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Brith Shalom’s Program for Arab-jewish Peace Says Palestine Must Be Bi-racial State with Equal Right

That Palestine should be neither a Jewish state nor an Arab state, but a bi-racial state in which Jews and Arabs should enjoy equal civil, political and social rights, without distinction between majority and minority, and the two peoples should each be free in the administration of their respective domestic affairs, but united in their common interests, is the outstanding plank in the program for cooperation between Jews and Arabs in Palestine, made public here today by the Brith Shalom Society, a society for the promotion of peace between Jews and Arabs.

The Brith Shalom’s program contains 18 points. They are as follows:

1. The policy of the Society is based on the program of Zionism, as recognized by the Balfour Declaration and in the Mandate, for the constitution of a national home in Palestine for the Jewish people.

2. The policy of the Society is also based on the resolution passed by the Zionist Congress of 1921 which “solemnly declared the desire of the Jewish people to live with the Arab people in relations of fraternity and mutual respect, and, together with the Arab people, to develop the homeland common to both into a prosperous community which would ensure the growth of both peoples.”

3. The Society considers that Palestine should be neither a Jewish state nor an Arab state, but a bi-racial state in which Jews and Arabs should enjoy equal civil, political and social rights, without distinction between majority and minority. The two peoples should each be free in the administration of their respective domestic affairs but united in their common interests.

4. The Society considers that one of the conditions essential for the realization of the aim of Zionism is an agreement between Jews and Arabs on the political relations in future in the Palestine that is to be built and on the cooperation between them while the creation of the common country is still in progress.

5. The Society considers that the creation of a Palestinian bi-racial state will only be achieved by a proper development of both peoples; by Jewish immigration on one hand, and on the other, by an improvement in the economic and cultural conditions of the Arabs. Cooperation of Jews and Arabs is necessary in all matters pertaining to the common homeland, and instead of racial antagonism, a Palestinian policy should be adopted.

6. The Society supports the gradual development of self-governing institutions in Palestine, with a view to training its citizens in the responsibilities of self-government and enabling the common interests of both Jews and Arabs to be represented in the administration of the country.

The Society advocates the inclusion of Palestinian members on the advisory boards attached to Departments of the Government, such as the Railway Board, the Harbor Board, the Road Board and the Standing Committee for Commerce and Industry.

8. The Society also favors the development of municipal government in mixed Jewish and Arab areas. It considers that the municipal laws and the methods of municipal administration should be revised at an early date.

9. The Society considers that the needs of both Jewish and Arab taxpayers are inadequately protected in the present system of legislation. It considers that the legislature of Palestine should gradually be put on a representative basis, provided that no step be taken which will prevent the execution of all the provisions of the Mandate.

10. The Society welcomes the recognition by the Jewish Agency of the essential need for the development of friendly relations between Jews and Arabs.

11. The Society advocates an increase of agricultural education for both Jews and Arabs, the provision of agricultural credit facilities for both Jews and Arabs, an extension of the Cooperative Credit Society movement to Arab areas, a reduction in the incidence of taxation in agricultural areas, both Jewish and Arab, and the adoption of a joint Government and Jewish program of agricultural research and the publication of the results in both Hebrew and Arabic.

12. The Society considers that the settlement of Jews on land purchased from Arabs should be accompanied by measures in the following revised forms:

a. Those former tenants and squatters who so desire, should be provided with small-holdings, the cost being in part provided from the compensation received under the Protection of Tenants Ordinance.

b. Landowners who sell part of their land to Jews should be encouraged to cultivate intensively the remainder by proper use of the money received from the sale.

13. The Society advocates the reestablishment of a Government Department of Commerce and Industry, the establishment of a joint federation of Jewish and Arab manufacturers, and the re-establishment of joint Jewish and Arab Chambers of Commerce in Jaffa and Haifa. It suggests that the campaign for the use of Palestinian products should advocate the purchase of both Jewish and Arab goods in both Jewish and Arab circles.

14. The Society supports the policy of the General Federation of Jewish Labor in the formation of joint Jewish and Arab trade unions. The Society considers that the total numbers of workmen and employees of each community employed by the Government should be approximately proportioned to the size of the community. The Society opposes the exclusion of Jewish labor from Arab enterprises and the exclusion of Arab labor from Jewish enterprises. It advocates the adoption of a moderate minimum wage to protect organized labor, both Jewish and Arab, from competition by unorganized labor.

15. The Society advocates a tariff policy which will take into consideration the needs of nascent industry, the effects on the cost of living of high tariffs on imported manufactured goods and the effects on the agricultural communities of low tariffs on imported agricultural raw materials.

16. The Society proposes that preventive health services in both Jewish and Arab areas should be maintained by the Government. It advocates the gradual devolution of hospital services on to local authorities.

17. The Society advocates the maintenance of Jewish education by Jewish bodies under Government supervision, and the gradual establishment of a similar system for Arab education. The Society considers that, at the same time, greater financial and administrative responsibilities should be given to local education committees. The Society proposes that an advisory board of Jews and Arabs be attached to the Government Department of Education.

18. The Society proposes an increase in the study of Arabic in Hebrew schools and the provision of facilities for the acquisition of the knowledge of Hebrew by Arabs. The Society suggests that an institute be established for training Jewish and Arab candidates for Government employment, employing English, Arabic and Hebrew as languages of instruction for all students.