James De Rothschild, Pica Head, Denies Claim of Simpson That Pica Colonies Benefit Only Arabs
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James De Rothschild, Pica Head, Denies Claim of Simpson That Pica Colonies Benefit Only Arabs

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The assertion made by Sir John Simpson in his report on land settlement, development and immigration in Palestine, that the colonies of the Palestine Jewish Agricultural Association (PICA) have been more beneficial to the Arabs than the Zionist settlement, was refuted by James de Rothschild during the Palestine debate in the House of Commons yesterday.

Mr. de Rothschild is the son of Baron Edmond de Rothschild, venerated throughout the Jewish world as the man who has done more work for Palestine than anybody else. The Baron, as he is usually called, is reported to have spent more than 60,000,000 dollars on his land in Palestine which is administered by PICA of which James de Rothschild is chairman. The PICA is the largest land-holding agency in Palestine, owning 454,840 metric denims of land.

“By accident of birth,” Mr. de Rothschild said jokingly, “I happen now to be chairman for the PICA which the White Paper and the Simpson Report mention. The PICA has created good relations with the Arabs. After fifty years the Arab villages of the PICA colonies are flourishing but the same will happen with the Jewish colonies. Jewish colonization must give more employment for the Jews because you cannot make a Jewish national home without land and without Jews.

“The Arab suspicions to which the White Paper refers are totally unfounded. Good terms between the two races are developing from cultural, economic and social cooperation to which the government has contributed little help. Without a Jewish national home there would be no British Mandate,” Mr. de Rothschild concluded, appealing to the Prime Minister to approach the problem from the same angle of sympathy as expressed in the pamphlet “A Socialist in Palestine,” by Ramsay MacDonald.

Mr. de Rothschild read to the House of Commons a letter that Dr. Chaim Weizmann addressed to Lord Passfield last September in which the Zionist leader suggested calling an Arab-Jewish conference. At the end of his address, Mr. de Rothschild quoted from the famous “Hebrew Melodies” by Byron and concluded with the following verse from Byron’s poem “O, Weep for Those”:

“Tribes of the wandering foot and weary breast,

How shall ye flee away and be at rest?

The wild dove hath her nest, the fox his cave,

Mankind their country — Israel, the grave.”

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