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Many American Jews Oppose a Jewish State in Palestine, Says Lessing Rosenwald

Great numbers of Americans of Jewish faith do not consider the establishment of a National Jewish State in Palestine, or elsewhere, to be a part of a constructive or desirable solution of the post-war Jewish problems,” according to Lessing J. Rosenwald, writing in the current issue of Life magazine, completing the discussion on Jewish rights in Palestine raised by King Ibn Saud.

Declaring that the problem of the Jew is part of the total human problem and must be solved as such in those places where it exists, Mr. Rosenwald says that “the demands for a National Jewish State today exceed by far anything that was contemplated under the Balfour Declaration 26 years ago.” He admits that Palestine has contributed in a tangible way to the alleviation of the present catastrophe in Jewish life by providing refuge for European Jews and adds that “under proper auspices Palestine is capable of absorbing even more settlers, to the advantage of themselves and their Mohammedan neighbors,” At the same time he points out that a “homeland” does not necessarily carry with it the implication of independent statehood. A National Jewish State, he says, carries with it, among other things, certain dangers to Jews now living outside Palestine.

“Palestine has made a great record,” Mr. Rosenwald writes “Palestine’s achievement should not be wasted. Palestine should be one of the countries selected for resettlement. But a National Jewish State not only is not essential to such a purpose; it will be a detriment to such a service. In all probability, little if any difference of opinion exists regarding the desirability of considering Palestine as a place of settlement. It is very likely that it is the demand for a National Jewish State in Palestine that engenders the opposition of King Ibn Saud and many others.

“It is further hoped that Palestine can look forward to the ultimate establishment of a democratic, autonomous government wherein Jews, Moslems and Christians shall be justly represented; every man enjoying equal rights and sharing equal responsibilities; a democratic government in which Jews will be free Palestinians whose religion is Judaism, even as we in this country are Americans whose religion is Judaism. It is further hoped that such a program, embodying the spirit of the Atlantic Charter and the Four Freedoms, would be one to which Moslem and Christian would subscribe together with the Jew, and that Palestine might be another demonstration to the world that men of all faiths can live together in mutual respect for one another, and that such high regard of man for man is the cornerstone of lasting peace,” he concludes.

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