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Palestine Must Become Bi-national State, Weizmann Tells Actions Committee

August 29, 1930
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In a speech that appears to pave the way for a rapprochement with the Arabs and with the British government, Dr. Chaim Weizmann, president of the World Zionist Organization and of the Jewish Agency, speaking at the session of the World Zionist Actions Committee, created a sensation when, in using the word “binational’ for the first time in referring to Palestine, he declared that “we must agree to Palestine becoming a binational state. It is impossible to continue the talk about a Jewish State as we did during the period when the world was engaged in war. Our present slogan must be ‘peaceful cooperation.'”

Pointing out that is is necessary “to change our mental outlook and to consider reality,” Dr. Weizmann said, “We cannot drive the Arabs out of Palestine. Two nations must exist in Palestine.” He told the Actions Committee that the Zionists had now submitted a detail memorandum to the British government regarding their demands but that, while “we have won friends and have spoken sharply to the government, England also has to deal with the Moslem world in India and Egypt.”

The aim of the Zionists, Dr. Weizmann explained, is not a Jewish State but “the creation of the material foundation for an autonomous and productive Jewish unit. Why should we debate about a Jewish State or a National Home? Let us better draw up a program for the colonization of 40,000 families in Palestine within the next ten years. We have submitted our program to the English government, but the carrying out of the program is up to the government. There is also a possibility of a gradual understanding with the Arabs. We must carry on our work step by step.”

Referring to the present difficult political situation of Zionism, Dr. Weizman said, “We have conducted a strong fight during the last year. If we have not achieved everything it is due to objective reasons. If ten members of the Actions Committee think that they can conduct the politics better than I, I am ready to resign. It is easy for Gruenbaum to fight from the tribune, but when he will be asked to carry over the responsibility we shall then see his results.” Gruenbaum is the Polish Zionist leader who has often demanded Dr. Weizmann’s resignation.

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