“That the government is now willing to have a conference with representatives of the Jewish Agency gives ground for the hope that a proper understanding will be reached, although it is a great pity that such a conference was not held before the issuance of the White Paper.”
This was the statement made yesterday by Dr. Cyrus Adler, president of the American Jewish Committee and now virtual head of the Jewish Agency, to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency in answer to a request for his opinion on the latest developments in the Palestine situation. With regard to Monday’s debate in Parliament, Dr. Adler said that comment on Prime Minister MacDonald’s statement now would be premature. “The debate as reported in the press is very interesting and it is gratifying to find that the subject of Palestine will not be made a question of British party politics,” declared Dr. Adler.
By defending the White Paper, the British government makes it very difficult for the leaders of the Jewish Agency to enter into the proposed conference, since the government representatives already have their minds made up, according to the opinion expressed yesterday by Louis Lipsky, former president of the Zionist Organization of America and a member of the World Zionist Executive. “Only by removing the White Paper of Lord Passfield from present consideration can there be any practical value in the round table discussion proposed by Mr. MacDonald,” said Lipsky.
Rabbi Stephen S. Wise and Nathan Straus sent a cablegram on Tuesday to David Lloyd George, former Prime Minister of Great Britain and present head of the Liberal Party, in which they praised him for his attack on the White Paper in Parliament on Monday. “We are heartened by your reaffirmation of Britain’s covenant with Israel and of every obligation it entails,” they declared.
“The result of the Palestine debate in the House of Commons Monday evening must be regarded by Jews throughout the world as very unsatisfactory,” declared Emanuel Neumann, chairman of the Committee on Public Information of the Zionist Organization of America and president of the Jewish National Fund. “Instead of clarifying the issue, the MacDonald government attempts to befog it through its announcement of a twelve and a half million dollar loan which will ultimately have to be repaid by burdensome taxation placed on the shoulders of Jewish commerce and industry in Palestine.”
“Certain it is that an effort must be made by the Agency to come to terms with the British government, if these terms do not involve the sacrifice of the principle of a Jewish National Homeland,” Isidore D. Morrison, American Zionist leader, said, while Rabbi Israel Goldstein, president of Young Judea, declared that “Mr. MacDonald’s remarks in the debate, while conciliatory in tone, are indefinite and non-committal in content, especially as taken together with the remarks by Mr. Drummond Shiels, Under-Secretary for the Colonies, literally justifying the White Paper. There must be an end to equivocation.”