London (Jun. 20)
The spirit of the Palestine Jews is unconquerable and Palestine will never again be an Arab country, Dr. Chaim Weizmann, leader of the world Zionist movement, declared last night, addressing a dinner in his honor given by Sir Simon and Lady Marks. Over 500 prominent British Jews attended the function.
“It may take time to make Palestine a Jewish country, but it will be done,” Dr. Weizmann said. “I believe that our present relations with the mandatory power are of a passing character. Britain can be big only when it adheres to moral principles, the sanotity of promises, sympathy and humanity. God forbid that England should abandon them. I do not believe that Britain will abandon these principles, and we will soon see the blossoming of a Jewish state.”
The Zionist leader said that it is wrong to say that the Jews of Palestine are anti-British. He pointed out that all his work has been based on British connections and on the assumption that justice will predominate in the relations between Britain and the Jews. Dr. Weizmann revealed that he is attempting, at present, to convince the British Government that it can no longer keep the Jews of Palestine in suspense and that a final decision must be taken now.
WILLING TO ACCEPT CHURCHILL’S WHITE PAPER OF 1922
He declared that it was untrue that creation of a Jewish Commonwealth would depart from the purposes of the Balfour Declaration. The Jews, Dr. Weizmann continued, were willing to accept Churchill’s White Paper of 1922, although it was a departure from the Balfour Declaration, since it spoke of the absorptive capacity of the country. Such absorptive capacity, he stressed, must be created, adding “I say give me the right to create absorptivity and a Jewish state will be ready within three to five years.” The Churchill White Paper, Dr. Weizmann said, must inevitably lead to a Jewish state.
He pointed out that the Arabs have already realized their highest ambitions, while the Jews, with over 1,000,000 men in the Allied armies and with 30,000 volunteers from Palestine, and with over 4,000,000 killed in Europe, are still waiting.
Admitting that the task of saving Europe’s Jews had not been an easy one, Dr. Weizmann charged that if not for the calamitous policy of allowing Hitler to go ahead unchecked at a time when he could still have been halted, a much larger number might have been saved. He recalled the various conferences concerning refugees and rescue and the many governmental statements, all of which resulted in no action.
Asserting that the virus of Nazism had taken root even in countries like France and Holland, Dr. Weizmann said that “Jews cannot settle in a cemetery. We cannot wait any longer. The blood of millions cries to Heaven. If justice has some planing, this voice will be heard.”
Reporting the impressions he gained on his recent visit to Palestine, the Jewish Agency president said that “the Yishuv, while not always a welcome ally, neverthezes harnessed all its power and resources to the war effort, created many things and showed that it can do more than even we believed. There will be difficulties during the transition of Palestine industry from peace to war,” he continued, “but the unique inventiveness, ingenuity and adaptability of the Yishuv will find a way.”
1,000,000 JEWS CAN BE SETTLED IN NEGEV
Dr. Weizmann pointed out that “while 36 new settlements have sprung up recently, one is amazed to find emptiness in many parts at the same time.” He stated that at least one-third of the 11,000,000 duname in the Negev (the arid-southern part of Palestine) could be colonized and support 1,000,000 Jews.
Sir Simon, addressing the dinner, revealed that before Lord Gort left England to become High Commissioner for Palestine, Dr. Weizmann asked him whether he believed in the “White Paper or the Bible,” and Gort replied “the Bible.” A volume published to mark his 70th birthday was presented to Dr. Weizmann.
An appeal for contributions to the United Palestine Appeal made by JNF president Aaron Wright brought contributions of $600,000 from the diners, of which $200,000 came from Sir Simon.