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Charges Britain Doing Penance for Neglecting Arabs at Expense of Jews, Denounces White Paper

Declaring that “England’s failure is Israel’s misfortune,” Rabbi Abram Simon, former president of the Central Conference of American Rabbis and one of the leading non-Zionist founders of the enlarged Jewish Agency, in a scathing denunciation of the Passfield White Paper accused the British Labor Government of attempting to do nenance for Great Britain’s neglect of the Arab peasants at the expense of the Jews.

Referring to the requirement of Article 2 of the Palestine Mandate, making it incumbent on the Mandatory “to introduce a land system appropriate to the needs of the country, having regard, among other things, to the desirability of promoting close settlement and intensive cultivation of the land,” Rabbi Simon charged that the point of the Simpson-Passfield report comes in the recognition that in the past twelve years Great Britain “has failed to serve the Arabs with an agricultural education, and she now hastens to redeem the wrong.” Calling attention to the fact that many of the Jewish colonists are self-supporting on ten acre tracts, Rabbi Simon stated that the 120 dunam or approximately 25 acre tract which Sir John Hope Simpson declared necessary for each Arab family could support five Jewish families, and that this would be enough for Arabs, too, if England had complied with the Mandate by helping the Arabs to intensely cultivate their land.

Rabbi Simon declared that precisely the waste and stony land which Sir John eliminated from consideration when formulating his conclusions as to the economic capacity of the country presented the opportunity of absorbing new workers. If Sir John’s theory had prevailed until now, the saturation point of absorption would have been reached ten years ago, Rabbi Simon said.

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