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may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.
The Balfour Declaration, which represents a turning point in the history of the Jewish people, was not, as has sometimes been represented, a purely British formulation of policy. It was for many months, the subject of long and earnest negotiation between the principal Allied Powers. In February and March of 1918 the French and Italian Governments, respectively, issued parallel'statements in support of the Balfour Declaration. President Wilson had followed the negotiations, and had encouraged the issuance of that declaration, and our Government insisted on having a hand in the drafting of the mandate.
At a meeting of the Supreme Council of the Allied Powers, held at San Remo in April 1920, the Balfour Declaration was unanimously adopted and embodied in the Mandate for Palestine which was offered to Great Britain.
On July 24, 1922, the Council of the League of Nations unanimously ratified the British mandate, with the incorporated declaration as an integral part. That same year the Congress of the United States adopted the resolution which has been read to you this morning:
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the United States of America favors the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done, etc.-And then occurs the rest of the Balfour Declaration.
The preamble to the mandate contains this significant clause, and I would like to call it to your attention:
Whereas recognition has hereby been given to the historical connections of the Jewish people with Palestine and the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country
* These are the words of the preamble of the mandate. In other words, the creation, or reconstitution, of a Jewish homeland in Palestine was thus accepted as a world policy. It was also regarded as an act of restitution. It was a recognition both of the present need of the Jewish people and of the continuity of its claim to its homeland, a continuity unbroken by the vicissitudes of 2,000 years of history.
What did the framers of the Balfour Declaration and the Palestine mandate have in mind when they spoke of the establishment of a national home for the Jewish people in Palestine? Their utterances leave no doubt as to their clear intent. They meant a Jewish state, & Jewish commonwealth.
Lloyd George, Prime Minister of Great Britain at the time of the issuance of the Balfour Declaration, writes in his memoirs:
It was not their (the British Cabinet's] idea that a Jewish state should be set up immediately by the peace treaty without reference to the wishes of the majority of the inhabitants. On the other hand, it was contemplated that when the time arrived for according representative institutions to Palestine, if the Jews had meanwhile responded to the opportunity afforded them by the idea of a national homeland and had become a definite majority of the inhabitants, then Palestine would thus become a Jewish commonwealth. The notion that Jewish immigration would have to be artifically restricted in order to ensure that the Jews should be a permanent minority never entered into the head of anyone engaged in framing the policy. That would have been regarded as unjust and as a fraud on the people to whom we were appealing.
General Smuts, still one of Great Britain's foremost statesmen, perhaps next to Churchill the most powerful political figure in the British Empire, who, in 1919 was a member of the Imperial War Cabinet, declared that he envisaged an increasing stream of Jewish immigration into, Palestine and in generations to come a great Jewish state rising there once more and that he is convinced today, no less than he was in 1917 of the necessity of establishing a Jewish state in Palestine; and he expressed the hope and confidence that there could and would be peace and cooperation between the Jewish state and other neighboring states.
Winston Churchill, when he was Secretary of State in 1920, declared:
If, as may well happen, there should be created in our lifetime by the banks of the Jordan a Jewish State under the protection of the British Crown, which might comprise 3,000,000 or 4,000,000 Jews, an event will have occurred in the history of the world which would from every point of view be beneficial and would be especially in harmony with the truest interests of the British Empire.
President Wilson, in 1919, declared:
I am persuaded that the Allied nations, with the fullest concurrence of our Government and our people, are agreed that in Palestine shall be laid the foundations of a Jewish commonwealth.
Our then Secretary of State, Charles E. Hughes, writing to Lord Balfour in January 1922, concerning the mandate for Palestine, which was a subject of extensive negotiation between our Government and Great Britain, and which negotiations resulted in substantial modifications in the draft of the mandate, assumes that what was being planned in Palestine was a Jewish State. There were three or four drafts. (See p. 60, Mandate for Palestine-prepared in the Division of Near Eastern Affairs-publication of the Department of State, Washington, 1931.)
Chairman BLOOM. Would you mind an interruption there? The resolution favoring that was also approved by Charles Evans Hughes, at that time Secretary of State, which you read a few moments ago.
Dr. SILVER. That is correct.
Dr. SILVER. That is right. And he in that letter to Lord Balfour assumed that what was being planned in Palestine was a Jewish state.
