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Jewish Agency Turns Down Macdonald’s Plea for Cooperation

The Jewish Agency for Palestine, rejecting Colonial Secretary Malcolm MacDonald’s appeal in Commons yesterday for cooperation with the Government in effecting its new Palestine policy, today refused to take responsibility for the “inevitable consequences” of the ban on immigration.

In reply to the Colonial Secretary’s appeal, voiced during the debate on MacDonald’s decree suspending immigration for six months, the Agency issued the following statement:

“The Colonial Secretary appealed to the Jews to cooperate with the policy of the White Paper. He bases the appeal on gratitude due for the actions of former British governments and former colonial secretaries, whose work he is attempting to undo. That gratitude is felt and will continue to be felt. It goes out today to the British nation and to those in Parliament who oppose these attempts. Jews are aware that even among those who have not yet expressed opposition many feel serious, growing misgivings with regard to the White Paper policy.

“The Jewish Agency for 20 years made loyal cooperation with the mandatory power the basis of its work and looks forward to the time when it will be enabled to resume full cooperation. But they state once more that the policy of the White Paper is devoid of moral and legal basis and is calculated to destroy the last and holiest possession of the Jewish people — the national home. They cannot be expected to help implement the White Paper and refuse to be made in any way responsible for the inevitable consequences of the Government’s new immigration policy.”

President Jacob Rosenheim of the World Agudath Israel, religious non-Zionist organization, declared at an Advisory Council session last night that the Agudah deeply resented the Colonial Office decision to suspend Jewish immigration to Palestine. He said the decision proved that the White Paper could not be carried out and was a “death blow to prospective legal immigrants, placing a premium on illegal immigration.” The Jewish people, Dr. Rosenheim asserted, were aware of the international difficulties facing Britain but would be denying their birthright and their religious mission if they did not unitedly resist the decree.

Commenting on yesterday’s debate, The Times reiterated its advocacy of a federal solution of the Palestine problem, with autonomous Jewish and Arab provinces, each vested with the right to control immigration. The Times said such a plan might be a “prelude to eventual federation of the peoples of Syria and Palestine into a larger unit” in which there would be room for both Arab and non-Arab states.

The Daily Telegraph and Morning Post termed the debate “useless and even dangerous because even an assault upon the Government’s policy gives encouragement to elements, both Jewish and Arab which threaten opposition by force to any policy that may be finally chosen.”

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