New York (Jun. 21)
Reiterating his warnings of bloody events in Palestine if the White Paper is not abolished by the British Government, David Ben- Gurion, chairman of the executive of the Jewish Agency, told a press conference here today that only American public opinion can prevent “a big tragedy” by convincing Britain that Palestine must be open to Jewish immigration.
“I speak in the name of all the 600,000 Jews of Palestine when I say that we are not ready to tolerate any longer the White Paper restrictions,” Ben Gurion said. “If not for our strong desire to help the Allies in winning the war, we would have ceased tolerating these restrictions long ago. But the war in Europe is over, and we will not agree any longer to a ghetto regime imposed upon us by a power which we consider an alien in Palestine.”
The leader of the Jewish Agency emphasized that during his stay in the United States he will make an effort to bring about unity among all Jews in this country for the purpose of winning the support of the United States for Jewish claims on Palestine.
“We are on the eve of historic decisions with regard to Palestine,” Ben Gurion declared. “These decisions may be in favor of our demand for the establishment of Palestine as a Jewish State, or they may be against us. Both are possible. But one thing is certain; should britain decide to maintain its white Paper restrictions, she will be able to do it only through a regime of bloody terror.” He added that there are no less than 250,000 able-bodied men and women among the 600,000 Jews in Palestine.
CHARGES BRITAIN WITH RESPONSIBILITY FOR JEWS MASSACRED BY NAZIS
Reviewing the diffioculties created by the White Paper for the Jewish development of Palestine, Ben-Gurion charged the British Government with responsibility for the mass-murder of many thousands of Jews in Europe during the Nazi regims, pointing out that these Jews could have been absorbed in Palestine had Britain not introduced immigration restrictions. He said that Palestine can easily absorb a million more Jews if the country were open to Jewish immigration.
During the last few years the Jews of Palestine raised among themselves about twelve million dellars, primarily for the work of rescuing Jews from Nazi Europe, Ben- Gurion reported. He revealed that many Jewish young men and women from Palestine volunteered for dangerous rescue missions which took them behind the German lines. They operated in Rumania, Hungary and other countries which were under German domination. He also disclosed that one-third of the Palestine Arabs who joined the British forces deserted after a few months of service.
The Zionist leader also reported that in France, which he recently visited, many Jews are adopting Catholicism, but on the other hand many Jews who were never nationalist-minded are now staunch supporters of Zionism and are ready to fight for the establishment of Palestine as a Jewish State.