Dr. M. D. Eder, President of the Zionist Federation of Great Britain and Ireland, has a letter in the “Times” to-day with reference to a report in the “Times” of Dec. 30th., in which its Warsaw correspondent summarised Mr. Jabotinsky’s speech to the Revisionist Conference, stating that Mr. Jabotinsky had said “that Jews might become the dynamite which would blow up the British Empire”. (This phrase did not appear in the cabled summary of the speech given in the J.T.A. Bulletin of Dec. 30th.).
The Council of the Zionist Federation of Great Britain and Ireland, Dr. Eder writes, desires to dissociate itself from the irresponsible statements attributed to Mr. Jabotinsky, who it may be added, holds no office of any kind in the Zionist Organisation.
In the absence of Mr. Nahum Sokolev, President of the Jewish Agency and the World Zionist Organisation, who is now in the United States, Professor Bredetsky, member of the Executive, in charge of the Political Department, stated, the “Times” further says, that Mr. Jabotinsky holds no office of any kind in the Zionist Organisation or the Jewish Agency, and is, in fact, agitating for the secession of his group from the Zionist Organisation. The Zionist Organisation repudiates all responsibility for the alleged utterances of Mr. Jabotinsky.
Mr. D’Avigdor Goldsmid, Chairman of the Council of the Jewish Agency, the “Times” adds, also emphatically dissociated himself from Mr. Jabotinsky’s attacks on Great Britain, as well as from the whole of his programme.
MR. JABOTINSKY’S SPEECH
British Imperialist interests, Mr. Jabotinsky said, according to a full report of his speech, continue to require that Palestine should be a country with a Jewish majority. The forces which are fighting against our efforts have not affected and cannot affect this problem. The Moslems in India, who constitute a minority there, need England’s help more than England needs their help. There are countless people in England who stand on this point of view. There is also a public conscience in England to which we can appeal.
In what way has the change come about, Mr. Jabotinsky asked? going on to suggest that the reason might lie with the policy of “Little Zionism” continued by the last Zionist Congress. Britain is in economic difficulties, he went on, and has plenty of troubles of her own. Therefore, he said, we can no longer count on the help of Britain in our Judestaat plans of a great colonisation scheme in Palestine. England cannot bring about the changes we demand, and cannot fulfil our hopes. And that Power which does not help, he said, is an obstacle to Zionism.
There are certain consequences which follow, he continued. There has been a profound change in the attitude of the Jewish people towards England. The noble sound of the name England has gone. The effect is felt in Palestine. The Yishub has come to feel that it is intended to be a Yishub like all others in other countries, an end in itself, and therefore it may well ask why the Mandatory is necessary at all. Perhaps, it thinks, we can get more from the local majority and a time may come when it will go to the League of Nations together with the Arabs and say that it no longer needs a Mandatory. England has done everything it could in Palestine to create the impression there that it is unnecessary and even harmful to the Yishub, and the B’rith Shalom, he said, is perhaps a blind attempt out of the impasse.
The new feeling that is growing in Palestine, Mr. Jabotinsky went on, is seen in the fact that there are a hundred young men in prison there for disobedience in connection with the census. That movement will grow and Britain will find it uncomfortable to remain in Palestine. A great people cannot live without a great hope.
England has acted to the world a lie, Mr. Jabotinsky said. Once every Jew hated Russia. The hatred felt by every Jew to England will be greater now. England has deceived us, destroyed our hopes and we shall proclaim her lie to the world. We may have to pay bitterly for that, but the world, too, will have to pay bitterly for that. England, in 13 years of rule in Palestine has made nothing of our endeavours and thus it has inflamed 15 million hearts, which are aflame now, and there is a great danger in 15 million matches.
Changes in the world situation are inevitable, Mr. Jabotinsky proceeded, and we Jews must be prepared for this coming world revision. If Palestine is valuable to A, it is also valuable to B. Our hopes for Palestine are thousands of years old, but England’s unsuccessful experiment is less than 13 or 14 years old, and what significance has it in comparison? The time for revision will come, he concluded. We must consolidate the economic forces of our Yishub in Palestine, and by the method of Tozereth Ha’Yishub Palestine can be upbuilt. When the upheaval comes in the East, we, too, must be prepared with a strong force of men who will be able to rally to the service of our cause.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.