Criticism of British Palestine Plan Continues in European Press; “clumsiness” of Colonial Office Bla
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Criticism of British Palestine Plan Continues in European Press; “clumsiness” of Colonial Office Bla

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A large section of the European press continued today to declare against Great Britain’s new Palestinian policy, though the London Daily Mail editorially asserted that Lord Passfield’s pronouncement had been favorably received and approved by the “wisest Jews” all over the world.

“There is danger that we shall be accused of aiming to establish not a Jewish Home but an Arab Paradise,” said the Manchester Guardian in a leading editorial today, “if the scheme for thorough land development for the benefit of the Arabs is not linked with the automatic release of land to Jewish settlers. If the development scheme is coupled with the progressive freeing of land to the Jews, there is no reason why the government statement should not become the foundation of a sound Palestinian policy.

“The government’s blaming the Jews for not having used their money to finance Arab unemployment is asking too much of the Jews,” said the Manchester Guardian. The Jews’ investing their money in Palestine at all was an altruistic action, and to invest it for the benefit of the Arabs would have been neroic virtue. We have no right to demand it.”


The Guardian also praises the Jewish farmer. “The Jewish farmer is prosperous because he brings ability, enthusiasm, and capital to his undertaking, while Arab conditions remain what they were in Turkish days. To allow further Jewish settlement would safeguard Arab interests and comply with the stipulations of the Mandate. Unfortunately the government statement indicates that the government will follow the course of shutting the Jews out rather than improving conditions by encouraging Jewish immigration.

“Great uneasiness is displayed by the leaders of the liberal and conservative parties. The anxiety displayed by Gen. Smuts must have weakened the government confidence in the wisdom of a policy whose announcement aroused widespread indignation among the Jews, and was signalled by the resignation of Lord Melchett, Chaim Weizmann, and the American Jewish leader Felix M. Warburg, and by rowdy demonstrations in Poland which supplies forty percent of the Jewish settlers to Palestine.

“Palestine needs a five year plan, and Lord Passfield, who was a great socialist as Sidney Webb, ought to delight in drawing up the articles of such a plan,” concludes the Guardian.

The Daily Mail however, says, “The Passfield declaration has been so favorably received all over the world that we hope the government will stand firmly by it. Stanley Baldwin, supporting the Balfour Declaration, is entirely at variance with the present British public opinion,” declares the Mail. “Some of the ablest and wisest Jews in England regarded the creation of a Jewish national home for their co-religionists as a mischievous project. Even the New York Times, which is owned by Adolph Ochs, a Jew, only last week expressed opposition to the Balfour Declaration and the Zionist scheme.”

The entire Holland press condemned the Passfield statement terming it a ‘revocation of the Balfour Declaration.’ Het Vaderland, a liberal organ on the Hague, said editorially, “The promises that England gave to the Jews in order to secure their support when she needed it have been broken now.” The Rotterdamsch Niewsblad, a Protestant organ, declared, “England has broken her obligation not only to the Jews but to the world.” The Telegraaf of Amsterdam states, “There will be grave consequences for England from her abandonment of the Balfour Declaration.”

tions are weaker than the government. Lloyd George dares not risk an election and will make strenuous efforts to keep MacDonald in power to prevent the return of Baldwin.”


The Observer’s diplomatic correspondent says that the criticism of the British government by Lord Melchett when he resigned as chairman of the council of the Jewish Agency is considered unfair by the government because “the government’s competence is strictly limited to the terms of the Mandate and the only fair criticism lies within the discrepancy of the Mandate and its fulfillment.”

The criticism of Stanley Baldwin and Lloyd George are answered by an appeal to documentary evidence, the Observer’s correspondent says, adding that any competent person can see that their criticism is unjustified because the “three relevant documents, Lord Balfour’s letter to Lord Rothschild, Winston Churchill’s White Paper and the present White Paper are all public property, each revealing the same cardinal principal. While promising Zionism a home in Palestine, each insists on respecting the rights of the Arabs.”

The Observer’s New York correspondent points out in connection with the appeal of American Jews to secretary of state Stimson because the British policy violates the British-American convention of 1924 that “this is incorrect since the official contention is that the treaty merely provides for an impartial administration in Palestine without religious or racial prejudice and protection of the holy sites.” The correspondent adds that the excitability of the Jewish leaders may render complete American inaction difficult.


An editorial in the Observer signed by James Garvin says that Lord Passfield has aroused throughout world Jewry “a blazing controversy because excellent intentions were expressed without tact. In Palestine we must keep the balance but the new White Paper reads like a case for equal justice to the Arabs and an ultimatum to the Jews.

“If the government rejected Dr. Weizmann’s round table suggestion it was an execrable blunder. The Palestine Mandate is our most thankless task. Whatever we do we will be doubly un-thanked. We make enemies at every step among both Jews and Arabs. The Jews must realize what is the utmost we can do for Zionism. We sympathize with Zionism but unchangeable facts exist in Palestine.

“Jewish domination in Palestine is impossible. The Moslems in Palestine have the whole of Islam behind them. The Zionists must realize that the Mandatory Power must not be harassed at every moment and abused at every turn for difficulties we have not created and cannot change, and must remember that England has less anti-Semitism than any country in the world. We always consider the Jews a part of ourselves. Force cannot settle the Palestine question. Zionism can be a magnificent spiritual force in Palestine but the Jews must think of humanity more than of themselves. The life of the humblest Arab must be considered. If this is not understood Zionism will perish in bloodshed and disaster. No power on earth will be able to save it if it does not appreciate Britain’s goodwill now.”


The Sunday Times editorial blames the present situation on the “clumsiness of the Colonial Office” and on “Lord Passfield’s lack of political psychology.” “It will be a tragedy,” the Sunday Times says, “if the expiring and discredited government leaves us a legacy of a Jewry no longer grateful and allied but sullen and resentful.”

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