Jewish Agency and Zionist General Council Formulate Demands to British Government
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Jewish Agency and Zionist General Council Formulate Demands to British Government

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The Administrative Committee of the Jewish Agency, in conjunction with the General Zionist Council, on the basis of proposals submitted by the General Zionist Council adopted the following resolutions with regard to the Palestine situation:

“1. The Jewish Agency expresses its indignation and horror at the recent atrocities in Palestine, pays tribute to those who lost their lives, extends heartfelt sympathy to the families of the fallen and victims of the outrages, and places on record its profound admiration of the steadfast courage displayed by all sections of the Jewish population in Palestine in their defense.

“It affirms its belief that the outbreak might have been prevented had there been greater foresight and more adequate preparation on the part of the authorities responsible for the protection of Jewish life and property.

“2. The Jewish Agency declares that in the latest attempt to destroy by violence the foundations of the Jewish National Home, there is every indication of a carefully premeditated plan, and that despite this outbreak the Jewish people will not allow itself to be deflected from its path and will continue with renewed energy the work of reconstruction in which it is engaged and which it is firmly resolved to carry forward to completion.

“3. In connection with the measures taken by the government with a view to the restoration of order and the investigation of the causes of the recent excesses, the Executive Committee of the Jewish Agency is urged to make urgent representation to the government in the following sense:

“a. The Jewish Agency recognizes that every effort has been made by the government to restore order, but to clear the present situation is difficult. Effective protection must be made immediately available in every threatened point.

“In these circumstances the Jewish Agency places on record its protest against the action of the Palestine authorities in disarming the Jews engaged in self-defense. It is essential that the Jews be enabled to take part in their own defense. Without prejudice to any proposals which may be subsequently made to His Majesty’s Government regarding the maintenance of public security in Palestine, the Jewish Agency strongly urges that an adequate number of Jewish volunteers be enrolled as special constables immediately.

“b. It is urgently necessary that adequate provision be made by the Palestine administration for the relief of the Jewish sufferers and the Jewish Agency feels sure it is His Majesty’s Government’s intention that the administration shall recognize its obligations in this regard.

“In addition to any other measures which may have been taken, the Jewish Agency requests the Palestine Ad-

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ministration be instructed to place forthwith at the disposal of representatives of the Agency in Palestine, a substantial sum for the purposes of immediate relief.

“c. The Jewish Agency expects the payment by the Palestine administration of full compensation to the Jews for the losses and damage they sustained respecting health, property and otherwise, and requests that arrangements be promptly made for the ascertainment and assessment of these losses.

“d. The Jewish Agency takes it for granted that the scope of the investigation to be made by the Commission of Inquiry, appointed by the Government, include the conduct of the Palestine Government in dealing with the atrocities and the events leading up to them.

“4. The Jewish Agency expresses the opinion that it is imperatively necessary that the question of the Wailing Wall be regulated without delay, and welcomed a recent statement of the High Commissioner, indicating that it is the government’s intention to assure the Jews of right of worship at the Wailing Wall in a manner and under conditions consistent with the dignity of their religion.

“This meeting of the General Council emphatically repudiates the mendacious statements circulated by evilly disposed persons, desirous of creating enmity between the Jews and the Moslems, and declares, as has already been repeatedly and authoritatively stated, that the Jews unreservedly recognize the inviolability of the Moslem Holy Places.

“5. In view of the present needs of the Jewish population, the Jewish Agency requests the government to authorize the early allotment to the Agency of a substantial number of immigration certificates for persons without means, and without prejudice to comprehensive revision of the immigration regulations, to cancel at the earliest possible moment those restrictions regarding the immigration of persons of independent means and relatives which are in contradiction of the immigration ordinance of 1925.

“6. The Jewish Agency notes with satisfaction the government’s clear reaffirmation of policy laid down in the Mandate and the Balfour Declaration. It expresses the hope that the government will find appropriate means to give practical expression to this declaration and will take measures to insure its active cooperation in the establishment of the Jewish National Home.

“This meeting also notes the announcement that it is the government’s intention, after receiving the Commission’s report, to consider along what lines, within the terms of the Mandate, the future policy of Palestine is to be conducted.

