Thousands Crowd Madison Square Garden to Protest British Policy in Palestine
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Thousands Crowd Madison Square Garden to Protest British Policy in Palestine

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More than 20,000 people crowded Madison Square Garden here tonight in a protest demonstration against the stoppage of Jewish immigration to Palestine by the British Government and for a Jewish Palestine. Thousands of others milled around outside, unable to enter the jammed auditorium. The meeting was arranged by the American Zionist Emergency Council.

The huge assemblage addressed a telegram to President Truman expressing deep appreciation for the “recent acts in behalf of “for the immediate opening of Palestine to unrestricted Jewish immigration and the announcement of an immediate decision to establish Palestine as a Jewish Commonwealth.”

The message to President Truman described as “noble humanitarion actions in the best tradition of democratic America,” the President’ s directive to Gen. Eisenhower regarding conditions in American-controlled refugee camps and his letter to Prime Minister Attlee requesting 100,000 Palestine immigration certificates for European Jews. However, it informed Truman that “the predominant sentiment of American Jewry, shared by vast numbers of Christian Americans,” is that philanthropic and relief measures alone cannot solve the Jewish problem. “It can be solved only by the re-establishment of Palestine as a free and and democratic Jewish Commonwealth, where men of all races and creeds will enjoy full equality of rights and opportunity,” the telegram said.


The demonstration also sent a cable to Prime Minister Attlee emphasizing that, as in the past, Jews prefer to be friends of Britain, “We do not want our youth in Palestine to come to regard you as their enemies,” the cable stated. “Unless you act quickly and justly, irreparable damage will be done to Britain’s name and prestige in the world. In this, we speak the mind of vast numbers of Americans of all faiths and all walks of life.”

The cable pointed out that “hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of European Jews could have been saved during the war years if your Government had not kept the doors of Palestine closed to the Jewish people, and tens of thousands are doomed today as a result of your Government’s brutal policy.” It demanded that “Great Britain shall fulfil the letter and the spirit of the solemn pledges given to the Jewish people; that it open the gates of Palestine to free and unrestricted Jewish immigration and that it announces an immediate decision to establish Palestine as a Jewish Commonwealth.”

A declaration addressed to British Ambassador Lord Halifax was read in unison by the entire audience and was distributed to all present for mailing to the British Embassy in Washington. It reads as follows:

“For years we waited patiently for the fulfillment of Great Britain’s pledges to the Jewish people. We waited in vain. In the meantime, six million Jews were killed in Europe, while you and your colleagues gave us promises and meaningless words of sympathy. The British Government bears a great share of the responsibility for the Jewish tragedy in Europe. Our patience is at an end. We shall not continue to suffer British injustices silently. As Jews and as American citizens, we will fight back relentlessly until the legitimate rights of the Jewish people are recognized-until Palestine is opened wide to free Jewish immigration and a Jewish State is re-established.”


Dr. Abba Hillel Silver, who was one of the principal speakers, addressed himself to Prime Minister Attlee, warning that “British bayonets will not bar the way of our survivors, nor will British tanks crush the hope of our people.”

Dr. Silver recalled the vigorous pro-Zionist statements made by the Labor Party and asked is “the social idealism and international vision of the Labor Government also to be quenched in the cynical imperialism of the bureaucracy of the Colonial Office.” He called on Winston Churchill, as leader of the Opposition, to speak up, reminding Churchill of his denunciation of the White Paper in 1939 and of his statement, when a previous Labor Government planned to liquidate the Jewish National Home, that it should either carry out the Balfour Declaration or surrender the mandate.

President Truman’s letter to Prime Minister Attlee was described by Dr. Silver as “the first forthright act by a chief Executive of our country in many years, designed to help our people in the most fearful and tragic crisis in its history.” He appealed to the President, however, to go further and act to support Zionist demands for the creation of a Jewish State, since the Jewish problem is “not a refugee problem. It cannot be solved by palliative relief measurs. It is the age-old problem of Jewish homelessness.”

(Addresses by Gov. Dewey, Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, Henry Monsky, and Mayor La Guardia and others had not been delivered when the Bulletin went to press. A summary of additional details of the meeting will appear tomorrow.)

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