It is, therefore, historically accurate, and in view of what has transpired since those years, politically sound, for the resolutions which have been introduced in the House, to speak of a free and democratic Jewish commonwealth. It is not a new concept. It is exactly what was originally contemplated. Attempts have been made to whittle down the meaning of the terms,“a national home,” employed in the Balfour Declaration and the mandate. It has been asserted that a Jewish national home already exists in Palestine and that a permanent Jewish minority within a Palestine state, such as the White Paper envisages, is quite consistent with the avowed purposes of the mandate. This, of course, is not the case. It is well, therefore, to stress the true objective of the mandate which was the reconstitution of the Jewish commonwealth, which presupposes a Jewish majority in the country, as Mr. Lloyd George correctly points out. The experiences of the last 25 years indicate that no such majority will ever be attained unless the control of immigration is vested with the Jewish agency, which alone is interested in the creation of absorptive capacity and in the intensive agricultural and industrial development
of the land in order to absorb rapidly large numbers of immigrants and provide them with the means of earning a livelihood.
It was not contemplated to set up two states in Palestine, or to set up a Palestine state in which Jews would be a permanent minority. The mandate made Great Britain "responsible for putting into effect the declaration officially made on November 2, 1917, by the Government of His Britannic Majesty," i. e., the Balfour Declaration. The mandatory was charged with the responsibility "for placing the country under such political, administrative and economic conditions as will secure the establishment of the Jewish national home” (art. 2). The mandate nowhere speaks of the establishment of an Arab national home in Palestine.
The mandate calls for the recognition of "an appropriate Jewish agency as a public body for the purpose of advising and cooperating with the administration of Palestine in such economic, social and other matters as may affect the establishment of the Jewish national home
* and to assist and take part in the development of the country.” The mandate nowhere speaks of the recognition of an Arab agency, for it was not required, inasmuch as it was not contemplated to set up in Palestine an Arab national state.
Under the terms of the mandate the Zionist organization of the world was invited “to secure the cooperation of all Jews who are willing to assist in the establishment of the Jewish national home” (art. 4).
The mandatory was charged with the duty of "facilitating Jewish immigration" into Palestine and of encouraging "in cooperation with the Jewish agency” close settlement by Jews on the land, including State lands and waste lands not required for public purposes (art. 6)
It was called upon to enact a nationality law80 as to facilitate the acquisition of Palestinian citizenship by Jews who take up their permanent residence in Palestine (article 7).
There are no provisions in the mandate for facilitating Arab immigration into Palestine or their close settlement on the land.
The administration of Palestine was asked toarrange with the Jewish agency to construct or operate any public works, services, and utilities, and to develop any of the national resources of the country (article 11).
What do all those clear provisions mount up to? That Palestine was to be built up as a Jewish national state—and that for the transition period, until a Jewish majority is achieved and the country is ready for self-governing institutions, Great Britain was entrusted by the principal Allied Powers with a mandate to administer the country upon terms and powers clearly defined in the mandate by the Council of the League of Nations.
Was the proposed reestablishment of the Jewish commonwealth in Palestine unfair to the Arabs? May I be permitted to quote the words of the Right Honorable Alfred Duff Cooper, former First Lord of the British Admiralty, spoken here in Washington in the spring of 1940:
In 1914 there was hardly any territory which the Arabs could call their own They were almost throughout the Near East subject to Turkish suzerainty Since 1914, they have acquired vast tracts of territory where they are independent; the whole of Arabia; Transjordania, which was taken away from the original conception of Palestine; Syria, where again they exercise semi-independent rights. No nation in the world has so little ground for complaining of what the Germans call lack of lebenstraum as the Arab race. They have vast spaces in which to expand. They have been amongst the greatest beneficiaries of the World War, and now they are subject to no particular evils.
Realizing that the Arabs would have their national aspirations satisfied after the war by the establishment of a number of Arab national states, and that these states would have land areas so large that it would take them centuries to develop them, and realizing also that the Jews stood in desperate need of a place of refuge, for their people, the Allies reserved “the tiny notch” of Palestine, as Balfour called it,just 10,000 square miles for the Jewish people. The Arab lands cover more than a million square miles and they are underpopulated and largely undeveloped.
