Weizmann Calls on League to Uphold Jews’ Rights in Palestine; Attacks White Paper
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Weizmann Calls on League to Uphold Jews’ Rights in Palestine; Attacks White Paper

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Dr. Chaim Weizmann, president of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, today called upon the League of Nations to uphold the Jewish people’s “internationally recognized rights” in the Holy Land. His appeal was contained in a special letter accompanying the annual report of the Jewish Agency to the Permanent Mandates Commission, which is now holding its regular session.

The letter assails the new British policy on Palestine, embodied in the May White Paper, as virtual repudiation of the Balfour Declaration’s promises to the Jews, makes the “strongest possible protest” against it and appeals to the League as the body “in which ultimate control over Palestine is vested.”

Charging that the White Paper is in “direct contradiction to the whole trend and purpose of the Palestine mandate,” the letter asserts that it ignores the mandate’s preamble which recognizes the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine, with regard to reconstituting the Jewish national home, and sets forth the basic principles to guide the country’s destinies.

The letter accuses the British Government of disregarding those principles and omitting from the White Paper positive obligations such as recognition of Hebrew as an official language in Palestine and recognition of the Agency as the body representing the Jewish people.

“The latter omission,” Dr. Weizmann declares, “accords with the whole trend of the new policy of whittling down the status of the Jewish people by limiting Jewish rights with regard to Palestine to those of the existing Jewish population in the country.”

The letter attacks the White Paper’s proposal to consult the Arab states which, it declares, have no locus standi. Discussing the proposed constitution for an independent state, Dr. Weizmann assails the contention that a state in which the Arabs will constitute a two-thirds majority will not be an Arab state. A state with a Jewish majority, he counters, would likewise not by a Jewish state.

Referring to promised safeguards for the Jewish national home, Dr. Weizmann points out that experience has shown the inadequacy of constitutional safeguards when the majority chooses to disregard them. The Zionist leader denies that the mandatory power is obliged to secure ultimate independence, pointing out that the Palestine mandate sui generis does not contain an independence clause such as contained in the Syrian and Iraqi mandates.

The new British policy, Dr. Weizmann charges, subjects the Jewish national home to Arab rule, perpetuates the Jewish minority position and places Jewish immigration at the mercy of the Arabs. “In short,” he asserts, “it envisages termination of the mandate by jettisoning its primary purpose.”

Discussing the question of immigration, Dr. Weizmann declares that the absence of any limiting provision in the mandate shows that the Government does not have the right arbitrarily to terminate Jewish entry. The absorptive capacity principle regulating immigration, he states, is the only principle enabling the mandatory to discharge its obligations to the Jews and others.

Dr. Weizmann denounces the Arab veto principle, under which further Jewish immigration to Palestine after five years would be dependent upon Arab consent. He warns that repudiation of her obligations deprives Britain of moral justification to rule Palestine and attacks the land restrictions as reversing the mandatory obligation to facilitate close Jewish settlement of the land by introducing racial discrimination contrary to the mandate.

The Jewish Agency, Dr. Weizmann states, “is forced to the conclusion that just as the drastic changes proposed in the immigration policy have been dictated, as has been freely admitted in the White Paper, by purely political considerations, so the proposal to relegate the Jews to a pale of settlement in the country of their national home has a political and not an economic object.”

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