London (Mar. 18)
With every reason to believe in the genuineness of the assurances given by Premier MacDonald and the Colonial Minister that there would be no departure from the policy embodied in the Palestine Mandate there is no question about the carrying out of the Mandate, declared Dr. Chaim Weizmann, president of the World Zionist Organization, in delivering his political report at the second day of the meeting of the Actions Committee.
Dr. Weizmann said he had hoped that the report of the Inquiry Commission would be ready by the time that the Administrative Committee of the Jewish Agency met but “unfortunately it is delayed,” He said that the report had already been submitted to the government and it is possible to that it will be published by the end of the month, in which case the Administrative Committee will still have an opportunity to discuss it.
Speaking of the Mandate policy, Dr. Weizmann said that the only question was as to the manner in which that policy is to be carried out. “The Inquiry Commission had definite instructions not to deal with questions of major policy,” Dr. Weizmann said, but “however it is impossible to say at present whether it overstepped the limit.”
Reviewing the present situation and the prevalent attitude in British political circles and of public opinion generally towards the Palestine question, Dr. Weizmann said that whilst there were hostile groups they also had good friends in all three parties. “Everywhere it is admitted that the Jews carried out great achievements in Palestine and also that no injustice was done to the Arabs and that every inch of land the Jews possessed had been purchased at a fair price but there was some apprehension about the future.”
Dr. Weizmann referred to what he characterized as “revisionists of both wings, namely maximalists and minimalists,” meaning by the latter the activities of Dr. Magnes. Speaking of mischief he said “those do mischief who put themselves up as apostles of peace thus conveying the impression that a majority of the Zionists are less peaceful than themselves. People forget that it is perhaps the first time in the history of mankind that an attempt is being made to solve a great world problem through absolutely peaceful means and with a very clear conscience.”
Despite all difficulties Dr. Weizmann felt optimistic that “they would pull through.” In this connection he said that he personally never “felt so strong as when I am with my back against the wall. With rooted prejudices against the Jews and the fear that they will make a great success of their efforts in Palestine they were bound to meet with difficulties but they will overcome them.”
After pointing out that the Zionist Executive had prepared an elaborate program to be presented to the government, Dr. Weizmann said that it might be criticized by “some Zionists who talked of greater Zionism. Greater Zionism, however, will not be achieved by over-stressing political factors but by putting emphasis on our own constructive efforts and the carrying out of a large scale colonization scheme.”
Before Dr. Weizmann’s speech the debate on colonization was continued with Supraski demanding that the Jewish National Fund allocate land for middle class settlements. Other speakers were Dr. Glickson, Heizer, Baratz and Klinow. A committee of thirteen was elected to consider problems of colonization.