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Goldmann Defends Partition; Stresses Danger of Adherence to Biltmore Declaration

Vigorously defending the action of the Jewish Agency Executive in proposing the partition of Palestine, with a “viable Jewish state” in about 65 percent of the country, Dr. Nehum Goldmann said today that the only alternative to the plan was continued chaos and the danger that the Jewish community of Palestine will be destroyed.

The Zionist leader told a press conference here that continued adherence to the Biltmore Declaration which calls for a Jewish Commonwealth in all of Palestine, would mean preservation of the status quo in retaliatory measures by the British military authorities.

He warned that in view of the fact that the Jews are a minority in Palestine, it would be impossible to secure world support for creation of a Jewish state in all of Palestine. And in the absence of a final agreement on the country’s status the British will not permit large scale immigration, he reported, citing the recent Agency talks in London with foreign Minister Bevin and other officials.

Further delay in a final solution, he declared, presented a two-fold danger: relations between the Jews and the British authorities in Palestine are deteriorating steadily endangering the entire existence of the Jewish settlement, and the Jews in Europe, especially those in the DP camps, are becoming impatient and discouraged and will eventually find places to settle other than Palestine.

Replying to criticism that the Paris meeting had taken decisions which were opposed by the bulk of American Zionists, Dr. Goldmann cited the fact that the leaders of all branches of American Zionism were present at the executive meeting, with the exception of Dr. Abba Hillel Silver, who, he said, had rejected an invitation to attend. He appealed for unanimous support of the Executive until the Zionist Congress meets and either approves or rejects its present policies.

When Mr. Bevin arrives in the United States shortly to participate in the Assembly deliberations, he will probably confer with President Truman and the State Department on Palestine, Dr. Goldmann predicted. He expressed the hope that as a result of such conferences, Britain would be more willing to accept the “viable state” proposal.

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