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Shall the Christian conscience permit the perpetuation of the Jewish status of homeless refugees?
Their eyes turn to America, the America which is the conscience of democracy, We owe it to our traditional devotion to the cause of the persecuted and oppressed to adopt this resolution and to restate as emphatically as we can our country's position in favor of a Jewish homeland in Palestine.
Twenty-two years ago when Congress placed itself on record in favor of the Balfour Declaration, was on the assumption that the land would be restored that it would be made productive, and that it would provide a permanent home for those willing to go there.
The Jewish people in Palestine have kept their faith. They have built on the ruins of an ancient civilization a country capable of providing opportunities to all who wish to labor and earn their living by the sweat of their brow. Every visitor to Palestine has come back thrilled and inspired by the miraculous achievements of men and women who just wanted to live in peace and security—to build their homeland-a land in which there shall be no persecution nor oppression--no exploitation of men by men—where democratic institutions can flourish.
They did all this and more, not only for themselves, but the benefits of their pioneering labors have been of inestimable benefit to their Arab neighbors whose economic and social conditions improved, whose standard of living has been raised, and who share with the Jews the benefits that bave come from the initiative, selfsacrifice, and hard toil of the Jewish settlers.
Indeed, the Jewish people who were given encouragement by our Government almost a quarter of a century ago have kept their faith. Today as the remnants of a people whose extinction has been decreed and to a large extent carried out by the dark forces that would extinguish civilizations throughout the world, ask for an opportunity to go to this land of asylum, where they can live and work without the dreadful fear of torture and hate and threat of destruction.
There, in that far-off land they will create a citadel of democracy that will strengthen the hands of all democratic forces.
During these frightful months and years of war the Jews of Palestine have served in the armies of the United Nations. They are today contributing to the fullest extent to the cause of freedom and democracy. They are helping push back the forces of savagery and are hastening the day of final victory.
For all the battered and pitiful homeless human beings now scattered all over the world the thought of Palestime is a final hope. In their hour of tribulation it is that hope which sustains them.
I have not discussed the fundamental question itself, which is the right—the God-given right of the Jewish people to have a homeland which they can call their own-to share with all others in the family of nations—the rights, privileges, and prerogatives which other peoples enjoy.
I have not discussed it because I consider it elementary and self-evident. There is no reason why the Jewish people should continue forever to wander, or to be more accurate, to be driven from pillar to post-when their ancient homeland beckons—a homeland which by their toil, sweat, and blood they have rebuiltwhere they can live in peace with their neighbors, and where they can contribute out of their culture to the advancement of civilization.
I do not have the authority to speak for the 12,000,000 of America's organized workers. However, I will state for the record that the American Federation of Labor has at its annual conventions year after year restated and reiterated its demand that the Jewish people be given every facility to establish Palestine as their homeland. Permit me to quote one short paragraph from the declaration unanimously adopted by the American Federation of Labor at its last convention held in Boston October last:
"Surely the least that the civilized world can do is to carry out the pledge so freely given by Great Britain in 1917, affirmed by the League of Nations when it accorded to that nation the mandate over Palestine in 1922, and approved by our own American Congress in the same year. The American Federation of Labor urges that the restriction on Jewish immigration and settlement contained in the British White Paper of 1939 be withdrawn and that the Balfour Declaration be so implemented that the hopes and aspirations of the Jewish people to build their own commonwealth in Palestine may be realized. Thus will this ancient people be enabled to take its rightful place among the democratic nations of the world and make its full contribution to that progressive world order which we all pray will emerge from the horrible sufferings of this global war.
The Congress of Industrial Organizations at its last convention held in Phila. delphia also October last, adopted a similar declaration.
In short, American organized labor—12,000,000 strong-unreservedly and unequivocably supports the aspirations of the Jewish people for the establishment of their homeland in Palestine.
As a trade economist and as an American, I urge your committee to add the power of our Nation's voice-a voice that has always been lifted in behalf of the weak and the oppressed-to those who seek the realization of a dream which the Jewish people have dreamed from time immemorial, and in the realization of which mankind will be made better and happier.
STATEMENT BY THE REVEREND RICHARD E. Evans, MEMBER OF THE EXECUTIVE
COMMITTEE OF THE CHRISTIAN COUNCIL ON PALESTINE May I at the very outset say how greatly I appreciate the privilege of appearing before this committee and saying a word in support of the splendid resolution now before Congress in behalf of abrogating the White Paper and implementing the Balfour Declaration. I desire to record my wholehearted approbation of the fine statement made by Dr. Henry A. Atkinson on behalf of the Christian Council on Palestine. I believe profoundly that our being here today represents a shining illustration of true American democracy. When Christian ministers like ourselves can join with our brethren of the rabbinate in speaking for the liberation of oppressed Jewry throughout the world—that is the way it should be —that is the spirit of America---where men of all faiths and creeds can come together on the common ground of good will and understanding and support each other in causes which are for the benefit of all mankind.
