Zionist Emergency Council Calls Anglo-american Inquiry Committee “a Mockery”

The American Zionist Emergency Council today issued a statement declaring that “the United States has fallen into a carefully prepared trap” by accepting the British proposal for a joint Anglo-American inquiry committee on Palestine. It termed the appointment of the committee “a mockery.”

The statement, signed by Dr. Abba Hillel Silver and Dr. Stephen S. Wise, chaiman of the council, said that though President Truman emphasized that he continues to adhere to the views expressed in his letter to Prime Minister Attlee in which he asked for immediate admission of 100,000 Jews to Palestine, his acceptance of the British scheme which provides for the admission of only 1,500 immigrants a month “represents a complete recession from his original position.”

“The President has done an ill-service to the cause of saving the Jews of Europe by cooperating in a procedure which will postpone for many months any possibility of a solution of their problem and any docision in regard to the opening of the doors of Palestine,” the statement declared. It asserted that President Truman has associated this country with a committee of inquiry whose conclusions have already, in important respects, been determined in advance by British Secretary Bevin.

The text of the statement reads as follows:

“1. The statement by Foreign Secretary Bevin, yesterday, on Palestine and on Jewish emigration from Europe brings to a climax the self-stultification and the betrayal of pledges which has characterized the policy of the British Labor Government the Palestine issue since its assumption of office.

“2. As recently as April 1945, the National Executive Committee of the British Labor Party reaffirmed its support for the Jewish National Home in the following (##) ‘There is surely neither hope nor meaning in a Jewish National Home unless we are prepared to let the Jews, if they wish, enter this tiny land in such numbers as to become a majority. There was a strong case for this before the war, and there is an (##)rresistible case for it now.’

“This may be compared with Mr. Bevin’s insulting remark when dealing with this issue yesterday: ‘If the Jews, with all their sufferings, want to get too much at the head of the queue, you have the danger of another anti-Semitic reaction through it ill.’

CHARGES LABOR GOVERNMENT WITH AVOIDING FULFILMENT OF ITS PLEDGES

“3. Instead of carrying out its unequivocal commitments, the Labor Government has sought in every way to procrastinate and to avoid the fulfilment of its pledges.

“4. In this policy of delay it has now succeeded in enlisting the inadvertent support of the President of the United States. By agreeing to the proposal for a joint Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry, the United States Government has fallen into a carefully prepared trap.

“5. In his letter to Mr. Attlee of August 31st, 1945, the President stated on the basis of the investigation conducted at his direction by Mr. Earl G. Harrison, that the main solution for the non-repatriable Jews of Europe was the quick evacuation of those who wished it to Palestine. “If it is to be effective,” wrote Mr. Truman, such action should not be long delayed,” and he urged the immediate grant of 100,000 immigration certificates to Palestine. Instead of acceeding to this request, the British Government turned it aside by the proposal for a joint Anglo-American Committee of investigation. President Truman now states that he continues to adhere to the views repressed in his letter to Mr. Attlee. But his acceptance of the British scheme, with its provision for a paltry fifteen hundred certificates per month until such time as the Committee makes its recommendation, represents a complete recession from his criminal position.

JEWS AGAIN TREATED TO EMPTY WORDS WHILE THEY ROT, COUNCIL SAYS

“6. The possibilities of Jewish emigration to countries other than Palestine are exehaustively considered at international conferences at Bermuda and at Evian in 1937 and 1943 and the results were nil. The Intergovernmental Committee on Refugees, futher, has been in existence for years with a like object and with a like result. {SPAN}(##){/SPAN} burning desire of the majority of the Jews of Europe to emigrate to Palestine is established not only by the reports of Mr. Harrison, or Judge Rifkind, and of Mr. Gib{SPAN}(##){/SPAN} of the Red Cross, but by every unbiased observer. In these circumstances, the appointment of another committee of inquiry is a mockery.

Instead of concrete measures in conformity with clearly defined and valid international agreements, the Jews of Europe are again to be treated to empty words while, physically and spiritually, they rot and perish. The President has done an ill-service to the cause of saving the Jews of Europe by cooperating in a procedure which will postpone for many months any possibility of a solution of their problems and any decision in regard to the opening of the doors of Palestine.

“7. At no point in Mr. Bevin’s statement of policy is there any direct reference to the obligations of His Majesty’s Government in regard to the establishment of the Jewish National Home. The British Foreign Secretary has, on the other hand, by implication, accepted the continuance of the infamous policy of the Chamberlain White Paper with its gross discrimination on racial grounds against Jewish purchase of land in Palestine and its limitation of Jewish immigration to a trickle. All this, despite the fact that the party of which Mr. Bevin is a leader, in 1939 condemned the White Paper policy as a “cynical breach of pledges given to the Jews and the world, including American,” and despite the express statement by Mr. Herbert Morrison, now Lord President of the-Council, that that policy would not be automatically binding upon the successors of the Chamberlain Government.

“8. Finally, we must point out that the President of the United States has associated this country with a committee of inquiry whose conclusions have already, in important respects, been determined in advance by the British Foreign Secretary. In spite of the unequivocal commitments of our Government and people to the re-establishment of Palestine as a Jewish Commonwealth, in spite of the statements of President Wilson, of Prime Minister David Lloyd George, of Mr. Winston Churchill, of General Smits and others at the time of the Balfour Declaration that what was contemplated was the ultimate establishment in Palestine of a Jewish State, the British Foreign Secretary has already declared that the establishment of Palestine as a Jewish State is precluded. Mr. Bevin further prejudged the issue by declaring that Palestine cannot, by itself, ‘provide sufficient opportunity for grappling with the problems’ of the surviving Jews of Europe – a conclusion which is in diametrical conflict with authoritative investigations, such as those of Dr. Walter Clay Lowdermilk of the United States Department of Agriculture. Mr. Bevin’s statement, further, altogether ignores the fact that as was stated by the British Royal Commission on Palestine “unquestionably the primary purpose of the Palestine Mandate was the establishment of the Jewish National Home.”

“9. The closer cooperation of our own country with Great Britain in the settlement of the problem of Jewish national homelessness and of Palestine is warmly to be welcomed, but we deeply deplore the form which this cooperation has taken. It is with the utmost regret that we charge our Government with having allowed itself to be involved in a procedure whose main purpose is delay where action is long overdue. We desire to draw attention further to the fact that the terms of reference of the proposed Joint Committee omit all mention of the basic commitments of the British Government in regard to the reconstitution of the Jewish National Home in accordance with the Palfour Declaration and the Palestine Mandate.”

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