British Envoys in Chile Decline to Receive Jewish Delegations Balfour Day
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British Envoys in Chile Decline to Receive Jewish Delegations Balfour Day

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The refusal of the English embassy to grant a promised audience to a Jewish deputation on Balfour Day, November 2, was a keen disappointment to local Zionists.

The audience, which had been arranged for the delegation of the Zionist Federation was to have lasted an hour. Several hours after the appointed time, the Zionist Federation received a letter to the effect that as a result of instructions which had been forwarded from London the embassy could not receive the delegation.

Similar advice was also received from the British consul-general in Valparaiso by a Jewish delegation there. The Zionist Federation has informed the Zionist Executive in London of both incidents.

Despite these disappointments, the Balfour Day celebration which the Zionist Federation had arranged at the headquarters of the Circulo Israelita of Santiago was very successful. The celebration was attended by over 1,500 persons, including a number of members of parliament. Among those who addressed the meeting were M. Faivovich, president of the Zionist Federation; Horacio Hevia, former Chilean minister of the interior; Isaac Drapkin, Zionist leader; L. Gomberoff and Gil Sinai. Although the Balfour Declaration was the topic of the evening, every speaker devoted some part of his speech to the condition of the German Jews. There was also a suitable musical program.

Similar celebrations were also held at Valparaiso, Concepcion, Chillan and Temuco. The general press on November 2 carried many editorials and accounts of Zionism and the Balfour Declaration.

It is curious that during the wave of Hitler’s Jew-persecutions, the local press said hardly a word in favor of the persecuted, but of late there has been an outburst of great sympathy for the Jews and towards Zionism. Articles have appeared in El Mercurio, Liberal organ; La Nacion, the government newspaper; El Diario Illustrado, the Catholic-Conservative publication and in La Opinion, the Socialist newspaper.

The South Pacific Mail, the organ of the local English-American colony, published on November 2 a special “Israelite Number” devoted almost entirely to the Jewish question.

The local Arabs, too. had something to say about the Balfour Declaration. In Santiago they organized a protest meeting on Balfour

Day. Speakers at the meeting dwelt on the recent occurrences in Palestine and sharply criticized the mandatory power for suppressing the Arab protest movement there. Naturally, the Balfour Declaration and Zionism were also discussed.

Telegrams protesting against the English and expressing solidarity with the Arabs of Palestine were sent to the League of Nations, to Sir Arthur Grenfell Wauchope, High Commissioner of Palestine, to Musa Kasim Pasha, president of the Arab Executive, and to the Syria-Palestine committee at Geneva.

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