NEW YORK (Jun. 10)
The belief that “a Jewish Homeland in Palestine” will inevitably result from the victory of the democratic nations in the present war was expressed here tonight by Dr. Chaim Weizmann, President of the Jewish Agency for Palestine and world leader of the Zionist movement, at a dinner tendered him at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel attended, by leaders from all walks of Jewish life as well as by many prominent non-Jewish notables.
President Roosevelt sent a message of “personal greetings” to the dinner expressing his “high appreciation of Dr. Weizmann’s scientific and humanitarian achievements during the course of his long and distinguished career.” Messages of greeting were also received from Frank Knox, Secretary of the Navy, Henry Morgenthau, Jr., Secretary of the Treasury, the British Ambassador, Lord Halifax, Governor Herbert H. Lehman, Wendell Willkie and others.
Declaring that he is “unshakably convinced that all roads to the solution of the Jewish problem inescapably lead to the Jewish Homeland on the shores of the Mediterranean,” Dr. Weizmann said that while Czechs, Poles, Greeks, Dutch, Belgians and Frenchmen, after the victorious conclusion of the war, will be able to return to a normal life, this is not so in the case of the Jews who have been robbed of all their possessions by the Nazis and whose livelihood has been destroyed.
“The Jews,” Dr. Weizmann stated, “when military victory has been achieved, will be left as a floating population between heaven and hell, not knowing where to turn. How great their number will be is difficult to predict. To speak of 4,000,000 is no exaggeration. In any event, one thing is certain, beyond statistical speculation: These Jews will be homeless.”
Appealing to the world to give the Jews “a place in God’s wide world where we Jews could live and express ourselves in accordance with our character, and make our contribution to the civilized world in our own way and through our own channels,” Dr. Weizmann emphasized that this place must be Palestine. “I believe that after the war Jews everywhere can gain in status and security only through the rise of a Jewish State, and this would be especially the case if that state is a part of the British Commonwealth,” he said.
Dr. Weizmann assured his audience that in such a state there will be complete civil and political equality for all citizens, without distinction of race or religion, and, in addition, the Arabs will enjoy full autonomy in their own internal affairs. “We should be ready, if necessary, to consider joining, under proper safeguards, in a federation with Arab states,” he declared.
Other speakers at the dinner included Dorothy Thompson, Dr. Stephen S. Wise, Judge Louis E. Levinthal and Dr. Israel Goldstein.