London (Jul. 21)
Grave concern at the action of the British government regarding the Jewish National Home since the August disturbances and the belief that the postponement of a clear and definite statement of policy regarding Palestine in accordance with the principles of the Mandate discourages Jewish enterprise and endangers the economic conditions of the country were voiced in a resolution adopted at a conference of representatives of Jewish institutions and synagogues of the British Isles.
A firm and determined tone characterized the remarks of the speakers at the meeting which was held in the Kingsway Theatre under the auspices of the Jewish Agency before a capacity crowd. President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, d’Avigdor Goldsmid, who presided, said that he realized that the government was responsible for much because it had deliberately and on uneconomic grounds suspended immigration to Palestine and was submitting the whole question of land purchase and immigration to the report of one man.
ACTS CONFLICT WITH ASSURANCES
While he accepted the government’s assurances that it was ready to carry out the terms of the Mandate, Mr. Goldsmid said that the difficulty lies in the fact that the government’s action conflicts with the assurances. Recalling the recent speech of Hamilton Fish in the Congress of the United States where it was emphasized that the world-wide protests of the Jews are not improving British prestige, Mr. Goldsmid declared that “as Jews and British citizens we desire to make the government realize that we are not satisfied with declarations alone but we call upon the government to translate these expressions of good will into actions which will assist and not impede the upbuilding of Palestine.”
The resolution that the Conference adopted was moved by Mr. Goldsmid. It deplored the fact that the White Paper presented to the Mandate Commission raised serious doubts regarding the government’s intention to fully implement the terms of the Mandate. Associating itself with the world-wide Jewish protests against the suspension of immigration, the Conference declared that the official explanations so far given of the suspension were unconvincing and appealed to the government to reopen the gates of Palestine and reaffirm the right of the Jews to return to their National Home. The desire for good-will and cooperation with the Arabs was also asserted.
“PALESTINE AND JEWS INSEPARABLE”
In supporting the resolution, Chief Rabbi Joseph Hertz said that the best reply that could be given to Lord Passfield’s argument that “we must protect the poor Arabs” was to remind him of a speech made by Premier MacDonald seven years ago in which he said “Palestine and the Jews can never be separated.” Dr. Hertz quoted Mr. MacDonald as describing the enthusiasm and devotion of the pioneers on the land and saying that “the ten years of work which I (MacDonald) saw will increase the wealth of Palestine a hundred-fold.”
Prof. Selig Brodetsky, who also spoke for the resolution, pointed out that it was a mistake to have ever used the word immigration in relation to Palestine. He said that the Jews are not alien immigrants but are merely returning to their National Home as exiles returning to their native land. Criticizing the recent attempts of British officials to whittle down the meaning of the Jewish National Home, Professor Brodetsky said “we demand free immigration in accordance with the absorptive capacity of the country developed through our efforts.”
Other speakers were Michael Marcus, M. P., and Col. Frederick Kisch, members of the Palestine Executive of the Jewish Agency, and Nettied Adler, non-Zionist member of the Jewish Agency.