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Foreign Policy Association Reports on Jewish Post-war Settlement in Palestine

The prospects of Jewish settlement in Palestine are discussed in a survey on post-war settlement of refugees published here by the Foreign Policy Association. Referring to Dr. Chaim Weizmann’s estimate that two million Jews could rapidly be settled in Palestine if funds were made available, the report declares:

“Whether Palestine can offer permanent settlements for Jewish refugees depends not only on its economic absorptive capacity, but on the prospect of solving the vast political problems at issue between the Palestine Arabs and Jews. Both peoples regard Palestine as their home by right of actual possession and historical development, both have cultural and religious ties to the land; and both demand political ascendancy.

“Zionists support their claims to large-scale immigration and unlimited purchase of land by pointing out that Palestine is their ancient fatherland and that Britain, the United States and the League of Nations have all conceded this claim by endorsing the British Mandate, established in 1922, which gave the Jews the right to establish a national home there,” the report continues. “Moreover, they declare that, whereas the Arabs secured several national states during and after World War I, the Jews have no place of their own except this tiny area that is only one-twentieth the size of the Arab territories. They also point to their achievement of the past 20 years, during which they have increased their population from 50, 000 to over 500, 000, invested $500, 000, 000, established industries, and reclaimed the lands which had so long gone to waste under Arab cultivation. As a result, the Jews declare, Palestine has achieved prosperity and increased public services, from which Arabs as well as Jews have gained improved living standards.

“Convinced that the Jews’ survival is at stake in the Palestine issue, Zionist leaders state they will use every means at their disposal to make Palestine their national home, and recent observers report that there is now a group of young persons who appear willing to use open force as the best means of settling the thing once and for all.’ Meanwhile, most of the Zionists place much hope in the eventual peace conference and emphatically urge the United Nations to establish a Jewish-controlled state,” the report points out.

“Palestine Arabs are not welded into as compact a group as the Zionists, but their leaders in Palestine and throughout the Arab world speak with equal vigor. Although at the end of World War I a number of Arab spokesmen welcomed the establishment of the Jewish homeland as a means of securing capital, technical skill and connections with the outside world which might otherwise be lacking, attainment of these material advantages has not created harmony between the two peoples. Today, in fact, it is extremely doubtful if there are many Arabs who feel inclined to allow further Jewish immigration,” the report says.

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