Four thousand Jews assembled at the Mecca temple on Tuesday evening, booed their resentment at the government of what almost every speaker characterized as the “falling British empire” for its treacherous denial of the promises made in the Balfour Declaration through the new “Passfield program” for Palestine.
With ominous insistence, one speaker after another insisted in pointing out that all the great empires of the past found a Nemesis when they began to “meddle with the Jews.” Orators called up the shades of fallen Egypt, and of Syria, and of Rome, and called out to England: “Where are they? And we are here!”
After the crowd had been addressed in English and in Yiddish by Jewish leaders from every sector of Jewish life, left, center, and right expressing themselves with equal violence against “perfidious Albion”, and after Louis Lipsky, honorary vice-president of the Zionist Organization of America, had read the scathing resolution to be adopted by the meeting in denunciation of the government of Great Britain, with each speaker seconding the resolution and heaping more burning coals on the heads of the British government, John Haynes Holmes, pastor of the Community Church, raised the crowd roaring to its feet with a remarkable series of virulent accusations. “What has England done to you?” he cried. Then quoted, “When Joab said to Amasa, ‘Is it well with thee, my brother?’ and took Amasa’s beard in his right hand to kiss him, and then smote him with the sword in the body, so that his bowels were shed on the ground,’ this cruel and perfidious soldier struck no fouler a blow than the cabinet of Great Britain has this day struck at you!”
DE HAAS CONTINUES ATTACK
Jacob de Haas, of the Zionist Organization of America, continued the attack on the labor government, pointing out the tragic irony of the fact that “it had to be a liberal government” that sounded this most imperialistic of pronunciations. “It is not in me to forgive easily this Passfield who was my teacher in radicalism,” said the veteran Zionist leader.
Louis Lipsky was no milder. “This is the statement of a weak and falling government that doesn’t know its own mind and recedes from one position to another, each position more ignoble than the previous.”
Berl Locker, of the Poale Zion thrilled the audience with his insistence on the unyielding stand of the Palestinians. “We have no cannons and no army, we have a stronger force,” he said. “We have the force of the undying Jewish will. We have 100,000 Jewish chalutzim in all lands waiting to come to Palestine. And they will come. We will be in Palestine, and not only in Palestine but in the country over the Jordan. We will make the country populous with Jews. We were there before the Mandate, and if necessary we will be there after the Mandate.”
Robert Szold presided over the meeting for the Zionist Organization of America. Mrs. Szold, president of Hadassah, was among the speakers. Other speakers were K. Israeli of the Jewish Legionaires of America, Johann Smertenko for the Revisionists, Gedalia Bublick, president of the Mizrachi, Abraham Goldberg, David Rabalsky of the Zeire Zion, and Dr. Louis I. Newman, rabbi of the Temple Sholom, who read a message from Rabbi Stephen S. Wise of the Free Synagogue, who is ill, and closed the meeting with his own observations on Lord Passfield’s action, charging that Lord Passfield, “smarting under the rebuke administered by the Mandates committee of the League of Nations, issued this White Paper in retaliation. But England is trifling with destiny when it seeks to bar the Jews from Palestine. Not the English, but the Jews have an historic right to the land of Israel, and it is not because of the English that the Jews are there, but because of the Jews that the English hold the Mandate. England will find that there is a Nemesis in the persecution of the Jews.”