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Prof. Einstein Opposes Jewish State; Says Britain Stirs Conflict in Palestine

January 13, 1946
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Prof. Albert Einstein, testifying today before the Anglo-American Inquiry Commission, said he was against a Jewish State, but not for the same reasons as Lessing Rosenwald. He urged, however, that the bulk of the Jewish refugees in Europe should be brought to Palestine.

Emphasizing that he believes there will be no peace between Jews and Arabs as long as the British rule Palestine, Prof. Einstein charged Britain with violating the basic responsibilities undertaken in the Balfour Declaration.

Asked by British members of the committee if he advocated sending Jews to Palestine even though Arabs might shoot, and whether the Americans should take over Palestine from the British, Prof. Einstein replied that the administration of Palestine should be international. He emphasized that he holds Americans responsible for what the British are doing in Palestine.

Difficulties between Jews and Arabs were largely artificially created by the British, he declared. He criticized the British colonial policy as based on the principle of “divide and rule,” and charged the British administration with using the ex-Multi of Jerusalem to foment trouble. As a former admirer of the British, he had come to his present convictions only after inner struggle, he testified.

Asked by Dr. Frank Aydelotte, one of the American members of the committee, as to what he would do if Arabs resisted the immigration of Jews from Europe into Palestine, Prof. Einstein replied that “this will not be the case if they are not incited.” Questioned by Dr. Aydelotte concerning political versus cultural Zionism, he stated: “I was never for a political state.”

Judge Joseph C. Hutcheson, American chairman of the inquiry commission, then asked Prof. Einstein whether the Palestine problem could be handled other than on a political basis. It was to this question that the Jewish scientist replied that he was against a Jewish State, but not for the same reasons as Rosenwald.

Asked by Judge Hutcheson why it was to Britain’s interest to foment discord between Jews and Arabs in Palestine as he had charged, Einstein said: “I will be very glad to be wrong.” To a question by Dr. Aydelotts as to what authority should have jurisdiction over Palestine, he said that he favored a government which would do best for all men concerned, whether Jews or Arabs. Commissions like the inquiry committee, he added, were only a smoke screen to show good will, without there being any intention of following the advice given.


Prof. Philip Hitti and Dr. Khalil Totah, both of the Institute of Arab-American Affairs, testified before the committee on the Arab attitude towards the Palestine problem. Both British and American members of the committee questioned Dr. Totah sharply after he had maintained that Arabs feared Zionist aims and that Zionism had prevented the granting of democratic government in Palestine. A member of the British


Dr. Hitti, who is professor of Semitics at Princeton University declared in the course of somewhat heated questioning by a larger than usual number of the committee member, that the Arabs would never agree to the establishment of a Jewish commonwealth and that the Zionist point of view could only be imposed on the Arabs by force, conceding also that the imposition of the Arab view could be solely through force.

Judge Hutcheson, emphasizing the need for quick, humanitarian action to “relieve the hideous suffering of the pitiful remnants” of European Jews and “in recognition of what they have endured,” asked if the Arabs would not extend a generous reception to the 100,000 Jewish displaced persons in Europe. Several times he re-phrased his question, asking if the conception of a Jewish state disappeared, whether the Arabs would oppose “the great humanitarian purpose of aiding refugees from Europe to go to a place where a sympathetic welcome awaits them.”

Hitti termed Hutcheson’s question “hypothetical.” He declared so much emotion has been stirred up, blood spilled and tension created, that “no matter how much you tell the Arabs, and in the name of mercy, you cannot override that background. Jewish immigration into Palestine is an attenuated form of conquest.” Hitti said that as an American citizen he urged opening the doors of the United States to Jewish refugees, and characterized many of the “Christians” supporting opening of Palestine as actual anti-Semites who do not wish more Jews in this country.

Frank Buxton, American member, rather sharply asked Hitti if he favored opening the gates of the United States while simultaneously closing the doors of Palestine. Hitti replied with an emphatic affirmative that he would “absolutely check immigration into Palestine from now on.” To Buxton’s further question as to what the Arabs would consider evidence of Zionist surrender of their political ambitions in Palestine, Hitti replied, if they declared themselves as willing to be citizens of a democratic state based on the existing population, with allowance for natural reproduction.

Sir John Singleton, in an unusual display of feeling, declared that he “shuddered” for the state of the world at Hitti’s assumption of the impossibility of Arabs and Jews finding mutual understanding.


The inquiry committee will complete its hearings on Monday, it was learned here today, and will sail for England four days later. Many members of the committee today expressed approval of the helpful attitude of the testifying organizations.

Various comments were heard here today over the incident, which took place yesterday at the hearings, between Rabbi Stephen S. Wise and Lessing J. Rosenwald following the latter’s testimony in behalf of the American Council of Judaism, in which he stated that Zionism involved dual allegiance between Palestine and any other country of which Jews were citizens.

Mr. Rosenwald was sharply attacked by Dr. Stephen S. Wise who asked for and received two minutes time in which he quoted a passage from the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis’ book asserting that Zionism was in no way incompatible with American patriotism. He characterized Rosenwald’s remarks as a defamation of the dead and a slander of the living.

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