“The Jewish Agency assumes that by virtue of its status under the Mandate, it will be afforded full opportunity for laying its views before the government.

“7. The Executive of the Jewish Agency is requested to prepare immediately a full statement for submission to the government of the views of the Jewish Agency as to the future policy of the Palestine Administration.

“Among matters with which such a statement should deal are the following, it being understood that the list is not intended to be exhausted:

“a. The status of the Jewish Agency and effective recognition of its rights to advise and cooperate with the administration in matters affecting the establishment of the Jewish National Home.

“b. The selection of the personnel of the administration with reference to its special responsibility in connection with the establishment of the Jewish National Home.

“c. Reorganization of the arrangements for the defense and public security in Palestine on the basis of an adequate number of Jews in the Police and Frontier Defense Corps and the increased security of the Jewish population by the enrollment of Jewish volunteers as special constables in case of emergency.

“d. The claims of Jewish Education and Public Health services to assistance from public funds.

“e. Measures to be taken to facilitate Jewish immigration as provided in Article VI of the Mandate.

“f. Measures to be taken to encourage the close settlement of Jews on the land, including the state lands and waste lands, not required for public purposes, as provided in Article VI of the Mandate.

“g. Employment of Jewish labor in Government municipal and public works, and in the service of the various Government departments and the municipalities.

“h. Labor legislation.

“i. A system of taxation with reference to land taxation and tariff policy.”


That Great Britain has done everything that could be reasonably expected of her under the circumstances, but that they were only at the beginning of what they expected Britain to do, and that there is no ground for exaggerated depression, was the opinion expressed by Harry Sacher, member of the Palestine Zionist Executive, at a meeting of the Zionist General Council, in which he pleaded that there be no internationalizing of the Palestine problem.

Speaking following the general debate, Mr. Sacher declared that he does not agree that there is any ground for exaggerated depression. Of all the proposals for action to be taken, made in the course of the discussion, only one commended itself to the Executive, namely regarding the appointment of a Political Commission. He pointed out, however, that the Administrative Committee in Zurich had itself appointed a political committee to consist of four non-Zionists and four Zionists with Dr. Chaim Weizmann serving ex-efficio. This number could be increased if the Zionist General Council so desired. He pointed out that it was intended that the political committee should be advisory, not executive, in character.

The British Government, in his opinion, he stated, has done everything one could reasonably expect the government to do, but they were only at the beginning of what they expected the government to do. It remained for the government to translate its general phrases into concrete facts. He earnestly advised the Zionist General Council to refrain from internationalizing the present situation.

The British Government would have acted more quickly, he stated, were it backed up by British public opinion. Unfortunately the British Government is unbaked by public sentiment with regard to the Mandate.

Public feeling, he said, was adversely affected by the indifference to the broader issues of imperial policy which was to be understood as the aftermath of the war. Therefore in order to facilitate the satisfactory execution of the Mandate, a systematic education of British public opinion is necessary.

The Arab problem should be treated respectfully, seriously and every Palestine Jew should try to get into human, friendly relations with the Arabs as the best method of arriving at a satisfactory solution of the problem, he declared.

He had no doubt that the government would take adequate measures to insure the security of Palestine. He hoped that no further disorders would take place, but at the same time, they must remember that in so heroic an enterprise, it was inevitable that they should reckon with the possible sacrifice of blood as well as of treasures.

It should be made clear to the government, he continued, that they were ready to shoulder a large share of the responsibility for the defense of the country. However, the real protection of the Jewish National Home consisted in its size and quality. Efforts must be made to accelerate the work of colonization, he urged. It was unfortunate that the practical work had to be retarded by a conflict which has arisen in connection with matters of a purely religious nature.

Concluding, he advised that support rather than criticism be offered the Executive, elected a few weeks ago by the Zionist Congress, in the difficult tasks with which it is now coping, in order that the strength and the activity of the movement be upheld.

To disseminate correct and unbiased information about the aims and accomplishments of Zionism in Palestine, especially in view of the present divergence of views due to the recent Arab-Jewish clashes, Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, through its national cultural committee, is planning to organize a group of fifty women leaders to devise programs and train speakers to lecture in all parts of the country.

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