Ben-gurion Calls for Jewish State in Palestine; Assails British Appeasement of Arabs

Declaring that “Palestine as a Jewish State is the only possible solution of post-war Jewish misery and we are determined to achieve it,” David Ben-Gurion addressing the Inter-American Jewish Conference several hours after his landing in New York, last night demanded that:

1. The Palestine administration should cease its policy of appeasing Arabs.

2. A Jewish army fighting Hitler side by side with Allied armies be established.

3. The entire responsibility of post-war resettlement of millions of Jews after the war is over “as well as the authority to do so” should be left to the Jews themselves.

“After the last war,” Ben-Gurion stated, “millions of Greeks, forced to abandon Turkey and Anatolia, were settled in European Greece in short time. Jews can do the same thing in Palestine, as proved by their achievements there so far. But no foreign administration, however friendly and well-meaning, will do it. The whole responsibility and necessary authority must be left to the Jews themselves.

“When the war is over,” Ben-Gurion continued, “and Hitlerism is destroyed, the world will be faced with a formidable Jewish problem – millions of destitute, uprooted Jews in dire need of a country of their own. Palestine is the country, and the only country, for these Jews. We have so far settled several millions in the rest of the country. We have in Palestine all the necessary experience for that. We have rich experience in dealing with large-scale immigration, and colonization, and can confidently undertake the settlement of millions of Jews, provided that Palestine is placed under a Jewish administration – provided, that is, that Palestine is established as a Jewish Commonwealth.”

Scoring the appeasement policy of the Palestine administration, Ben-Gurion stated that “while the British people overthrew the Chamberlain Government, and under Churchill, are pursuing a policy of fighting Hitler to the finish, the same administration remains in Palestine, and the same stupid policy of appeasing the enemies of England in the Middle East and sacrificing its friends, is still continuing. The Mufti is in Berlin but his friends are free to act in Palestine and Baghdad. This policy, however, will not deter the Jews from contributing their best to the general war effort they are determined to have a Jewish army fighting Hitler side by side with Allied armies.”

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