Kernel of Jewish Problem is Homelessness of Jews As a People Says Dr. Weizmann: Jew As Individual Ca
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Kernel of Jewish Problem is Homelessness of Jews As a People Says Dr. Weizmann: Jew As Individual Ca

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It is one of the great tragedies of life that we need catastrophes like those which are occurring to-day in order to show how right the Zionist idea is, Dr. Ch. Weizmann, the former President of the Zionist Organisation, said in the course of his address (briefly reported by cable) at the reception given him here by the German Zionist Federation.

What is the kernel of the Jewish problem? he asked. It is the homelessness of the Jews as a people. The Jew as an individual can have his home; the Jews as a people are homeless. Every land has its Jewish point of absorption, beyond which it cannot digest any more Jews. That point of absorption is different in different countries, but it exists in Poland, as it does in America, and in England.

Other peoples are having a difficult time now, Dr. Weizmann proceeded, but there is still a fundamental distinction between their condition and ours. The Russians, for instance, in spite of the catastrophes which they have experienced, have maintained their national continuity. But we Jews in such processes are decimated, atomised.

Against the pessimistic view that Jewry is being annihilated, he continued, we claim, however, that there are powerful forces in Jewry which are preserving its substance. These forces are concentrated around the Palestine movement.

Jewry is being impoverished, Dr. Weizmann said. The American Jews, who in the last fifteen years have been alleviating the Jewish distress everywhere in the world, are now no longer able to do so, and it is now, in this time of distress, that the Jews of all countries feel that it is in Palestine, despite the smallness of the country, despite the Arabs, that the greatest security for the Jews exists. The moral structure of Palestine Jewry is more firm than that of all the Jewries of the world. For in Palestine the Jew is no longer adapting himself to an alien civilisation. He himself is creating a civilisation. That is why the League of Nations and all the nations of the world are occupying themselves with this tiny Palestine. That is why more paper is written on about Palestine than the entire area of the country.

But does Palestine, with its 170,000 Jews, answer the material and the soul-need of the Jewish youth? Dr. Weizmann queried. Present-day Palestine cannot yet answer it, but the answer will come, in proportion to the extent to which the work of building will be continued. We must continue to build, he said, independent of the numbers, or even of the political form. It is foolish to establish already a political form, when what we are creating is for the generations which will come after us. If we continue to develop our community in Palestine, we shall open the door to great possibilities in the Orient.

We are not building our communal life on the enslavement of others, Dr. Weizmann said. That would be a denial of our history. We are creating a work of peace in this corner of the earth, and the 170,000 Jews who are in Palestine to-day will open the door to millions. That is why the Haluz in Palestine is to-day at the head of things. Eternal values are being built in Palestine at a time when all else in the world is shaking. I rejoice to see so many young people at this meeting, Dr. Weizmann concluded. Our young people will have a finer and an easier life than we old ones.


Speaking later at the reception given him by the Jewish Agency, Dr. Weizmann again referred to the present difficult world situation, and the severe crisis which is affecting the position of the Jews even more than the rest of the populations. Hitherto, he said, we have had a state of affairs in which things were well with the Jews of one country, while they were bad with the Jews of another country, but now things are bad with the Jews everywhere. To-day there are only countries in which Jews cannot live, and countries which Jews are not allowed to enter. The only way out is to build the legally secured Jewish homeland in Palestine.

This upbuilding work, he said, has already a material and an ideal and moral significance which extends beyond Jewry. There is in Palestine a new generation of Jews, who, because of the feeling they have that they are on their own soil, and through their association with land work, are able to develop creative forces. In the ten years of our practical work 100,000 Jews have newly immigrated into Palestine. The capital which we have poured into Palestine and the work of our immigrants have increased manifold the productive forces of the country. A hundred new villages and a number of modern Jewish town quarters have arisen. Orange plantation in particular has taken an upward swing. A number of prospering industries have been founded, and of late the quantities of potash and bromide which are being recovered from the Dead Sea, by a company which is largely Jewish, are giving rise to great hopes. The building of the Harbour of Haifa, and the railways and the aerial connections have made Palestine a natural centre of communication for the entire Near East.

The work in Palestine is based on justice and on social feeling, on Yosher and Zedek, Dr. Weizmann concluded. The work must grow. We shall everywhere be judged according to the extent to which we shall be able to continue the work. It is my firm belief that the work will never perish. And maybe it will be out of Palestine, which has already given so many laws to the world, that we shall receive the new law-reconciliation in peace and work. Remember that Palestine is the land which saw the first apostle of peace-Isaiah.

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