New York (Feb. 24)
Calling for a $3,000,000 “action fund” to “force the gates of Palestine,” the American League for a Free Palestine declared today that the world-wide Jewish problem is reaching its climax as a result of the constant reapplication of charity measures and that only “a complete political solution” can break the backbone of the problem.
Public figures, experts in international law, members of Congress and others from all parts of the country, proposed such a political solution at a two-day emergency conference, called by the League at the Hotel Biltmore. The conference stated that immediate recognition of “the sovereign national status of the Hebrew people by UNO is basic to any solution.” It demanded that the right of self-determination be applied in the case of the so-called stateless Jews and that all those who wish to be repatriated as citizens of Palestine “be immediately repatriated in the same manner as nationals of any other Allied state who were displaced by the war.”
The conference urged that the League start the flow of repatriation by raising funds to purchase a vessel to be given to the Hebrew Committee of National Liberation to begin the transportation of people from Europe to Palestine. It was estimated by former Senator Guy M. Gillette, League president, that if the $3,000,000 fund is received within three months, a solution could be “well on its way within the next year or two.”
The consensus of opinion of those participating in the conference was that only direct action leading to the termination of the British Mandate and the establishment of an independent republic could solve the political strife in the Middle East and take care of the stateless Jews in Europe. The creation of a Jewish State, with special rights for Jews, was rejected. “A government should be established which would be responsible for the diplomatic representation of all nationals,” the conference said. It was decided to assemble “the best available American experts, including jurists, statesmen, scientists and others to draft a Palestinian constitution” which would “provide full safeguards of the civil rights and encourage equal political and economic opportunities to all people, regardless of color or creed.”
The conference called upon President Truman to refuse recognition to any separation of Transjordan from Palestine and to take steps before the UNO to prevent Britain from violating her trust over Palestine. It proposed the sending of a delegation, to be headed by Sen. Gillette, to visit Palestine and the Middle East.