 by the Chief Executive of the American Government, which was incorporated in 1922 in the Joint resolution unanimously adopted by the Congress and by the convention with England adopted in 1925.
That policy is now being threatened. It is not a secret matter; it has been published all over the world since 1939. The intention of the British Government is to change that policy without consulting either with the United States or any of the nations signatory to the mandate. That policy is threatened through the abandonment of the Balfour Declaration by the mandatory government in its declared policy incorporated in the MacDonald White Paper of 1939. That policy blots out the judgment of 52 nations, including the United States. It renders null and void the basic promise of the British Government and disregards the enforcement of those promises by the League of Nations and by the Government of the United States. It abandons the idea of the Jewish National Home completely in favor of the idea of a determined, guaranteed majority Arab state in Palestine. That is a violation of everything contained in the papers you have been questioning witnesses about.
The great promises of Balfour and Lloyd George and Churchill, as well as the promises of Woodrow Wilson and General Smuts and others, were abandoned by the British Government almost simultaneously with the abandonment of the policy of appeasement of Hitler. England took up arms in defense of civilization. At the same time, almost within a few months, on its own motion, without consulting its friends, without ascertaining their views, without consulting the endorsers of the promise, it undertook, in the course of 5 years, to eliminate its promise to the Jewish people, disregarding utterly the fate of five or six hundred thousand Jews who had come into Palestine and built up their lives under the British promise and undertook to transfer the sovereignty of Palestine, not to the Jews, not to take it itself, but to transfer it to the Arabs of Palestine, who at that time were engaged in a campaign of terror and murder under the instigation and with the support of the Nazis and the Fascists. That was not a revolution or a revolt. It was a conspiracy, the cost of which was paid for in money by Germany and Italy and in blood by Jews and Arabs and English soldiers. For that statement, we have the authority of Mr. Churchill himself as to what were the underlying causes of this reign of terror.
What does the resolution under discussion involve? As was indicated in the questions raised by Mr. Voorhis, it merely reaffirms the sentiment of the Congress of 1922. It tenders its views with regard to a great humanitarian movement to the executive department of our Government for its guidance. It undertakes to convey to the executive department what it regards as the prevailing American sentiment on a matter with which the executive department is now dealing.
It is very important that the executive department should be informed, and that the executive department should inform this committee with regard to the situation. The peace of the world is being made piecemeal from day to day, and the conditions that are to prevail in the Near East are being determined from day to day by individual acts of Government representatives. What will be the future of Palestine is being determined right now, just as the future of the Arab states in the vicinity is being agreed to.
These relations are being fixed. They are being determined by the discussion which is being held in the capital of the United States at the present time with regard to the oil of Arabia. Do you suppose that the question of the oil of Arabia, when determined, is not going to affect Jewish rights in Palestine in one form or another? Is it not important that this committee at this time give the executive department the information that it represents through its representative capacity, so that the Government of the United States may know what is public opinion with regard to this matter? Does public opinion stand by 1922, or is it also involved in the mixture called the oil of Arabia, and in the mixture called secret sessions at Cairo; in different propositions that are being made about an Arab federation, which may pop up some morning as an established federation, which will reflect itself in what Palestine is to become? Is it not important that this committee advise the executive department with regard to this matter?
This resolution reaffirms a position which was taken in 1922 and which remains valid so far as the American people are concerned also in 1944.
In the light of the developments of the past 22 years, the resolution submitted is clear and less equivocal. The equivocations of the mandate have become so confusing that not even the English Government and its officials are in a position to understand exactly where they are going, and it is important that we express a view with regard to that situation through the advices that may be given from the House to the executive department.
When this resolution is adopted, it will reflect the compassion of the vast majority of American citizens and of their elected representatives for the millions of Jews, victims of Hitler’s barbarism. It will indicate American sympathy with the just claims of the Jewish people for the fulfillment of promises made and internationally accepted in 1917.
At the end of the First World War, the grand mood of justice and peace and democracy captured the spirit of the Allied states. They sought to materialize the hopes of many peoples in Europe. They did the best that they could under the circumstances. The hopes and aspirations of the Jewish people were given form and substance in the Balfour Declaration. They were given practical significance in the decisions that established the mandate. An ancient wrong was to be righted, a sanctuary was to be created. The homelessness of the Jewish people was to come to an end. They were not thinking then of Zionism as lawyers; but as men imbued with an ideal of justice. They were not afraid to speak of reconstituting the Jewish Commonwealth, of the return of the Jewish people to Zion.
