Johannesburg, South Africa (May. 22)
All fund-raising records were broken here last night at the banquet opening the Keren Hayesod campaign in South Africa. More than Â£ 32,000 was raised for the Jewish Foundation Fund during the banquet, which was attended by 450 persons prominent in the life of the country.
Dr. Nahum Sokolow, president of the World Zionist Organization, who came here by airplane, from Palestine, received a tremendous ovation, when he presented a certificate to General Jan Christian Smuts, former Premier and now Minister of Justice in the present government, recording the establishment of a colony named for him and located near Haifa. The colony is known as Kfar Jochanan, the Hebrew equivalent of Jan.
General Smuts in a ringing speech denounced anti-Semitism, the peresecution of Jews by Nazis, paid tribute to the greatness of the Jewish people and contrasted the prosperity of Palestine with the hunger and unemployment prevalent in Europe.
“My attitude toward the Jews was not dictated by any special love for Jewry,” General Smuts declared, “but by my love for righteousness and justice and by the unforgettable lessons I learned from Hebrew literature.
“The feeling I have for the Jews I have for my own people and for all-who are downtrodden and suffering. ‘Righteousness exalteth a nation’, that formula rings through the ages.
“When the Balfour declaration was promulgated we acted in an idealistic spirit. There is little idealism left today. Who could have forseen that seventeen years later Europe would be in a state almost of dissolution, while Palestine is immensely prosperous. When I saw Palestine during the World War it was waste, while today it resembles the Promised Land, having no unemployment and crying for more workers. Palestine today is the only bright spot in the world.
“In the flush of success we also failed to foresee that one of the consequences of the war madness, which had overcome people through the distress and poverty to which they were reduced, would be a new persecution of the Jews. You all remember the Russian pogroms, but we expected this of Russia.
“The most stubborn German I ever knew was a German Jew, but where is he now? If justification for the policy of the Jewish National Home in Palestine was ever needed, it is supplied by this new persecution upon which so much of civilized Europe has embarked. Palestine now welcomes those no longer welcome in their own country, which they helped to carry forward to higher success.
“Palestine will never support more than a minority of the Jewish people. Palestine is a small country, while the Jews are too great a people to be confined in a single receptacle. It could contain only a nucleus that would develop a greater national life, once more becoming an inspiration to the rest of the Jewish people scattered everywhere. Angola or other parts of the world will never fill the bill.