U.S. Experts Recommended Jewish State in Palestine in 1919 Report to Wilson

The establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine was the official American recommendation at the time of the Peace Conference, according to documentary evidence which has been obtained by the correspondent of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency from competent sources.

INCLUDED WELL-KNOWN SCHOLARS

The Commission consisted of the well-known scholars, Dr. Isaiah Bowman and Dr. S. E. Mezes (for national questions); Dr. R. B. Dixon (for ethnographic questions); Dr. James T. Shot-well (for historical questions); Prof. Mark Jefferson (for geographical questions); Dr. A. A. Young (for economic and statistical questions); Georges Louis Beer (for colonial questions) and a number of other well-known personalities, including David Hunter Miller and James Brown Scott as legal experts.

On January 21, 1919, the Commission submitted to President Wilson and the other American delegates, the following proposals regarding Zionism, as well as the Palestine problem:

PALESTINE

“It is recommended:

1. That there be established a separate state of Palestine.

2. That this state be placed under Great Britain as a Mandatory of the League of Nations.

3. That the Jews be invited to return to Palestine and settle there, being assured by the Conference of all proper assistance in so doing that may be consistent with the protection of the personal (especially the religious) and the property rights of the non-Jewish population, and being further assured that it will be the policy of the League of Nations to recognize Palestine as a Jewish state as soon as it is a Jewish state in fact.

4. That the Holy places and religious rights of all creeds in Palestine be placed under the protection of the League of Nations and its mandatory.”

REASON FOR RECOMMENDATION

This recommendation, according to the document quoted is motivated in the following way:

a. “The separation of the Palestinian area from Syria finds justification in the religious experience of mankind. The Jewish and Christian churches were born in Palestine, and Jerusalem was for long years at different periods, the capital of each. And while the relation of the Mohammedans to Palestine is not so intimate, from the beginning they have regarded Jerusalem as a holy place.

b. Palestine would obviously need wise and firm guidance. Its population is without political experience, is racially composite, and could easily become distracted by fanaticism and bitter religious development.

c. It is right that Palestine should be-

come a Jewish state, if the Jews, being given full opportunity, make it such. It was the cradle and home of their vital race, which has made large spiritual contributions to mankind, and is the only land in which they can find a home of their own; they being in this last respect unique among significant peoples.

At present, however, the Jews form barely a sixth of the total population of 700,000 in Palestine, and whether they are to form a majority, or even a plurality, of the population in the future state remains uncertain. Palestine in short, is far from being a Jewish country now. England as mandatory, can be relied on to give the Jews the privileged position they should have without sacrificing the rights of non-Jews.

“The basis of this recommendation is self-evident.”

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