Johannesburg (Apr. 7)
Despite the economic blizzard, there is still an enormous reserve of sentiment and even of money among the American Jewish masses, Dr. Ch. Weizmann said in contrasting South African Jewry with American Jewry, which, he said, had so far let down Palestine, in the course of a speech which he delivered last night at a farewell reception given in the Johannesburg City Hall in honour of himself and Mrs. Weizmann. But the American Jewish masses had been misled and undermined in the last few years, he complained, by defeatist propaganda and the constant cry of betrayal by the Mandatory.
More than a thousand people were present at the reception. Mr. Braude, the Chairman of the Zionist Executive, who presided, reported that so far Â£53,000 had been raised in the Keren Hayesod campaign, and gave figures showing that there had been an improvement in the collections in nearly every centre, as compared with the previous campaign.
Chief Rabbi Dr. J. L. Landau, Honorary President of the South African Zionist Federation, and Mr. Justice Greenberg, Honorary President of the Keren Hayesod of South Africa, also spoke, and Mr. Hillman, the President of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies, presented Dr. and Mrs. Weizmann with an illuminated address from the Board.
Dr. Alexander Golds tein described the ineffaceable impression which Dr. Weizmann had made on South African Jewry.
In thanking the provincial, civic and university authorities, the Zionist Organisation, and its workers, the South African Jewish Board of Deputies and all the Jewish Communities he had so far visited, Dr. Weizmann paid a warm tribute to the loyalty of the response of South African Jewry to the cause of Palestine.
Going on to deal with the Palestine situation, Dr. Weizmann expressed his apprehension that the French report might prove a re-introduction through the back door of the pseudo-scientific principles of the Simpson report. But on the fundamental questions of land and immigration, he added, all Jewry, irrespective of Party or of viewpoint, would resist to the utmost all attempts to curtail Jewish activities, or to crystallise the Jewish National Home.
The greater a nation, Dr. Weizmann went on, the less it can afford to tamper with the solemn promise given to an oppressed race.
The MacDonald letter of authoritative interpretation had so far not been carried into effect, Dr. Weizmann said, but now the testing time is coming to determine whether this letter is to be converted into realities.
PALESTINE TO-DAY ECONOMICALLY SOUNDER THAN MOST OTHER COUNTRIES DR. WEIZMANN CLAIMS REVEALING JEWISH AGENCY’S REQUEST FOR, FOUR THOUSAND NEW LABOUR IMMIGRATION CERTIFICATES: WHETHER ALL THIS NUMBER GRANTED OR NOT HE SAYS HE HOPES NEW HIGH COMMISSIONER’S IMMIGRATION POLICY BE MORE LIBERAL THAN HIS PREDECESSORS’: PRIVATE ENTERPRISE CAN BE BUILT UP ONLY ON BASIS OF LABOUR IMMIGRATION: BRITAIN CAN MAKE IT HARDER OR EASIER FOR US DR. WEIZMANN CONCLUDES BUT NO ONE CAN STOP OUR MOVEMENT
Palestine is to-day economically sounder than most other countries, Dr. Weizmann claimed. Hence, the Jewish Agency, he said, has felt justified in asking for 4,000 new labour immigration certificates.
He had confidence in the fair mindedness of the new High Commissioner, Dr. Weizmann continued, and he hoped that whether the whole of this number of Labour Schedule Immigration certificates were granted or not, the new High Commissioner’s immigration policy would be more liberal than the immigration policies of his predecessors.
While fully recognising the importance of the Mandatory Power’s attitude towards Palestine questions, it must be our own efforts, in and outside Palestine, Dr. Weizmann went on, that will build up the Jewish National Home.
Proceeding to analyse the position with regard to the introduction of private initiative in the Palestine up-building work, Dr. Weizmann urged that this must not be used as a cry to cover the shortcomings of the Keren Hayesod. Private enterprise could be built up only on the basis of the Haluzim immigration, of which the Keren Hayesod was the instrument, Dr. Weizmann contended.
Britain can make it harder or easier for us, Dr. Weizmann concluded, but no one can stop our movement. The foundations are firmly laid, and friends and enemies alike must understand that Jews go to Palestine of right, a right that we shall never forego.