The charge that leaders of the democrat have not even attempted to rescue Jews from extermination in German-held countries was voiced here last night by David Ben-Gurion, chairman of the executive of the Jewish Agency, addressing the opening session of the newly-elected Assefath Hanivcharim, the Jewish National Assembly of Palestine.
The session was greeted in Hebrew by District Commissioner Newton in behalf of the Palestine Government. Chief Secretary Shaw of the Palestine Administration sent a message to the session emphasizing the statutory recognition which the Assembly enjoys under the Palestine rules covering the functions of the Jewish community in the fields of education, social welfare, public relief, religious needs and other community services. He stressed the fact that sixty-six per cent of the voting Jewish population in Palestine participated in the elections to the Assefath Hanivcharim as compared with fifty-six per cent of the voters in the last elections held thirteen years ago.
Speaking in behalf of the Jewish Agency, Ben-Gurion said that even in the war pears the Jews in Palestine continued to build up and develop their homeland. He stressed the contribution which the Yishuv has made to the Allied war effort in men and in industry and declared:
“Victory is near. But those of our brothers and sisters who were exterminated will not be resurrected even when the world is liberated. We don’t known as yet the extent of our tragedy, but when millions of our brethren, aged and young, mothers and daughters, were carried away to death, the world’s rulers – those who proclaim slogans of democracy and Socialism stood aside and did not rescue them. They did not even try to rescue them. At the end of the war we will have paid the heaviest price of any nation. Yet we have no share in the victory. We must expect a bitter fight for the final solution of the Jewish problem and the Jewish homeland.”
Ben-Gurion concluded his address by calling for Jewish unity and for strengthening of relations with neighboring countries. He also urged a strenuous fight for the establishment of a Jewish state. Chief Rabbi Herzog addressing the session also appealed for unity in Palestine and regretted the fact that some groups boycotted the elections to the Assefath Hanivcharim. He called on the leaders of the democratic countries “to do justice” to the Jews.
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.