NEW YORK (Oct. 26)
Proclaiming the month of November as a “Balfour Declaration Month,” the American Emergency Committee for Zionist Affairs today issued a call to all Jews in the United States to observe the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, which will be marked in New York at a mass meeting at Carnegie Hall on November 1.
A statement prepared by the Zionist Emergency Committee expressed the hope that ” Jewish communities throughout the world, in the present hour that is so tragically dark for many of them, will find in the observance of the anniversary of the Balfour Declaration an augury of the brighter that will come.”
“The last twenty-five years have seen the Balfour Declaration buffeted about in the storm of political rivalries, chicaneries and racial animosities,” the statement reads. The Declaration has suffered particularly rough handling in the treacherous currents of appeasement. So true is all this that its original intent has been almost blotted out by a series of interpolations, and the last of them, the notorious White Paper of 1939, has to all intents and purposes abrogated it. The question may well be asked: Is it proper, in view of the vicissitudes that have befallen this document, to celebrate its birth?
“Our answer to that question is an emphatic’ Yes. In spite of everything, the Balfour Declaration remains a historic document of the first order. It marked the official recognition by a great power of ‘ the historic connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and the reasons of reconstituting the Jewish National Home. It rallied to the support of the great project the other civilized nations of the world, among them the United States of America. What is equally important, it rallied to its support a new stream of the energy, idealism, and the resources of the Jewish people. It brought wave after wave of Jewish immigration into Palestine, led by a vanguard of pioneers whose record would shine brightly in the history of any people. It served, and it still serves, as the most important point of reference in the claims of the Jewish people to the recognition by the world of its right to a national home of its own in the land that is identified with its pristine greatness.