Palestine Government Scored by Chief Rabbi at U.N. Inquiry Hearings in Jerusalem
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Palestine Government Scored by Chief Rabbi at U.N. Inquiry Hearings in Jerusalem

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The memorandum submitted by the Palestine Government ## the United Nations inquiry committee was severely criticized today by Chief Rabbi Isaac Herzog, testifying before the committee on the religious aspects of the Palestine problem.

Emphasizing that “the preservation of Judaism in its religious aspect depends (##) no small measure on a revival of the Jewish Commonwealth of Palestine,” the Chief Rabbi charged the Palestine Government with seeking, in its memorandum, (##)o reduce “the glorious pages of the Bible” dealing with Jewish history to “a miserable recital of tribal worship and tribal warfare.”

A good deal of the failure of the government’s handling of the present problems in Palestine is explainable by its “unsympathetic, incomprehensible and shallow interpretation of Jewish history,” the Chief Rabbi said. He pointed out that while the government memorandum “gives every detail of the sacred associations of Palestine for Christians and Moslems, it is completely silent on the message of Bebrew prophecy.”

Chief Rabbi Herzog attacked those “who say that all the Jews need is a so-called spiritual center, a great religious academy, a university, a central rabbinical synod–but no land, no settlements, no towns, no industry, no commcrnwealth. I stand here,” he declared, “to give the lie to these hypocritical assertions of the enemies of our people who affect a pseudo-spiritual concern for its spiritual future.”


The Chief Rabbi said that a Jewish Commonwealth would never attempt to impose the Jewish religion on people of other faiths residing there. Holy places of the Moslem and Christian religions in Palestine would be under their own administration, he added.

He urged the committee to investigate the displaced persons camps of Europe, declaring that “the world will not find peace until it relieves its conscience of this great burden–the homelessness of one of its most ancient people.”

Sir Abdur Rahman, Indian delegate, telling Rabbi Herzog that he has “great respect for the spiritual and religious feelings of every community and holds them in reverence,” said he felt such matters should remain outside of politics. He then asked the Chief Rabbi: “Can anyone believing in Christ as a member of the Holy Trinity be considered a Jew?”

Rabbi Herzog replied: “Adoption of another faith does not make a Jew not a Jew. For example, the marriage of a Jew with a non-Jew is invalid religiously; however, marriage of a Jewess and a renegade Jew is binding. The Jew who has abandoned aism is a Jew in our law, but not a good Jew.”

Sir Abdur: “Would you therefore consider Christ a Jew in religion as He was ancestry?”

Rabbi Herzog: “Sir Abdur, you are treading on very delicate ground. I do not link it advisable to introduce this subject. But of course He was a Jew.”

Sir Abdur: “Which tribes stemmed from Ishmael?”

Rabbi Herzog: “The Arabic tribes.”


Rabbi I.M. Lewin, leader of the Orthodox Agudas Israel Organization, presented is organization’s demand for “unrestricted Jewish immigration, abolition of the British White Paper, cancellation of existing land purchase restrictions, and the possibility to develop the country’s full absorptive capacity.”

“And what about the Arabs?” the Yugoslav member of the committee, Dr. Jozhe (##)rilej, asked. Rabbi Lewin replied that his organization believes that “Jews and Arabs can live in peace.” He asserted that the Jews are raising the living standard of the Arabs in Palestine. “Political questions must be decided by political negotiations, and I believe justice is with us,” he added. If a just decision is made, he declared, “we will accept it.”

Dr. Mordechai Eliash, legal advisor to the Jewish National Council, was recalled for brief questioning by Enrique R. Fabregat, of Uruguay, who queried him on the method of financing education, the operation of the restrictive land laws and the health and living conditions in the Cyprus internment camps.

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