There are three principal reasons why I support heartily these resolutions and why I believe deeply in this Zionist movement. These reasons are represented by three simple fundamental American words. First, I support these resolutions because I believe in justice. I have said in many Christian pulpits throughout the country in these past weeks that if this war, as we feel it is, is a war of moral justice, then there will be no complete and final victory for justice unless that victory is shared by those who have suffered the worst cruelties and the most savage brutalities of this war. There will be no triumph for justice until the helpless, homeless, stricken victims of Nazi tyranny-the surviving members of European Jewry-are rescued from the slaughter pens and charnel houses of Hitler's Europe and are set free to live lives of decency and dignity in the Jewish Commonwealth to be reconstituted on the soil of their ancient and historic homeland of Palestine.
Over 26 years ago the Balfour Declaration was passed. Over 22 years ago the League of Nations mandate was ratified by 52 nations and endorsed unanimously by our own Houses of Congress. These historic documents ratified in man-made laws the ancient promise of the Book of Books written thousands of years ago declaring in all solemn and majestic truths this great concept. So, by all the laws of God and man the time has come when at long last this ancient wrong of the homelessness of the Jewish people must be righted, this age-old evil must be corrected, and the hosts of Israel who have escaped the dreadful fate of their brethren must be enabled to make their way and settle their lives and build their future in the land of their fathers. These resolutions which will express the voice of America in calling for the abrogation of the White Paper and the implementation of the Balfour Declaration will play a great part in bringing this ancient promise into reality. Not only do I support these resolutions because I believe in justice, but also because I believe in another great American word-freedom. That is the word over which this whole war is being fought. It is a struggle between freedom and slavery, between liberty and tyranny, Men are dying today all across the world in order that mankind, all mankind, might be liberated from the chains of despotism. It would be tragic mockery indeed if their deaths shall have been in vain and we fail to liberate the people and the land from which the old concept of freedom came. That is why I have little patience with the man who says, “Well, I am an American. I am not much interested in what happens to Palestine." To me he represents a pretty poor type of American. Because the America that I believe in and love, the Americe that I cherish and admire, is concerned with the fate of suffering needy humanity the world over. I believe in the America that stretches out its arms and opens up its heart for the salvation and rescue of dying despairing mankind in every part of the world.
We are fighting today for the right of every man to think his thoughts, to speak his mind, to live his life, and to worship his God according to the dictates of his conscience. Those are the things contained in our own great Bill of Rights. We cherish our Bill of Rights deeply and gratefully, but the time has come in the life of the world when we must all bear our share of responsibility in seeing to it that a Bill of Rights is established for all mankind. And the ideal of freedom will never fully come to pass in this world until in the ancient land of Palestine under the banner of the star of David the stricken and slaved Jewish people of Nazi-ridden lands are finally enabled to rebuild their torn and shattered lives in an order of decency and honor through the establishment of a Jewish Commonwealth.
And third, I support these resolutions because I believe in democracy. There again is what the world is fighting for today and it shall cnly be through the force and power of democracy that this great hope and dream of the centuries can te translai ed into a living fact. It is only as public opinion all over America speaks out through the channel of these resolutions that the voice of democracy can be heard, and the will of the people shall make its impact on the forces of government both here and in Britain to see that this thing shall come to pass.
No more gallant story is told in all the long history of a people than that magnificent story of what has taken place in this last generation in the land of Palestine. In the quarter of a century since the Balfour Declaration and the mandate opened the gates of Palestine, the record has been one of glorious progress and development. The economic, agricultural, and industrial achievements have been nothing short of miraculous. From arid desert wasteland of 25 years ago there have come accomplishments in agriculture, manufacturing, and other areas that stand as a living monument of the heroic efforts of the more than 600,000 colonists who have come to make this their home. It is altogether too little known that in the last few years Palestine Jewry has played a splendid part in the whole war effort, both through military and civilian manpower as well as through food, supplies, and industrial resources. Such gallant efforts for the cause of democracy must find their just and true reward in rallying of all the forces of democracy back of the hopes and aspirations of this people. All of us together, Christian and Jew alike, must strike a vigorous blow against the insidious kind of anti-Semitism and bigotry that will close the gates of Palestine, shatter the dream of these stricken, helpless victims of brutality, and seal the walls of doom over the heads of those who are left to face further brutality and extermination.
Some months ago on Bill of Rights Day in the city of Philadelphia, I stood before a great shrine of American life-the shrine of the Liberty Bell-and I read again the words that are on the top of that Bell; words which are in a sense the motto of America. The words are these: “Proclaim liberty throughout the land and on all the inhabitants thereof." Where do those words come from? They come from the book of Leviticus, the great sacred writing of the Jewish people. And what land do they come froin? What part of the world gave them to us? Those words came from Palestine. It was in Palestine that they were born-the motto of America began in Palestine as did all the concepts of justice, freedom, and c'e nocracy that we cherish. Then if we as Americans possess the sense of gratitude and obligation that we should, we will not rest until we help give back to that land of Palestine the liberty and justice that they gave to us and to all mankind.
