Christian Americans, of every denomination, Catholic and Protestant, joined last night at the Madison Avenue M. E. Church of New York City to express sympathy for the victims of the Arab outrages in Palestine and to laud the work that Jewish pioneers have done in rebuilding the Holy Land. The meeting attended by prominent public officials and high clergymen, was the first of its kind in the United States to express Christian sentiments on the Palestine situation. Resolutions were adopted endorsing the purposes of the Balfour Declaration and expressing confidence that the provisions thereof would be carried out by Great Britain.
Among the speakers were Rev. Dr. Ralph W. Sockman, President of the New York Federation of Churches, Rev. Samuel Cavert. Secretary of the Federal Council of Churches of Christ, Representative Hamilton Fish, Jr.; George MacDonald, a Papal Chamberlain, Justice William T. Collins, and Justice Arthur S. Tompkins of the State Supreme Court, who presided. Rabbi Israel Goldstein of Temple Bnai Jeshurun expressed the appreciation of the New York Jewish community for the sentiments uttered at the meeting.
The resolution which was adopted read as follows:
“Be it resolved that this assembly of American Christians-Catholic and Protestant-called by America’s Good Will Union, assures our friends of the Jewish faith that they have the sympathy of Christians in their sorrow over the cruel attacks which have been perpetrated upon the Jewish population in Palestine.
“As the immediate need of the suf-
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ferers requires prompt relief, we appeal to all Christians to give substantial expression to their sympathy by sending their contributions at once to the Palestine Emergency Fund, 111 Fifth Avenue. The human appeal, re-enforced by the historic kinship between Judaism and Christianity and the fact that it is the Holy Land in which the suffering exists, makes it incumbent upon Christians to respond.
“Regarding the future of the Jews in the Holy Land, we affirm our confidence in Great Britain, that it will carry out the Palestine Mandate which has been entrusted to it, and which it has assumed, and that it will properly fulfill the provisions of its Balfour Declaration.
“The unanimous endorsement which the Balfour Declaration has received from the United States Congress and from our Presidents Wilson, Harding, Coolidge and Hoover, makes it appropriate that we as American Christians should voice our satisfaction that Great Britain has exercised and will continue to exercise the mandate over Palestine, and that we should express the hope that under Great Britain’s favorable auspices, the Jewish people may succeed in building up in Palestine a civilization which will be worthy of the Jew and worthy of the mandatory power.
“Palestine because of the diversity of its population offers an opportunity for the establishment of inter-racial and interreligious goodwill. We therefore express the hope that there may be devised such a plan of permanent progressive education in goodwill as may permeate all the elements of the population with mutual respect and esteem and make the Holy Land a model to all the nations of goodwill-in-action.”
Dr. Ralph W. Sockman, pastor of the church, and President of the New York Federation of Churches, opened the meeting and introduced Justice Arthur S. Tompkins as presiding officer. He said that he was “most happy, not only as pastor of the church, but as president of the Greater New York Federation of Churches to welcome those interested in such a worthy cause as the relief of the Palestinian sufferers. New York has many greathearted and public-spirited Jews who gladly respond to the financial appeals of Christian organizations. We of the Christian faith most earnestly desire to relieve the immediate suffering of our Jewish brethren and we believe most confidently that under the guidance of Great Britain justice and peace will soon prevail in Palestine.”
The principal speech of the evening was delivered by Representative Hamilton Fish, Jr., who introduced the resolution into the House of Congress in 1922 which endorsed the Balfour Declaration. Stating that he counted himself a friend of Great Britain, Congressman Fish said that nevertheless “impartial judgment must admit that the British Administration under the Mandate in Palestine was not only lax but criminally negligent.”
In the course of his speech, Congressman Fish said:
“For a long time I have been a convinced Zionist, but never more convinced or more firm in my belief than since the cold-blooded murder of over a hundred defenseless Jews in Palestine, which has aroused both Christian and Jew alike to protest and denounce this offense against civilization. Nothing else has brought home to the Jews, scattered throughout the world, the necessity of united effort to help rebuild Palestine and make it a place where Jews could live in peace and tranquillity under the protection of the British Mandate.
“The result of the massacre has not been to crush the Jews or the cause of Zionism in America, but to unite them and make them more determined to help the pioneers among their coreligionists in Palestine. The history of the Jewish race during the past nineteen hundred years demonstrates clearly that it has never been crushed by cruelty or contempt, or by unequal laws or illegal oppression.
“The Jews are not trying to displace the Arabs, but endeavoring to rebuild Palestine and have already done much to bring prosperity into a land desolated by the Turks for over five hundred years.
“The Arab uprising was not warfare, but murder planned and organized, and there should not be any division of public opinion in condoning directly or indirectly this horrible butchery of innocent men and wonmen of Jewish faith. The British Government must bear its share of the blame and responsibility for not discovering the plans of the Arabs in time and for not taking adequate steps to put down the uprising as soon as it was started. I count myself as a friend of Great Britain, but impartial judgment must admit that the British Administration under the Mandate in Palestine was not only lax, but criminally negligent in not taking proper steps to safeguard the lives of Jews and Christians from being massacred by fanatical Arabs.
“As the sponsor for the Zionist resolution, which was adopted by the Congress of the United States, in favor of establishing a Homeland for the Jewish people in Palestine, I believe that our Government has a moral obligation to exert its influence to have the lives and property of the Jewish people in Palestine safeguarded. I agree with the recent statement of President Hoover that out of this tragedy a new and greater National Home for the Jewish people will emerge in Palestine.”
In giving the “Christian viewpoint” on the situation in Palestine, Rev. Samuel McCrea Cavert, General Secretary of the Federal Council of Churches of Christ in America, expressed his “profound admiration for the heroic effort that the Jewish people are making for a revival of Jewish culture in Palestine and throughout the world. Anyone who is even faintly aware of the unique contribution that the Jews have made to the higher values of civilization must glory in the prospect of a modern renaissance of the cultural life of the Jews.”
Pointing out that the sympathy of American Christians for suffering Jews in Palestine has already been expressed in a practical manner by the appeal of the Federal Council for contributions to the Palestine Emergency Fund, Rev. Cavert emphasized the practical accomplishments of the Jews in Palestine.
The only Jewish speaker on the program of the evening was Rabbi Israel Goldstein, of Temple Bnai Jeshurun.