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Jewish Agency Memo to San Francisco Demands Guarantee of Jewish Rights to Palestine

May 3, 1945
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A formal memerandum was submitted here today by the Jewish Agency for Palestine to the United Nations Conference, demanding that Jewish rights to Palestine should be “expressly reserved and safeguarded,” in the setting up of any general mandate or international trusteeship plan. The memerandum was signed by Dr. Chaim Weizmann.

Recognizing that specific territerial questions may not be considered at the conference, the Jewish Agency submitted three proposals which it considered “imperative for the preservation” of Jewish rights pending action in fulfillment of the obligation to establish Jewish nationhood in Palestine. The three proposals are

“1. In view of the unique character of the Palestine mandate and the special rights of the Jewish people thereunder, any plan which may be adopted for a mandate system or an international trusteeship in succession to the existing system of the league of Nations mandates should be sufficiently flexible and broad in scope to permit within its framework of the solution of the Palestine problem in accordance with the underlying intents and purpose of the Balfour Declaration and the Palestine Nandate.

“2. No action should be taken at the San Francisco Conference which would be inconsistent with or prejudicial to the special rights of the Jewish people under the Balfour Declaration or the Palestine mandate, and all such rights should be expressly reserved and safeguarded.

“3. The Jewish Agency for Palestine, as an internationally recognized spokesman of the Jewish people, shall be consulted and given representation on any international body or commission which may be set up in so far as they may have before them matters affeoting the future status of Palestine and the rights of the Jewish people with respect thereto.”


The memorandum of the Jewish Agency outlined five steps which it believes must be taken if the original intention of the mandate, and if the present day needs of the Jewish people are to be fulfilled. The program includes.

“1. The immediate announcement of a determination by the responsible powers to reconstitute Palestine as a free and democratic Jewish commonwealth thus carrying out the underlying intention and purpose of the Balfour Declaration and the mandate.

“2. The abolition forthwith of all present restrictions and limitations on free Jewish immigration into Palestine and the rights of Jews to purchase and settle on the land there.

“3. The vesting of the Jewish Agency for Palestine with full authority over immigration into Palestine and with the necessary powers for upbuilding the country, including the development of unoccupied and uncultivated land.

“4. The extension to the Jewish Agency for Palestine of such financial and technical facilities on an inter-governmental basis as may be required to make possible large-scale Jewish immigration and settlement.

“5. The granting to the Jewish Agency for Palestine of the right of consultation and representation in any international conference or commission which may be set up, in so far as such conference or commissions may have before them matters affecting the future status of Palestine and the rights of the Jewish people with respect thereto.”

The memorandum noncludes with a plea for a solution of the problem of Jewish homelessness. It gives the solemn assurances of the Jewish Agency that “the Jewish State will have scrupulous regard for the preservation of the personal and property rights of the Arabs and other non-Jewish populations of Palestine.” It pledges further the civil and religious equality of all the inhabitants of Palestine before the law, and says that “the inviclability of the holy places of the various religions shall be guaranteed by appropriate international agreement.”

The Hebrew Committee for National Liberation announced at a press conference today that it had submitted a formal demand to the Secretary general of the conference urging the seating of a “Hebrew national delegation” here and the inclusion of a “Hebrew national movement” in the General Assembly of the proposed security organization.

In urging such representation, Peter Bergeon, Speaking for the liberation committee, asserted that the United Nations had already set a precedent for such a step by giving official recognition to the White Russian and Ukraine


The League of Arab States recently formed in Cairo today submitted its charter to the secretary general of the conference, thus placing on record, among other things, the attitude of the pan-Arab league towards the Palestine question.

Addressing yesterday’s plenary session of the conference the Iraquian Foreign Minister Arshad Al-Omari, who heads Iraq’s delegation here, emphasized that five of the states who joined the league are attending the conference and “are resolved to assist in creating an international organization capable of realizing all our ideals for the welfare of humanity.” He urged the conference “to have due regard for fair regional representation” in the new world organization.

At least one member of the American delegation has voiced a warning against including members of the Arab delegations on “Committee Number Four, ” which will deal with international trusteeships, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency learns from reliable sources. The member, whose name cannot be revealed, warned Secretary of State Stettinius and other leaders of the conference that the work of the committee may be prejudiced by having Arabs on it since the latter have a special interest in the Palestine mamdate.

Field Marshal Smuts, addressing the plenary session of the conference in behalf of South Africa, pleaded for an international bill of rights and for establishment of a commission on human rights.

Judge Joseph M. Proskauer, president of the American Jewish Committee, who is one of the consultants to the U. S. delegation here, addressing a meeting in the Scottish Rite suditorium, last night, under the auspices of the National Conference of Christians and Jews, explained that an international bill of rights must be adopted in order that the security conference may be able to give direct protection against the excesses of nationalism in various countries.

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