I speak today as a minister of Christ. Many years ago I made the decision to follow one great life as did doubtless other men in this room today, too. I am conscious of the fact that I have followed that life all too inadequately and all too imperfectly. But I recall vividly the moment that I made that decision, as every man here can recall the moment when he made his decision. it was in the room of my little foster mother, when I was standing before a certain picture. It is the picture of a boy-a boy in the temple, both hearing the rabbis and asking them questions. He was a boy of the Jewish people. He came from the land of Palestine. It was in that land that He taught and preached and lived His great gospel of love for all mankind. And I believe with all my heart that it would be His will that His people be redeemed from their agony and their slavery and their horror, and that His land be made once more a land of the Book and the prophets, a land of hope and truth and beauty for all time
To that end we of the Christian world must raise our voices in support of these resolutions and in behalf of every cause and every movement that shall bring about the ultimate fulfillment of this great purpose, so help us God.
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Washington, D. C., February 7, 1944. Hon. SOL BLOOM, Chairman, House Committee on Foreign Affairs,
House Office Building, Washington, D. C. DEAR SOL: I have had the pleasure of examining House Resolutions 418 and 419 and I just want you to know that the objectives of these resolutions meet with my wholehearted approval.
A large number of my constituents are likewise interested in this matter, and we sincerely trust that your committee will take favorable action upon these resolutions. With kindest personal regards, I am. Sincerely,
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Washington, D. C., February 10, 1944. Hon. SoL BLOOM, Chairman, Committee on Foreign Affairs,
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. DEAR MR. BLOOM: I am writing to express my deep interest in House Resolution 418 and House Resolution 419.
I believe that the establishment of the Jewish Homeland is a worthy purpose and has the approval of the people of America and I hope that your committee can see its way clear to report this legislation so that the Congress may consider and pass it, at the earliest possible date. With kind regards, Very sincerely,
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Washington, D. C., February 11, 1944. Hon. SoL BLOOM, Chairman, House Foreign Affairs Committee,
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: I wish to express my approval of House Resolutions 418 and 419. I am very much in favor of the abrogation of the White Paper and the reestablishment of Palestine as a Jewish homeland. Sincerely yours,
ROBERT F. ROCKWELL.
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Washington, D. C., February 14, 1944. Hon. SoL BLOOM, Chairman, Committee on Foreign Affairs,
New House Office Building, Washington, D. C. MY DEAR CHAIRMAN: Please record me in favor of House Resolution 419, submitted by Mr. Compton, of Connecticut, relative to the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.
It is my understanding that this resolution is a reaffirmation of the position of the position taken by Congress some years ago in the endorsement of the Balfour Declaration, setting aside Palestine as a national home for the Jewish people. I am given to understand that the Jewish people who have since inhabited Palestine have done a magnificent job in the development of the economic conditions of that area.
I am further informed there still remains a much greater area undeveloped to which these people can address their talents.
I have no knowledge of the international implications involved during this war period, but undoubtedly the Secretary of State and the Chiefs of Staff will provide such information. The plight of the Jewish people in Europe demands the attention of the freedom-loving people of the world, particularly this country. Consistent with our war efforts, I believe we should lend a helping hand in every way possible. Very truly yours,
GEORGE J. BATES.
THE JEWISH NATIONAL HOME IN PALESTINE
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 1944
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Washington, D. C. The committee met at 10 a. m., pursuant to call, Hon. Sol Bloom (chairman) presiding.
Chairman Bloom. The committee will kindly come to order.
The committee has before it for further consideration House Resolution 418 and House Resolution 419 relative to the Jewish national home in Palestine.
We have several witnesses to be heard today and there will be no afternoon session. There has been some complaint because the last session lasted until half-past 5 which is a little too long for the committee to sit.
We will try to conclude with the witnesses today and we will kindly ask the witnesses to make their statements as brief as possible.
I would like to call the attention of the members to the fact that you have before you one of the best maps of Palestine and Syria and it is folded in such a way that you will be able to follow the witnesses as they make their explanations.
Just take the map the way it is. Our first witness is Dr. Philip K. Hitti, of Princeton University.
STATEMENT OF DR. PHILIP K. HITTI, PROFESSOR, PRINCETON
Chairman BLOOM. Would you give your full name?
Chairman Bloom. Will you kindly proceed? You may remain standing or be seated, just as you please.
Dr. Hitti. Perhaps if you do not mind, Mr. Chairman, I will remain standing.
Chairman Bloom. It is perfectly all right.
Dr. Hitti. Mr. Chairman, ladies and gentlemen of the committee, To the Arabs, political Zionism is an exotic movement, internationally financed, artificially stimulated and holds no hope of ultimate or permanent success. Not only to the 50,000,000 Arabs, many of whom are descendants of the Canaanites who were in the land long before the Hebrews entered Palestine under Joshua, but to the entire Moslem society, of whom the Arabs form the spearhead, a sovereign Jewish