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Wise, Silver Say Jews Will Resist Continuation of White Paper; Mass Meeting Called

The Jews of Palestine will “resist to the bitter end” the decision reportedly taken by the British Government “to continue with slight modifications the infamous policy of the Palestine White Paper and to restrict Jewish immigration there to a trickle.” Dr. Abba Hillel Silver and Dr. Stephen S. Wise, co-chairmen of the American Zionist Emergency Council, declared in a joint statement issued today.

They announced that a mass meeting to give expression to “the sense of apprebension and indignation aroused by this news” will be held at Madison Square Garden on Sunday evening, September 30, to be followed by an emergency conference of Zionist leaders in Washington. The text of their statement follows:

“News of the utmost gravity has reached us concerning the policy to be pursued by the British Government in regard to Palestine. In spite of the unequivocal resolution adopted by the Labor Party Conference last May in favor of the opening of Palestine to unrestricted Jewish immigration and the establishment there of a Jewish majority; in spite further of the appalling condition of those Jews in Europe who survived the Nazi massacres and for whom there is no hope except among their own people in Palestine, the new Labor Government, from which so much had been expected, apparently intends to continue with slight modifications the infamous policy of the Palestine White Paper and to restrict Jewish immigration there to a trickle.

“This policy the Jewish people will never accept. With full awareness of our responsibility as leaders of the Zionist movement in this country, we express the solemn warning that such a decision can lead only to a catastrophe. The Jews of Palestine will undoubtedly resist to the bitter and. They will not stand calmly by and watch the final destruction, after ‘liberation,’ of the surviving remnamts of their brothers and sisters in Europe. Nor will they for themselves accept the prospect of becoming ultimately a minority, tolerated or otherwise, within one of the many Arab States. The recollection is too close of the threats and pogroms of the Mufti of Jerusalem and of the massacre of the Assyrian minority by the Arabs of Iraq. They will have the unqualified support of Jews everywhere, as well as of those who have not closed their minds to the horros visited on the Jews of Europe.

“We believe that there are still in Britain those whose conscience will not be stilled and who, if they are made aware of the facts, will not permit this cynical denial of aims previously affirmed. At this eleventh hour we call on them to take action. But we call also on our own Government which bears a major responsibility in this crisis. Despite a series of commitments by President Roosevelt reaffirmed by President Truman looking to the opening of Palestine to Jewish immigration and to the establishment of a Jewish State, no effective action has been taken to that end, The moral and political authority of our Government is deeply involved and we look to the administration of President Truman to take immediate steps to prevent a shameful and perhaps irreparable injustice.”