“The Mandates Commission struck a blow at the authority of the League of Nations when it listened to voices that were hostile to the Jewish people, and uttered criticism of our pioneers. The British Government, through its Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, the Hon. Austin Chamberlain, made its protest before the Supreme Council, but the report of the Mandates Commission will doubtless be used again and again by vicious enemies, in spite of that protest, and in spite of its untruth”, declared Louis Lipsky, Chairman of the Zionist of America, who has just returned from his first visit to Palestine, at a reception given in his honor at the Hotel Roosevelt. Over three thousand persons were present.
“It also appears that high dignitaries of the Catholic Church, in various parts of the world, are interested in creating the impression that Jews coming to Palestine desecrate the sanctity of the land by introducing modern devices for amusement,” Mr. Lipsky continued. “This is deplorable. It displays a perverse attitude of mind, which will not help in bringing peace in a harassed world. Whoever comes to Palestine to make two blades of grass grow where there was one before, whoever comes to Palestine with the aspiration to make the land and its people speak the the language of a living religious ideal, should be welcomed as the maker of a New Temple. And when the Jewish people, suffering for generations and to this day at the hand of religious institutions, suffering as no people has suffered, return to their ancient home, and through labor seek to serve a Living God, their advent on the hills of Judaea should be greeted with satisfaction and encouragement by the adherents of all religions and by the enlightened nations of the earth. Least of all should their sincere efforts to create a center of ideal life for themselves be disturbed by representatives of that religion which preaches peace on earth and good-will to all men.”
In giving his impressions of Palestine, Mr. Lipsky stated Palestine is destined to play an important part in the development of the East, and in the interplay of national interests centered about the Sucz Canal and Egypt. For generations it had been left untouched by the hand of progress. It was a neglected and oppressed land. It was perishing for the lack of sympathy and affection. Regarded, with little passion, as the burial ground of the three great religions, reverent pilgrims came merely to gaze upon the remains of what was once the glory of the world.
Today, the land is being reborn. It is a New Palestine that greets the visitor. Its soil, treated with disdain, raked on the surface for a wretched ##yelihood, is now being recovered to provide the needs of a much larger population. New growths, like tobacco, bananas, sugar-cane, have been introduced. Its cities, picturesque as ancient relics, pressed behind the walls that once protected a cowering people, are being remade, and beautiful suburbs arise in the vicinity of Jerusalem, Haifa, Jaffa and Tiberias.
But it is on the land that what has been done by Jews deserves the warmest commendation. The meanest calumny that has ever been uttered is involved in recent statements that have been made regarding the character of the young Jews who have gone on the land. It has been said of them that they show no aptitude for farming and that they are not a desirable element. These young men and women, carefully selected by Zionist agencies in various parts of Europe, come, it is true, with only a slight experience in agriculture. Many of them are students, professional people, people with out means, and without having any training a farmers. But they have that which makes the## the most valuable pioneer material ever a people possessed. They are willing to forego every thing forget their own individual needs and future, and make themselves the advance guard of a Jewish peasant class.
Miss Henrietta Szold presided at the reception Chief Rabbi Dr. Chajes of Vienna, Dr. Shmary Levin and Nathan Straus, were speakers of the evening. Statements of particular interest were made by Nathan Straus, the Jewish philanthropist criticizing the anti-Zionist attitude of the “American Hebrew”. “No one but God himself can take Palestine from the Jewish people”. Mr. Straus exclaimed.