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Huge Palestine Protest Meeting Formulates Jewish Demands to the British Government

August 30, 1929
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

New York Jewry’s attitude toward the Palestine events was given expression to last night at the monster mass meeting held at Madison Square Garden under the auspices of a special committee composed of many Jewish organizations in the City of New York. The Garden, which has a seating capacity of 25,000, was overcrowded and many moving scenes were enacted at the second demonstration of New York Jews since the massacres started in Palestine a week ago today. Samuel Untermyer presided and Senator William E. Borah, Lt. Gov. Herbert H. Lehman, David A. Brown, chairman of the Palestine Emergency Fund; former Congressman Nathan D. Perlman, president of the I. O. B. A., Rabbi M. S. Margolies and others were the speakers.

The demands of American Jewry to the British government as the result of the Palestine events were formulated in the following resolution which was unanimously adopted:

“The civilized world has been startled and horrified by the outrages perpetrated upon the Jewish population of Palestine by organized bands of fanatical Arabs. The Holy City has been desecrated and turned into a battleground under the eyes of the Palestine Administration, charged with the duty of preserving law and order in the country.

“All accounts point to the fact that these attacks upon Jewish life and property were premeditated, concerted and well-organized. The Arab aggressors were unlawfully armed. The Jews, particularly in the small outlying communities, were taken by surprise and put to the sword. Arab outrages reached the depths of savagery in the ancient city of Hebron, where scores of Jewish scholars and students, utterly defenseless, were brutally massacred. These events have shocked mankind and filled every Jewish heart with horror and indignation.

“The civilized nations have pledged themselves to the Balfour Declaration and the Palestine Mandate. Great Britain has assumed the responsibility of the Mandate over Palestine, granted to it by the League of Nations. The Balfour Declaration upon which such Mandate is based reads as follows:

” ‘His Majesty’s Government views with favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of that object, it being understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by the Jews in any other country.’

“Upon the strength of these pledges the work of the peaceful upbuilding of Palestine has been begun by the Jewish people; land purchased, cities and villages built, swamps drained, the soil cultivated, industries organized and educational and welfare institutions-including the University of Jerusalem-founded.

“Tens of thousands of our best men and women have gone to Palestine to carry on the work of the redemption of the land from centuries of waste and desolation.

“The Jews of America, cooperating with their brethren of other lands, have poured tens of millions of dollars into Palestine through the United Palestine Appeal, the Joint Distribution Committee, the Hadassah Medical Organization and other welfare agencies.

“The resulting economic progress has contributed to the health and well being of the entire population and the welfare organizations have served the people of the country, without regard to race or creed.

“We are resolved to go forward with the peaceful development of Palestine, the re-establishment of the ancient homeland. We cannot be swerved by a hair’s breadth from our purpose by outbursts of primitive savagery. The memory of our martyred dead must cause us to re-dedicate ourselves to our holy task.

“We appeal to the conscience of the world.

“We desire to express our confidence in the honor and faith of the Government and people of Great Britain. To them we now turn, that justice may be done to the Jewish people, to the living and to the dead.

“We charge the Administration in Palestine with laxity, inefficiency, incompetence and criminal neglect in failing to prevent the organization and arming of the Arab mobs.

“We further charge the Administration in Palestine with the deliberate disregard of its obligations under the Mandate derived from the League of Nations, which calls not only for the preservation of the civil and religious rights of all but also for active cooperation through the establishment of the Jewish Homeland in Palestine by encouraging Jewish immigration and colonization upon the soil.

“On behalf of the Jewish people of America we do now therefore submit the following demands:


“1. That immediate steps be taken for the restoration of law and order in Palestine.

“2. That there be instituted an immediate and thorough investigation of the causes leading to the Arab outbreaks, and that all who have been directly or indirectly guilty of inciting or perpetrating the attacks be punished.

“3. That all lav and incompetent officials in the administration in Palestine, including those who are not in sympathy with the purpose of the Mandate, be dismissed.

“4. That the police force of Palestine be organized so as to include a large percentage of Jews, and that adequate military forces be established to provide for the future defense of the Jewish population.

“5. That fullest compensation be made to the victims of the attacks, or to their families, for Jewish lives lost and Jewish property looted or destroyed.

“6. That provision be made for the opening of the doors of Palestine to an increased immigration in accordance with the spirit of the Balfour Declaration and the Palestine Mandate.

“7. That the just settlement of the problem of the Wailing Wall be immediately arranged through government expropriation, after adequate compensation, in recognition of the fact that the Wailing Wall is a Holy Place peculiarly sacred to the Jewish people, to be safeguarded in like manner as the holy places of Christians and Moslems.

“8. And finally we demand a complete and public restatement of the policy of the government of Great Britain that shall make clear and indubitable its intention to carry into effect the purpose of the Balfour Declaration and the Mandate over Palestine, granted to it by the League of Nations.


A cabled message from Dr. Stephen S. Wise was read:

“In deepest sorrow for our martyred dead Kedoshin mass meeting should demand of British government immediate closing of Uharan opening to Wailing Wall.

“We would not change Mandatory Power if we could, but change there must be in England’s attitude toward our just aspirations as recognized by the Balfour Declaration, and a new policy henceforth of genuine cooperation between London and Palestine in building the Jewish National Home.”

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