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Zionism ‘great Act of Justice,’ Buchan Says to London Jews

May 20, 1934
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

“I have been an enthusiast for the Zionist cause ever since twenty years ago when I talked it over with my old friend Lord Balfour,” Colonel John Buchan, M. P., novelist, chairman of the Palestine Parliamentary Committee, said speaking at a gathering held at the Shoreditch Town Hall. Jewish National Fund Golden Book Certificates were presented to Colonel Buchan and Colonel Josiah Wedgwood, M. P., the vice-chairman of the Palestine Parliamentary Committee.

“The Scottish race has many affinities with yours,” Colonel Buchan continued, “and is very sympathetic to Jewish aspirations. The Old Testament is in our blood, as it is in yours. In one thing we have been more fortunate than you. We have never lost our Jerusalem as the center of our terrestrial loyalty. I rejoice to think that you are now recovering it.

“Zionism is a great act of justice and reparation for the centuries of cruelty and wrong. For Britain it is a solemn obligation of honor. We have pledged that no obstacle other than economic necessity shall impede the returning Jewish pilgrims. Palestine is not a museum of antiquities, but in the fullest sense a Homeland for the present inhabitants of the country and for your ancient race.

“But we have pledged ourselves to something more. Zionism means for Britain a new Eastern policy. She can make it a bridge between East and West. The new port of Haifa will become the most important trade center in the Eastern Mediterranean. It is the gateway to the only route between the Nile and the North. With the coming of the Jews Britain obtained most potent collaboration. It is certain that the Palestinian Arabs can never maintain themselves.


“The Jews bring what is most needed, culture and energy. For Jewry it means the finding of a home. Your patriotism is also your religion. You here of the Keren Kayemeth and the Jewish Agency have done wonders; you have made fields and orchards where before there was only desert; and this has been done on the contributions of the very poor.

“You cannot say that you have got a Homeland when you have only one tenth of it,” Colonel Wedgwood said. “But you can say that you had the worst tenth, and made it the best. And as soon as you have the title deeds to the land, the better off you will be.

“With Vienna and Berlin closed, people will soon be going to Jerusalem to get the best doctoring. If it becomes the artistic, scientific and medical center for Europe, there will be a bright future for the country. The prosperity of the country, I am convinced, is not based on £1,000-immigrants from Germany; it is based on something much more real, the best orange in the world. The development of the one hundred miles south of Haifa is the most wonderful industrial and agricultural achievement.

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