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Movement to Support Russian Colonization Plan Launched in England

February 16, 1926
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Israel Zangwill Polemizes with Zionists in Address; Is Opposed to Distributing Jews in Various Parts of Russia (Jewish Telegraphic Agency)

A movement to assist in the settling of Jews on the land in Russia was launched in Great Britain at a mass meeting which took place Saturday night in Whitechapel.

The meeting was called by a Joint Committee and was presided over by Dr. D. Jochelman. Israel Zangwill was the principal speaker. A conference of British Jews will be called to elect a national committee to assist the Jewish colonization plan in Russia, in cooperation with the Joint Distribution Committee and the Jewish Colonization Association, Dr. Jochelman announced. British Jews are the only ones in Europe who can contribute toward this fund, he said.

“There is a chaos at present in Jewish life,” Israel Zangwill declared. “Hitherto Jews have survived by the strength of education and religion. These cannot be relied upon any longer.

“Chaim Nachman Bialik in his London address stated that I had given up the territorial idea because it was wrong. But this was not the reason. I gave it up, not because the idea was wrong, but because the Jewish people were wrong,” Mr. Zangwill declared. “Palestine is a country the size of Wales. Wales, with its coal and iron resources, has only 2,000,000 inhabitants. How can Palestine accommodate 16,000,000? Palestine will be a sort of Semitic Switzerland. Zionism is skimming only the surface of the Jewish problem and does not afford a political solution,” he declared.

“The Russian government has done more than the British by offering one million acres for the settling of Jews, whereas Great Britain has not given one inch of land for Jewish colonization.

“Jewish colonization in Russia has nothing to do with favoring or disfavoring Bolshevism, which has been broken down.

“Were I in control of the $15,000,000 of the United Jewish Campaign, I would obtain a better bargain in Russia,” Zangwill declared. He further related that in conversation with high officials of Soviet Russia, he objected to the distribution of the Jews in different parts of Russia. “The Jews must demand that one particular territory be given for their settlement.”

Of the £500 which remained when the Ito (Jewish Territorial Organization) was liquidated, £100 was given to the Nardau Garden City in Palestine and the remainder, he declared, will be given for Jewish colonization in Russia.

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