Geneva (Sep. 17)
The Sixth Commission of the League of Nations Assembly was reminded at its meeting to-day by the Rapporteur on Mandates, M. Lange, the Norwegian representative, of the feelings of emotion which swept it exactly two years ago, when the Assembly was in session here while Palestine was still in a state of unrest after the terrible massacres which had taken place there a few weeks previously, following on the conflict at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem. (The Rapporteur on Mandates on that occasion was, as now, the Norwegian representative, the late Professor Nansen, the famous explorer and humanitarian, who in the course of his address emphasised the “fundamental facts that the Palestine Mandate was solemnly drawn up and confirmed by the Council of the League of Nations and the Mandatory Power has an international responsibility for carrying out the terms of the Mandate”).
Great Britain has undertaken successfully all measures to relieve the tension in the country, M. Lange went on, but the question, nevertheless, arises whether this condition is stable.
The position in Palestine is very delicate, he proceeded. The country is inhabited on the one hand by an Arab majority, which has been settled there for centuries and looks upon it as its own, while, on the other hand, there is a Jewish minority immigrating into the country on the ground of the famous Balfour Declaration, a solemn promise that has been ratified by the Council and the Assembly of the League of Nations, and which recognises the historic association of the Jews with Palestine.
The Jewish homeland in Palestine is being built, M. Lange said, thanks to the extraordinary sacrifices made by the Jews all over the world. It is the centre of their hopes, an element of satisfaction, and it gives them a feeling of personal dignity that the land of their origin exists as their national centre.
The great outcry which was raised throughout the world of Jewry when the Palestine White Paper was published, M. Lange continued, had its repercussions at the last Zionist Congress. There are millions of Jews in the countries of Europe who belong to the proletariat and the lower middle-classes who are living under material conditions of the utmost difficulty, M. Lange pursued, and who, if they are deprived of the element of dignity which Palestine gives them, will fall victims to that disease of social malaise which is characteristic of our epoch, thus adding to the difficulties which now beset the world.
He therefore called upon the League of Nations Assembly to declare that the policy of the Jewish National Home will be maintained. It is essential, he said, that the existence of the Jewish National Home should be a guarantee of the rights of the Jewish minority in Palestine, which should be secured in an analogous manner to the similar minority obligations undertaken by the League of Nations.