New York (Nov. 8)
The issue of a Jewish state in Palestine was debated here tonight by Rabbi Stephen S. Wise and Edgar A. Mowrer, on the one hand, and Rabbi Morris Lazaron and Caroll Binder, on the other, on “America’s Town Meeting,” nation-wide broadcast over the network of the American Broadcasting Company.
Rabbi Wise reviewed Jewish achievements in Palestine and declared that Jews refuse to remain a minority there. Only Palestine, he said, can offer a haven to the surviving Jews of Europe. America’s obligations in settlement of the problem, Dr. Wise pointed out, have been recognized on many occasions, and most recently by the dispatch of the Harrison mission to Europe and President Truman’s request to Britain to admit to Palestine 100,000 Jews.
Rabbi Lazaron, while urging abrogation of the White Paper and increased Jewish immigration into Palestine, said that there was little likelihood of Jews becoming a majority in Palestine, and, therefore, it was impracticable to speak of establishing a Jewish state there. As alternatives, he proposed a round-table discussion of the Palestine problem, immigration of Jews into the United States and other countries, and the establishment in Palestine of a democratic commonwealth with cultural and religious astonomy for the different communities.
Mr. Mowrer, foreign correspondent and columnist, charged that “our American hends are stained with the blood of people we could have saved” by seeing to it that Palestine became a Jewish Commonwealth before the war. He denied that there was any ambiguity in the Balfour Declaration and asserted that it pledged establishment of a Jewish state. He called on the United States to express its willingness to share in a United Nations trusteeship over Palestine and to help protect Jews against threatened Arab violence.
Mr. Binder, editorial editor of the Minneapolis Tribune, said that Palestine could not absorb the 1,250,000 European Jews who need assistance. “By inssting on linking relief for distressed European Jews with their aspirations for a Jewish state,” be added, “the Zionists have made much more difficult the admission of Jews to Palestine. They have aggravated the condition of Jews in Europe where many Jews must continue to live for want of homes elsewhere. They have made more difficult the finding of homes for distressed Jews outside Europe and Palestine.” He also favored a United Nations trusteeship for Palestine and increased Jewish immigration into the United States.