Spokesmen for Jewish and Arab labor groups in Palestine testified today before the Anglo-American inquiry committee, which is scheduled to conclude its hearings this week.
Goldie Meirson, a leader of the Histadruth, the Jewish labor federation, stressed the Jewish community’s readiness to accept as many immigrants from Europe as are allowed to enter. Every Jew here, she said, will share his house and everything he comes with the newcomers. Questioned by Bartley Crum whether the Palestine Jews were ready to accept 100,000 immigrants in 1946, she replied affirmatively.
Miss Meirson denied that a Jewish state would mean domination of the Arabs in the country. “It would be silly of us,” she said, “surrounded by Arab countries, to attempt to dominate an Arab minority in a Jewish state.”
Asked to explain her concept of a Jewish state, she defined it as a state en-compassing the whole of Palestine “in which Jews could rid themselves of the curse of always being a minority, and would live their own life, contributing, according to their ability, to mankind’s happiness and welfare.”
The Histadruth leader told the committee that the White Paper had prevented the rescue of thousands of Jews from Nazi-occupied Europe. The Jews of Palestine, she stressed, had been compelled to sit by idly, while their brethren were being exterminated. “And new,” she added, “Jewish youth has its book pressed to the wall.” She also pointed to the large number of Jews who enlisted in the Allied forces, and challenged the Government to compare the figure with the number of Arabs who had fought for the Allies.
Queried as to whether the Histadruth directed its young members to join the Hagana, Miss Meirson replied that it was not the business of the Histadruth to recruit members for the Jewish defense group. “However,” she continued, “every Jew who feels responsibility for the fate of the Jews in Palestine, in face of the inadequate protec- tion given by the Government, joins at his own free will.” To a question as to what the Hagana “was up against,” she answered: “At present almost everything, but I look forward to the time when Jews will be able to abandon it.”
Miss Meirson said that Jewish youth had first come to Palestine 60 years ago–at a time when the doors of practically every country was open to immigration–because they wanted to live their own life, and do away with their helplessness and constant dependency. They harmed nobody by coming, she emphasized, pointing out that the first Arab trade unions were organized by Jews.
ARAB LABOR LEADER SAYS ZIONISM IS “IMPERIALIST TRICK”
Speaking for Arab labor, Sami Taha charged that Zionism is “an imperialist trick,” and asserted that the Zionists were utilizing the slaughter of 6,000,000 Jews in Europe as part of their strategy. “Zionism,” he continued, “is an auxiliary instrument of imperialism, racism and Nazism, and Arab labor wholeheartedly supports the national demands submitted by other Arab organizations.”
The last witness heard was Emil Ghori, representing the Arab Higher Committee. Ghori reiterated the demands presented by other Arab spokesman, including the return of the ex-Mufti and other exiles. Declaring that parity with the Jews, or partition of any kind was unacceptable to the Arabs, he said: “We will not yield the smallest part of the country, not even Tal Aviv. The question of whether the country benefited or not from the Jews is beside the point–we demand abrogation of the Balfour Declaration and the Mandate and the closing of the doors to even one more immigrant,” The Arabs will oppose the immigration of even one Jewish child or the crippled and the aged, he replied to a query from a committee member.
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.