But the mood passed in stages from one retreat to another. The field of operations was restricted, becoming smaller from year to year. The retreat came to its climax in 1939, when the MacDonald White Paper cut away the foundations upon which the covenant for the Jewish National Home rested.
I was in London at that time, at the so-called Arab-Jewish Conference which was not an Arab-Jewish Conference at all. The Arabs met in one corner one day and we met in another corner the next day, and the intermediary between us was Malcolm MacDonald, who finally, in desperation, gave up his attempts and said he would do it himself, and he drew up the MacDonald White Paper at a time when England was in the greatest confusion. England was at that time considering how to protect itself by concession and appeasement, for it was not in a position to defend its imperial interests. They were considering, “How can we preserve some parts of our empire?” And in desperation they forced this White Paper through Parliament.
There was a tremendous number of Members of the House who were opposed to the policy. Mr. Churchill delivered an address that touched the conscience of every Member of Parliament, because he personally was responsible for the Balfour Declaration, and he had something to do with the making of the mandate, and he was a party to everything that related to the building of the Jewish National Home. He thought the White Paper represented moral bankruptcy.
They passed it through. And they attempted to implement it. They attempted to implement this policy at a time when the Jewish people were scurrying to all corners of Europe seeking a haven of refuge, and finding few. And they implemented the White Paper strictly as to immigration, as to land purchase, and they were considering how to build up the Arab state right in the midst of the confusion of the war. And they are doing so to this day, in spite of the fact that Mr. Churchill represents an opinion which is quite contrary to the opinion of the Palestine administration.
It therefore becomes necessary for the American Congress, functioning in a time of war, when it is important that the executive branch of the Government should be informed as to what the state of public opinion may be, when we are fighting together with England, to express its views on this important matter. This is not a time of peace. England is our ally. We are fighting together with them, and our interests are common, and we are not approaching strangers with strange requests. It has something to do with a matter in which the American Government, in the time of the first war, joined with England in a common cause.
We have a right to intervene at this time, when we are fighting especially together with England for the preservation of the principles of democracy and for the integrity of international law and international covenants.
It is important that this resolution be adopted as an indication that the just principles adopted in 1922 remain valid in 1944.
Chairman Bloom. It that all?
Mr. Lipsky. That is all.
Chairman Bloom. Judge Kee.
Mr. Kee. I have no questions.
Chairman Bloom. Dr. Eaton.
Mr. Eaton. No questions.
Chairman Bloom. Mr. Jarman.
Mr. Jarman. Not at this hour.
Chairman Bloom. Mr. Chiperfield.
Mr. Chiperfield. No
Chairman Bloom. Mr. Rogers.
Mr. Rogers. Just to say that it was a brilliant explanation of some of the points which have been brought out.
I have no questions.
Chairman Bloom. Mr. Jonkman.
Mr. Jonkman. No questions.
Chairman Bloom. Mr. Wright.
Mr. Wright. No questions.
Chairman Bloom. Mrs. Bolton.
Mrs. Bolton. No questions
Chairman Bloom. Mr. Wadsworth.
Mr. Wadsworth. No questions.
Chairman Bloom. Mr. Lipsky, we appreciate your coming back after so many years.
Mr. Lipsky. I am glad I am still here.
Chairman Bloom. I want to say for the benefit of the members, if you would like to read the proceedings of 1922, the clerk has the hearings here of that time. They are here for you to read.
Mr. Lipsky, we thank you very, very much. We thank all witnesses who appeared here today for being so patient and waiting until this hour. The Chair wishes to state that up to the present time, the time today has been divided, 2 ¾ hours for the proponents, and 3 hours and 10 minutes for the opponents, and in making that statement just wants to have it as a matter of record that the committee has been very patient to hear both sides of this question, and has tried to give everyone a fair hearing.
Thank you very, very, much.
The committee stands adjourned to the call of the chairman.
(Whereupon, at 5:20 p.m., the hearing was adjourned, to reconvene upon the call of the chairman.)