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Duff-cooper Sees Jews’ Claim to Palestine Stronger

March 14, 1939
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The strategic importance to Great Britain of having “good friends” in the eastern Mediterranean was stressed last night by Alfred Duff-Cooper, former first Lord of the Admiralty, guest of honor at the 12th annual dinner of the Anglo-Palestine Club. The Jewish claim to Palestine was far stronger today than it was 20 years ago, Mr. Duff-Cooper said.

“It is most important that we should make clear not only to the inhabitants of Palestine but to people the world over that our policy will not be deflected one inch by force and terrorism,” he declared. “In these dangerous times, when questions of defense loom large in our minds, it is of first rate importance that we should have good friends in the eastern Mediterranean. If Haifa port were entirely under Jewish control we could trust their friend ship and gratitude.”

Prof. Selig Brodetsky, member of the Jewish Agency Executive, who presided, declared there had never been a time in Zionist history when the Jews were so united on the Palestine issue. He refuted allegations in the press that the Jews, during the Palestine conference, had been under the dictation of extremists. The Evian conference on refugees, he asserted, had left the Jews disappointed and no other practical settlement proposal but Palestine had hitherto been put forward. Referring to a declaration by the Bishop of Jerusalem that “the principle of sanctity should be extended to the whole of Palestine,” Prof. Brodetsky said: “Instead of applying the principle of sanctity to Palestine to prevent the Jews from settling, apply the principle of sanctity to international treaties and obligations.”

Lord Snell, leader of the Labor Party in the House of Lords, advised the Jews not to despair, pointing out that their leaders had won the moral conscience of mankind to the Jewish side and that “this good will will now be capitalized.” Other speakers included Dr. Ben Zion Mossinsohn, of Palestine, Dr. Israel Feldman and Mrs. Edgar Dugdale. Messages were received from Capt. Anthony Eden, Lord Cecil, Archibald Sinclair, Lord Harlech, a number of bishops and others.

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