After devoting half a century of work, and $60,000,000 of his fortune to the settlement of Jews in Palestine, Baron Edmond de Rothschild, stirred by the crisis in Zionist affairs, today issued his first public statement.
The aged Baron, reacting to the situation created by the Simpson report and the White Paper that followed it as the gravest in the history of modern Zionism, addressed a letter to Chaim Weizmann, world Zionist leader. The letter was published through the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
“Dear Dr. Weizmann,” writes Baron de Rothschild, “In my capacity as honorary president of the Jewish Agency and as founder of the first Jewish colonies in Palestine, I fully associate myself with the protest which you have made against the British government’s statement of policy.
PRINCIPLES CONTRARY TO MANDATE
“The principles laid down in that paper are contrary both to the spirit and the letter of the Mandate for Palestine, which is based on the Declaration made by Lord Balfour, then Secretary of Foreign Affairs, in the name of his government.
“The Jews of the whole world are in a state of consternation, and I share their distress,” he writes. “But when engaged in defending a cause so noble as ours, one is justified in having confidence in a better future.”
The letter is regarded as of profound significance here, as through it Baron de Rothschild virtually rejects the praises given in the White Paper to his own organization, the Palestine Jewish Colonization Association, in order to confirm his allegiance to the world body of Zionists.
The Simpson report distinguishes between the colonies established in Palestine by the Zionist organization and those established by the Pica (Palestine Jewish Colonization Association), asserting that while the Pica colonies have benefited the Arabs, since their members freely employ Arab labor, the Zionist colonies, through their rules against the employment of Arabs, have created Arab ill-will.
Baron de Rothschild’s active work in Palestine began in 1883, when he undertook, through Pica, the support of the newly-founded colonies Rishon-le Zion, Zichron Yacob, and Rosh Pina. The growth of the wine-making industry in Palestine is entirely due to his initiative.
PALESTINE WORK BEGAN IN 1883
During his entire life he has worked unceasingly for the success of the Jewish settlements in Palestine. His modesty, and his unflinching perserverance in continuing his work through all of the difficulties that have barred the progress of colonization in Palestine, have made him the most respected figure in the Jewish world today. At present, venerable and kind, he is also the most loved of Jews.
His son, James Rothschild, M. P., shares the Baron’s Palestine interests, and acts as executive in the Pica.
The public statement made by Baron de Rothschild is regarded here as the most significant move in the Jewish protest against the Simpson report.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.