NEW YORK (May. 18)
Dr. Chaim Weizmann, President of the Jewish Agency for Palestine and of the World Zionist Organization, declared today that despite the justified grievances that Palestine Jews may have against Great Britain they rallied to her cause and have remained the most loyal bulwark for democracy in the “Near East field of intrigue and outright hostility.”
Speaking before a congregation of more than 4,000 under the auspices of the Free Synagogue in Carnsgis Hall Dr. Weizmann pointed out that although the policy of British appeasement towards Arabs injured the Jews greatly, the Jewish community of Palestine solidly backed the side of Britain as soon as she was confronted with war.
“Not for a moment did we doubt that all the differences between us and the British Government waned into insignificance when measured against the possibility of a British defeat at the hands of the totalitarian, anti-democratic powers,” the Zionist leader said.
Had Britain permitted the fullest development of Palestine the military situation in the Mediterranean would have been much more favorable in the present critical moment, Dr. Weizmann asserted.
“If Palestine today had a more substantial Jewish population–let us say a million Jews, with the corresponding military men-power, and if the British government had trained and armed this man-power for the onslaught that inevitably had to come at that focal point in the war for the survival of the British empire, then all of us, in England as well as here, would be breathing a great deal more freely, and would be viewing the collaboration of France and Germany with much less anxiety,” he said.
“We would be able to place in the field 100,000 young men who would give all for the defense of Palestine and the British cause, which is identical.”
Pointing out that it was the British who created a wide area of independent Arab states, Dr. Weizmenn assailed the revolt in Iraq and declared that if the formation of Arab republics by Great Britain after the first world war failed to inspire the Arabs with loyalty and gratitude to Britain, certainly small concessions later offered by the British appeasement policy in Palestine could not expect to win over the Arabs now.
“Fortunately,” he said, “there still are some far-sighted and loyal Arabs who refuse to let themselves be blinded by the blandishments of the exiled Mufti of Jerusalem. They know that only a British victory can bring them true freedom and peace. Even if some of our Arab neighbors should let themselves be so misguided as to take up arms against the forces of democracy, Britain will find that Jewish Palestine will remain constant to her cause and that the Jewish people of Palestine are prepared to lay down their lives in defense of their homes.”
Dr. James G. MacDonald, chairman of the President’s Advisory Committee for Political Refugees also addressed the congregation. Dr. Stephen S. Wise, rabbi of the Free Synagogue, presided.