Weizmann Asserts Jewish Right to Homeland Before Royal Commission

Presenting the Jewish case before the Royal Commission in a three-hour address, Dr. Chaim Weizmann, president of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, yesterday outlined the Jews’ plight throughout the world, demonstrated their need for and right to a homeland and held out a friendly hand to the Arabs.

He asserted that the tragedy of the Jews has “an importance not only for Jewry but also for mankind, who, unless Palestine is given to the Jews, is faced with the menace of an international army of malcontents capable in their despair of destroying the world that bars their way to redemption.”

“There should be one place in this wide world where we can live as we want to live,” he declared.

The hearing room in the Government House was crowded to overflowing for the address. After he had concluded, the commissioners, who are investigating recent disorders in Palestine, announced they would like to ask many questions and invited him to meet them again next week.

Dr. Weizmann demanded fair application of the principle of economic absorptive capacity, which he said the Jews had accepted, so that Jews going to Palestine would not find the frontiers closed.

Referring to the growth of Arab Nationalism, Dr. Weizmann declared there were only a few leaders able to speak for the Arabs.

“One of them,” he said, “was Feisal (late King of Iraq). After my frank explanations of Jewish hopes, aspirations and intentions, he understood the situation and we became friends for life. He signed a treaty whose moral value is undiminishable and even Lawrence (the late Col. Lawrence of Arabia) contributed to its draft.”

The Arabs had profited from the World War by creation of five states, he said. “If they are not satisfied, what nation or human being is satisfied?”

Dr. Weizmann said the Transjordan had been included in the Balfour Declaration but “for reasons known only to Sir Herbert Samuel (first Palestine High Commissioner) was torn away.” He urged the Royal Commission to consider existing possibilities for development in the Transjordan.

SEES BALFOUR DECLARATION AS JEWS’ MAGNA CARTA

Describing the Balfour Declaration as the Magna Carta of the Jewish people, he recalled that he had once stated that the meaning of the Jewish national home was that “Palestine should be as Jewish as England is English.”

“Certainly we are not injuring the rights of non-Jews. Before God and the world. I state that nothing has been done to injure others. I go further: the Jews have done good to the Arabs indirectly. We had to collect money from the poor to build up this ruined country. Some state that 400,000 dunams (about 100,000 acres) is the basis for the Jewish national home, but one estate in Canada or elsewhere is bigger.”

Referring to allegations that all good land has already passed into Jewish hands, he said the land is good now but had not been so before Jews acquired it.

Dr. Weizmann said much cultivable land was still available in Palestine, citing the Huleh territory as an example. He declared that a dynamic development policy by the Government was the only essential required to realize the possibilities and emphasized that unless such a policy was adopted Jewish colonization would slow down.

Referring to employment of Arabs in Jewish enterprises, he said Jews must work to avoid reproaches of being parasites if they employ Arabs and boycotters if they employ Jews.

DECLARES WORLD IS CLOSED TO JEWS

In describing the world Jewish position today, Dr. Weizmann contrasted it with that which prevailed two decades ago, when Jews were able to find shelter in America. He said Jews now found “all the world” closed to them.

The noted Zionist leader laid special emphasis on the plight of Polish Jewry which, he said, was best described by Polish Foreign Minister Beck’s recent statement that there were two million Jews too many in Poland. He declared the Polish situation was the result of a rush by Poles to the towns, stimulated by adverse agricultural conditions. Positions formerly held by Jews were being taken by the Poles, he stated.

Touching on the Jewish position in Germany, Dr. Weizmann said the tragedy there was smaller than in Poland, since the Jewish community is older and less numerous.

“We are sufficiently strong to have preserved our identity, but of what value is identity, when we are a minority everywhere and a majority nowhere?” he asked.

Dr. Weizmann rejected the proposed legislative council and voiced the hope that the Royal Commission would find a just and peaceful solution of the difficulties.

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