American Jews’ Confidence in British Palestine Policy Thoroughly Shaken, Louis Lipsky Declares in Lo
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American Jews’ Confidence in British Palestine Policy Thoroughly Shaken, Louis Lipsky Declares in Lo

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That the late President Woodrow Wilson was co-author of the famous Balfour Declaration which pledged the best endeavors of the British government to facilitate the establishment of the Jewish National Home in Palestine was the revelation made by Louis Lipsky, president of the Zionist Organization of America, in his address which he delivered Sunday night at the Royal Albert Hall called under the auspices of the English Zionist Federation to protest against the Palestine massacres.

The American Zionist leader voiced the disappointment of American Jews in the British policy in Palestine and stated that although he does not speak in his capacity as a member of the World Zionist Executive, he is certain that his American constituency, probably the largest Jewish community in the world, sustains him in this view.

“I speak the sober truth when I say that from all the reports that have come to me from the United States, it is obvious that confidence has been thoroughly shaken and is being lost by what is now going on in Palestine,” he said.

“As president of the Zionist Organization of America. I believe I speak in the name of that large Jewish community, probably the largest in the world, which during the past ten years; has given ample material evidence of its unbroken interest in the redemption of Palestine under the protection of Great Britain. That interest was not an isolated Jewish matter. It has been given the warm approval of all sections of the American people.

“The great American president, the late Woodrow Wilson, joined the British and the allied statement in drawing up the formula of the Balfour Declaration and his keen interest followed it in framing the terms of the peace treaties. The ratification of the Mandate by the League of Nations which placed Palestine under the authority of Great Britain, was approved in an unanimous resolution by the Congress of the United States in 1923.

“All presidents since Wilson have without exception, time and again, expressed a positive and official interest in the upbuilding of Palestine through Jewish effort. Leading statesmen of both great American parties have given it the benefit of their influential endorsement. So widespread was the interest in the Mandate and such was the prestige of great Britain among Jews that in 1918 the American Jewish Congress, a democratic institution, representative of practically eighty percent of the Jews of America, unanimously urged Great Britain to accept the Mandate over Palestine from the League of Nations. It was this confidence in Great Britain and its people that transformed the Zionist movement from one of propaganda for an ideal into a movement for the practical realization of an ideal aim. It was the faith in the promise and pledge of Great Britain that made it possible to win for the redemption of Palestine the support of the entire American Jewish community.


“The shocking incidents of the past two weeks have broken the continuity of ten years hard work in Palestine. The words of peace and conciliation we uttered have been turn into mockery and humiliation. There is a bitter taste in our months. There is indignation and grief. The prophetic vision of a desolate land being redeemed by a people, free for the first time in centuries to engage in national creative work, was blurred by the blood of Jews shed in defence of their lives on the field we thought would here-after be dedicated to peace and good-will. American Zionists have given loyal, unqualified cooperation to the heroic effort of Dr. Weizmann to maintain, against great odds, a policy of patience, forebearance and sufferance which guided the administration of Zionist affairs. That policy was based on the implicit faith in the essential justice of our cause which ultimately must be recognized. We believed in all the inhabitants of Palestine and had faith in the sincerity of the intentions of the Mandatory Power. No other course was open to a people whose history has been one of suffering, whose guiding principle in life always has been peace and who, returning to their heritage with the sanction and approval of the world’s best opinion, believed that the cornerstone of their structure must be their word of greeting. ‘Sholom’ (peace) to those who are near and to those afar.” Mr. Lipsky stated.


“However, from the beginning it was clear that the intent and purpose of the Mandate has been muffled and there has been much equivocation Lawyers and administrators have taken the document in hand and crumpled it almost beyond recognition. Our belief is that there would not have been such arrogance on the part of the Palestine Arabs. just liberated from the yoke of Turkish tyranny, had the liberating power, Great Britain, made it clear to them that the Balfour Declaration gave adequate protection for their national and religious rights and that they would have to be reconciled to the Jewish work of peace which would be of benefit also to them. No such unequivocal statement was ever made. The Arabs would not have presumed so much upon the softness of British policy, had the Mandatory power taken the precaution of placing the administration of Palestine in the hands of men wholly in sympathy with the purposes of the Mandate. What can one think of a government which gives assurance-and we believe them-that it is dedicated to the enforcement of the terms of the Mandate and at the same time continues to send to Palestine men who are prejudiced against Jews in general and have no faith in the Balfour Declaration? It is difficult to understand the policy of building up the Jewish National Home which in matters of immigration gives the impression to Jews the world over that in Palestine the Jews are not wanted.

“The Mandate refers to the close settlement of Jews on the land. But little assistance has yet been given to the Jewish Agency, directly or indirectly, in the matter of laws connected with the land or of grants of land. However, all these complaints are a part of the larger question involved in the interpretation of the Mandate.


“It is being made to appear that the present troubles are due to excitement about the Wailing Wall. But this issue could have been settled by agreement, had the Mandatory government taken a positive and helpful view of the problem and not allowed it to become through delay a source of friction. The Wailing Wall has therefore become the inspiration for an attack upon the lives of Jews which is in reality directed against the Mandatory government. The Arabs know that the Palestine administration does not seem to know, and for that matter neither does London know, that an organized assault upon the Jewish position is an attack upon the authority of the Mandatory government which is in Palestine for the purpose of enforcing the Mandate.

“This being the case, it seems most strange that the Jews of Palestine should be regarded by the administration as one of the fighting parties in face of a condition involving murderous forays against defenseless colonies and the known fact that Arabs have weapons concealed in their fastnesses. The insistence of the authorities in Palestine upon the disarming of Jews is utterly incomprehensible.


“Our protest therefore is directed against the misinterpretation of the Mandate, against the improper administration in Palestine and against the insufficient conduct of affairs during the past few weeks. The signatories of this protest include not only the 160,000 hard working, peace loving

“Behind the movement for the redemption of Palestine stands a living tradition of hundreds of years. Upon that tradition a whole generation of Jews built a structure of practical achievement in Palestine. The work was conceived in peace and will be resumed in peace.

“Just as violence and persecution have in the past been no deterrent to the maintenance of relegious and national ideals, so in the present day threats of violence and injustice will not deter the Jews from the sacrifice of life and property for the furtherance of this great national ideal which involves the redemption of a desolate land in which our national destiny is to be lived out.

“In view of the pledges made to us and the sacrifices already made by us in this work, we have a right to ask for the support not only of Great Britain but of the whole civilized world.”

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