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Viscount Cecil Compares Palestine Building to Emergence of League

May 16, 1929
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The two greatest achievements of the war were the establishment of the League of Nations and the establishment of the Jewish National Home, declared Viscount Cecil, opening the second day of the Palestine exhibition here. Both were fulfillments of age-long aspirations, he said. The organization of peace and the return of the dispersed Jews to the sacred soil of Palestine are ideals as old as history, both having a common source in the Prophets, in the Isaiah vision of beating swords into ploughshares.

At the moment only hesitant steps are being taken in this direction by establishing the Jewish National Home for the Jewish nation, but what is now the national home may develop into something much greater in years to come. Viscount Cecil declared that he is confident that, just as the Jewish nation in times of great difficulties exerted through its individuals influence on world history, the Jewish race as a whole may influence future world history. This may be visionary, but “without vision the people perisheth.” This side of Zionism has always appealed to him, he said.

Sir Hugo Hirst, presiding, said that his experience in the Palestine Electric Company showed that the Palestine workers were second to none and the materials for the Palestinian works passed the experts’ test. Sir Hugo welcomed Viscount Cecil, a kinsman of Lord Balfour, who conceived what Palestine may become for its own sake, for the sake of those oppressed in other countries and for the British Empire.

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