London (Jul. 1)
(By Our London Correspondent)
A reply to the charges levelled against him by the opponents of his political policy with regard to Palestine was made by Dr. Chaim Weizmann, in an interview given to the representative of the “Ha’olam,” the official Hebrew organ of the World Zionist Organization, published here.
“I know that the Jewish public would like to hear from me a word or so about the political affairs of the movement. I purposely refrained from speaking on this matter not because I do not ascribe any importance to the political work of the Zionist movement, not because I beileve–as some fools and some vicious men ascribe to me–that politics is my ‘private affair’ and nobody else has any business to interfere. The contrary is true. ‘I wish that all of God’s people were statesmen,’ on the condition, however, that they understand that not every hysterical noise is ### political action and not everybody who signs his name under a document, be it even a memorandum to some ministry, is a man of political affairs…’Dr. Weizmann stated.
“I am almost ashamed to answer to all the arguments that were made against the policy for which I am responsible. It was said that my policy was by its very nature one of compromise. They make believe that there really are among us people who demand much and people who are satisfied with little and voluntarily relinquish the rest. It is ridiculous to answer such arguments. After all, we all know each other; the work and intentions of every one of us are known. I will therefore limit myself to this short declaration:
“There is no fundamental difference of opinion among the Zionists concerning the beginning, the middle and the end of the Zionist plan. There is, however, a great difference in the measure of responsibility which rests upon us. Some may perhaps speak in high tones and large words because these words do not impose any obligation on them. He however, whose every word is an obligation, internally as well as externally, is not in such a happy state as to be able to give free expression to the sentiments of the people.
“With us the policy is conducted, as far as we can, in a permanent way and in a manner which is in our opinion truly political. Should we find it necessary to summarize our achievements in this field, we could perhaps point to many improvements and what is more important, we could also show in this respect, like in the question of the agricultural settlement in Palestine, that there is the confidence of a clearly defined and paved way. In London, in Paris and in Geneva, as well as in Jerusalem, in the Emek and in Beirut, we know what we want and we do all we can to explain to others our needs and our aspirations. Sometimes, we meet much success and sometimes we achieve little or nothing. This is the fate of every policy. At least, we have gained respect everywhere.”
Discussing the questions of the Palestine frontier force and the Arab-Jewish relations, Dr. Weizmann declared:
“There are false prophets who come and bring the sad message that the sword and the sword alone will decide between us and our neighbors. These false prophets, while proclaiming this message have not–and cannot have–a sword of their own. To this we say: the Book will decide and the Book we have in our hands.”
Referring to the matter of agricultural and industrial development in the country and immigration, Dr. Weizmann stated:
“Our Eretz Israel is a ‘working Palestine.’ It progresses and sees the fruit of its work, particularly in the field of agriculture. The colonies, the old as well as the new, are no doubt becoming stronger and are on the road to prosperity. Even those in which the situation is not completely firm, can say that they at least see ‘the end’ and that that end is not far off.
“It is true that not all of the human material which has attempted to find refuge in the agriculture in Palestine was fit for it. We take note of this, certainly with regret and deep sorrow. But we have no right to close our eyes to the fact that a certain part of the new settlers, particularly those of the middle class category and even some of the Chassidic settlers, will be compelled to leave their places. This happens, not because those elements don’t want to work; the contrary is true, they have shown and they still show a sacred devotion to the ideal of work and the national resettlement, but there are physical and psychological obstacles over which no effort can avail. Much is due to century-old training which cannot be overcome in one generation. However, after a sort of ‘natural selection’ will take place, even those colonies will go on an upward road.
“Those left behind in the agricultural process will, therefore, return to the town and will add to the clas of ‘luftmenschen’ which is already there. We consider it our duty to tell ‘the truth from Palestine,’ that a certain part of this human material which has gathered in the country, together with the fourth Alijah, is not fit for Palestine and the country is not fit for them. Some of them will, perhaps, be absorbed by the industries and commerce which are now undeveloped and which cannot become too large at present. No matter how much we regret it and how much it hurts us, we must say that some of these people will find it necessary to leave the country.” he declared.