Christian Leaders Ask Freedom for Jews in Europe and Jewish Home in Palestine

Declaring that “the destiny of the Jews is a matter of immediate concern to the Christian conscience and the amelioration of their lot is a duty that rests upon all who profess Christian principles,” 75 Christian leaders, clergymen and laymen today issued a statement expressing the hope that it will be possible for Jews “as for all others” to live in post-war Europe “in dignity and freedom.” At the same time the statement appeals for the creation of a Jewish Homeland in Palestine.

Pointing to the tragedy of the Jews in Central Europe, the statement reads: “We, the undersigned Christian clergymen and laymen, having given careful consideration to the status of our Jewish brethren in these lands, have arrived at the following conclusions: we look forward to the triumph of democracy in Central Europe and to the establishment there of a social structure conformable with accepted Christian principles, in which it will be possible for Jews as for all others to live in dignity and freedom.

“Nonetheless, the difficulties in the way of a general rehabilitation of the Jewry of Central and Eastern Europe are very great. Anti-Semitism, long endemic in this part of the world, has been intensified by Nazi indoctrination. It has become so deeply rooted that Jews have lost hope of living there with any degree of security. They have been largely excluded from the economic life of Central Europe. The task of rehabilitating them economically would be difficult under any circumstances. It will be extraordinarily difficult amidst the dislocations of post-war reconstruction.

LARGE-SCALE JEWISH EMIGRATION FROM EUROPE FORESEEN

“For large segments of European Jewry migration represents the only practical program. Such migration need not and should not be either total or coerced. But that great numbers of Jews will choose to move from Europe after the war is over seems inevitable. Their right to find for themselves homes where they can live a fuller life, free from fear and want, is indisputable. We believe, furthermore, that large-scale migration will serve to reduce pressure against those Jews who elect to remain where they are at present.

“Of all the lands available for migration in the post-war world, Palestine is the most practicable. Experience with the refugee problem during the past decade has demonstrated the reluctance of all peoples to open up their territories to mass migration – a reluctance likely to be even more pronounced when the nations of the world confront the tasks of post-war reconstruction.”

Emphasizing the moral and political claims which the Jews have on Palestine as well as the fact that “sober estimates of Palestine’s absorptive capacity indicate that it still has room for large additional numbers,” the statement says: “In the light of all those considerations, we are convinced that the post-war world ought to encourage large-scale migration of European Jews to Palestine. To this conclusion we have been brought also by considerations of equity. Simple Justice would demand that somewhere in the world this gifted people enjoy the privilege of every historic people, that of living a normal, free, self-respecting life of its own.

“In reaching this conclusion we recognize fully the rights of the Arabs in Palestine. We believe that every guarantee should be accorded them of free participation in the political life of the land and of full cultural and social autonomy. However, we cannot overlook the fact that the Arab world has abundant opportunity for political self-determination in many lands, whereas the Jewish people have no such hope except in Palestine.”

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