Washington (Aug. 27)
The delegation of American Jews, representing the Zionist Organization of America, Hadassah, women’s Zionist organization, the American Jewish Congress, the Independent Order Brith Abraham and other large national Jewish organizations, submitted the following statement concerning the anti-Jewish atrocities in Palestine to Secretary of State Stimson today:
“This delegation officially represents the Zionist Organization of America and its affiliated bodies, embracing some 200,000 men and women. Morally, we believe we speak for upwards of 4,000,000 American citizens of the Jewish race and faith who are today overwhelmed with grief over the tragic occurrences which are transpiring in Palestine. It is no exaggeration to say that nothing since the pogroms under the Czarist regime and the massacres in the Ukraine, following the disintegration of Russia, has affected our people so deeply as these events.
“For many years American Jews have been displaying an ever growing interest in the endeavor to build in Palestine a national home for the disinherited of our race and to recreate Jewish culture and civilization in its native environment. These efforts have taken on large proportions since the issuance of the Balfour Declaration and the assumption of the Mandate over Palestine by Great Britain under express provisions looking to the creation of a national home for the Jewish people.
“Through a series of formal declarations by the allied powers and by virtue of treaties between various nations, as well as by the official acts of the League of Nations, the historic right of the Jewish people to reconstruct its national home in Palestine has been publicly recognized and woven into the fabric of international law. On September 21, 1922, the House of Representatives and Senate of the United States unanimously adopted joint resolutions, which were signed by the late President Harding, placing the seal of approval of the United States upon the purposes of the Balfour Declaration and the Palestine Mandate in unmistakable terms.
“In reliance upon these international guarantees and encouraged by the attitude of civilized mankind, the Jewish people have been engaged in the difficult and laborious work of rehabilitating an ancient country, draining its swamps, conquering its diseases, reforesting its barren hills, enriching the soil, erecting new industries, developing its commerce, and peopling its waste places with peaceful, hardy and energetic settlers.
“American Jews have played a large part in this work. Hundreds of American Jewish families are in Palestine today contributing their personal efforts. Tens of millions of dollars have been donated or invested there by American Jews in social, educational and economic projects. Thousands of Americans, Christians as well as Jews, visit Palestine annually, drawn by religious sentiment, as well as by a deep interest in the great work of reconstruction which is in progress. “The outrages in Palestine have, therefore, had a great repercussion in America and we feel called upon to turn to the American Government in this tragic emergency. The public prints and private advices indicate that numerous American citizens have fallen victims to the passion of fanatical mobs, and that many more are in imminent danger of their lives. The property of American citizens in Palestine is being looted and given to the flames. The Holy City, sacred to three great religions, has been desecrated and turned into a battleground. All accounts point to the fact that these attacks upon Jewish life and property were premeditated, well organized and concerted.
“The Arab aggressors were unlawfully armed and have been securing additional weapons from Transjordania, while the Jews, according to recent despatches, are being disarmed and so placed at the mercy of the frenzied mobs. Jews in small outlying communities have been taken by surprise and put to the sword without an opportunity for self-defense. Arab outrages reached the depths of savagery in Hebron, the city of the patriarch Abraham were scores of Jewish scholars and students, utterly defenseless, were brutally massacred and theor bodies mutilated,-among them a number of American lads who were rounding out their Jewish education in Palestine.
“These events have shocked mankind and filled every Jewish heart with horror and indignation. The Zionist Organization of America, which for so many years has been fostering Jewish work in Palestine and contributing to the health and well-being of the entire population without regard to race or creed through the Hadassah medical organization, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee and the benefactions of Nathan Straus and other agencies, stands aghast at this crime against humanity; but not even this horror will swerve the Jewish people by a hair’s breadth from their purpose to rebuild Palestine and re-establish the ancient homeland. We are resolved to continue our policy of peaceful development, confident that as a result of this great tragedy new conditions will be created which will make a recurrence of such things forever impossible, so that the constructive efforts of the Jewish people in Palestine may proceed in the future strengthened and adequately safeguarded.
“In the present emergency we are confident that the British Imperial Government is anxious to restore law and order in Palestine and will take strong and energetic measures to bring it about. We also feel confident that the Government of the United States
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is taking every necessary precaution to prevent the further sacrifice of American lives and property. But so deeply do the events in Palestine concern the great masses of American Jews that we have been called upon by Jews in every section of the country to convey to you the intense anxiety that still prevails. Every hour brings additional reports of the widening of the area of disturbances, of fresh casualties and of the increasing gravity of the situation.
“American Jewry would, therefore, deeply appreciate such assurances as the American Government may feel it is in a position to give that every possible effort will be made to bring about an immediate cessation of the massacre of innocent men and women and the wanton destruction of their property.
“We also request the cooperation of the consular forces of the United States in Palestine in the effective distribution of the emergency funds which are now being raised.
“Finally, we beg leave to submit at a later date and in proper form such data as may come into our possession regarding the events in Palestine.
“We are cognizant of steps which have already been taken by the State Department and are confident that we may count upon it, as well as other Government agencies for a sympathetic understanding and fullest cooperation in this grave situation.”