In his plea for greater sympathy for the homeless victims of German persecutions and for a more liberal immigration policy by the governments of the world in the present crisis, High Commissioner McDonald, speaking before the council of the autonomous body created by the League of Nations, declared:
“The Jewish leaders throughout the world, not only in theory, but in actual practice, give their funds to non-Jews. But I am forced to express the greatest disappointment over the failure of the Christian world to meet responsibilities in this matter. If Christians had done as much as the Jews, there would be no refugee problem today. I feel it necessary to declare this before this governing body which does not contain a single Jewish member.”
In the course of his report, Mr. McDonald emphasized the progress of settlement of refugees in Palestine and declared that Palestine is at this time practically the only area offering immediate opportunity for refugee colonization upon an appreciable scale.
Lord Robert Cecil, that great humanitarian statesman, one of the world’s greatest champions of peace, chairman of the governing body created by the League of Nations to aid the refugees, stirred the council by an impressive appeal for the permanent solution of the refugee problem “essential for the credit of civilization.”
He also pointed out that Germany should aid in this work, saying:
“We feel we have a strong claim on the German government to make easier that part of our work concerned with passports enabling refugees to travel and find permanent homes, and not to stay where they originally fled, and where there is no solution. This trouble, for which we are not responsible, is caused by measures which the German government has seen fit to take. The German government must do something to relieve us of the burden imposed by nothing that we have done.
“Merely providing a solution for the day is no solution. We must provide subsistence to prevent starving, but we must seek a permanent solution.”
Very little is asked of the German government-to adjust the problem of passports for the refugees. The German government has created an international problem by violating the human rights of an element of its own population, by setting up false race theories and by inventing all sorts of pretexts for persecuting the Jews. The Nazi “Aryans” wish to be regarded as the “Chosen People,” as superior to the rest of the world. They are trying to demonstrate their “superiority” by resorting to acts of barbarism, by uprooting not only the Jews but also Judaism as well as Christianity. The Nazi offensive is directed at Christianity because it sprang from Judaism. Hitlerism is just as grave a challenge to the Christian world as to the Jews. And the answer to Hitlerism must come from the Christian world as well as from the Jews. It is a question of war and peace, of might and right, of darkness and light, of barbarism and civilization. It is the revolt of the hairy ape against civilized man.”
High Commissioner McDonald and Lord Robert Cecil are right when they emphasize that the problem of the German refugees is not merely a Jewish problem, but that it should be the concern of the entire civilized world.
Palestine is recognized as the only bright ray of hope in connection with the settlement of refugees. But Palestine can at this time absorb a far larger number of refugees than are admitted there. The great British statesman, Lord Robert Cecil, who has done so much for the rehabilitation of Palestine in the spirit of the Balfour Declaration, should exert his influence in this crisis with the British government to give a more liberal interpretation of the historic Balfour Declaration and the Mandate, to fulfill the sacred pledge made by the British government to the Jewish people. Palestine is prospering now because of the efforts of Jewish labor, of Jewish enterprise and of Jewish investments. There is a shortage of labor in Palestine just now. To keep down Jewish immigration to Palestine at such a time as this, when the country’s absorptive capacity justifies a much larger number of immigration certificates than that granted by the government, and when the tragedy in Germany has made thousands of the ablest and the most intelligent Jews homeless; to treat the present situation as normal, to resort to technicalities-all this is hardly in keeping with the world’s conception of the fairness of the British people and is not in the spirit of the Balfour Declaration.