NEW YORK (Mar. 13)
The British Government “broke a truce” when it promulgated the ordinance restricting sale of land to Jews in Palestine, Vladimir Jabotinsky, president of the New Zionist Organization, declared on his arrival here today aboard the S.S. Samaria.
The “truce”, he explained, was entered into by the British, Arabs and Jews at the outbreak of the European war. “I regret that they have broken it,” Jabotinsky said. “It was a piece of tactlessness and irresponsibility on their part.”
The restrictions, he believed, can be enforced. “It is a very serious attempt to do us a lot of harm,” he said. “But I don’t attach too much importance to their decision of today, because I know there will be other decisions tomorrow.”
The entire present system of government of Palestine cannot last, Jabotinsky added, accusing the British Colonial Office of having “no policy” in Palestine, but merely of “muddling through.”
The leader of the militant and dissident right wing of the Zionist movement said he had come to this country, and would visit South America, primarily “to look and see,” declaring “this is the most important part of the world now.” He will consult with New Zionist leaders in America on major questions of the organization’s policy and tactics in the light of Palestinian and wartime developments, he said.
Mobilization of a Jewish army of 120,000 to fight on the Allied side on any fronts where it is needed was foreseen by Jabotinsky as an “inevitable” development if the war is prolonged and intensified.
“It will be a national army, not a ‘Jewish legion’,” said Jabotinsky, who founded the Jewish legion which fought under General Allenby in the conquest of Palestine in the last war. “But it depends on whether there is going to be a war.”
Jabotinsky called Palestine “the sole and total solution” of the Jewish refugee problem now and the greater one that will exist at the end of the war, declaring it would be necessary to transport millions of Jews there in a short time.
Three fourths of Palestine Jewry share his political views, Jabotinsky claimed, pointing out that no election to the Jewish National Council had been held for eight years, and maintaining that if they were held now, the New Zionist Organization would win a sweeping victory. “The Jews of Palestine, and especially the young people, are tired of inaction,” he said.
Greeted by a group of New Zionist leaders, one of Jabotinsky’s first questions concerned his son, Eri Jabotinsky, Palestinian engineer recently arrested and jailed under the emergency regulations in the Holy Land when he accompanied a shipload of refugees arriving there illegally. By way of comment, Jabotinsky quoted: “He laughs best who laughs last.”
Jabotinsky will address a meeting at the Manhattan Center, March 19. He will fly to Buenos Aires March 22, and on his return from his South American tour about the end of April will probably make a lecture tour in this country.