Provision, of course, was made in the Balfour Declaration and in the mandate for the political equality of all citizens and for the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities. These rights have been fully protected. The Palestine Arab has not been exploited. In fact, there are no Arabs on the face of the earth today more prosperous than the Arabs of Palestine.
The establishment of the Jewish National Home in Palestine will, we believe, be a great boon to the entire Near East and to all the Arab peoples. Jews are bringing scientific skill, technical knowledge, material resources, and high enthusiasm to the upbuilding of Palestine. Palestine is destined to become the hub of a great and rapid economic development of the entire Near East. The prosperity of Palestine will stimulate, and, in the course of time will come to depend upon the prosperity of all adjacent Arab countries.
Chairman Bloom. Would you mind an interruption there? I thought it would be good to get into the record at this point the amount of money that has been expended in Palestine for development. I understand it was around $600,000,000, or something like that.
Dr. Silver. The Jews have invested in private and public funds over $600,000,000 in the development of the country.
Dr. EATON. I would also like to ask a question.
Dr. Eaton. Was Palestine ever looked upon as an Arab state like Syria or Arabia?
Dr. SILVER. At no time was there an Arab state. I will put it this way: Palestine never was an Arabian state, but a part of some empire, very often regarded as the hinterland of Syria. There was never an independent Arab state of Palestine.
Dr. EATON. After the Turks relinquished their hold on Palestine, what form of government or political set-up did Palestine have?
Dr. SILVER. The mandate given the Briish Government to build it up as a national home for Jewish people.
Mr. Eaton. It had no political entity, except only as a dwelling place for certain peoples?
Dr. SILVER. It was only at that time that the territorial boundaries of Palestine were established.
Chairman BLOOM. Proceed, Doctor.
Dr. SILVER. It has been alleged that promises were also made to the Arabs during the last war to the effect that Palestine was to be included in the area in which Arab independence would be established. Sir Henry McMahon, then His Majesty's High Commissioner in Egypt, who negotiated with the Sherif of Mecca, later King Hussein,
is alleged to have made such a promise. The British Government has consistently maintained that Palestine was definitely excluded from McMahon's pledge.
McMahon, himself, in a letter to the Times, London, July 23, 1937, stated:
I feel it my duty to state, and I do so definitely and emphatically, that it was not intended by me in giving this pledge to King Hussein, to include Palestine in the area in which Arab independence was promised.
I also had every reason to believe at the time that the fact that Palestine was not included in my piedge was well understood by King Hussein.
During the years 1917 to 1921 no claims to Palestine were raised by the Arab representatives. Indeed, they did in various ways explicitly agree to Palestine being treated differently from Arab territories.
Emir Feisal, son of Hussein, afterward King of Iraq, the leader of the Arabs, in the crucial war years, stated in December 1918:
The two main branches of the Semitic family, Arabs and Jews, understand one another, and I hope that as a result of interchange of ideas at the Peace Conference, which will be guided by ideals of self-determination and nationality, each nation will make definite progress toward the realization of its aspirations. Arabs are not jealous of Zionist Jews, and intend to give them fair play, and the Zionist Jews have assured the Nationalist Arabs of their intention to see that they too have fair play in their respective areas.
And in January 1919, Emir Feisal, for the Arab Kingdom of Hedjaz, and Dr. Chaim Weizmann, on behalf of the Zionist Organization, signed a treaty of friendship which clearly shows that Feisal regarded Palestine as a land reserved for Jewish national settlement. He also submitted to the Peace Conference a memorandum on the Arab claims in which he asked for the independence of a number of Arabic areas with the explicit exception of Palestine.
If I may be permitted, Mr. Chairman, I should like to read into the record the documents to which I have referred.
The documents referred to are as follows:)
DOCUMENTS RELATING TO THE McMAHON LETTERS
(Published by the Jewish Agency for Palestine, 77 Great Russell Street, London,
W. C. 1. March 1939)
ARAB TERRITORIES AND PALESTINE
“So far as the Arabs are concerned
I hope they will remember that it is we who have established an independent Arab sovereignty of the Hejaz. I hope they will remember it is we who desire in Mesopotamia to prepare the way for the future of a selfgoverning, autonomous Arab State, and I hope that, remembering all that, they will not grudge that small notch-for it is no more than that geographically, whatever it may be historically—that small notch in what are now Arab territories being given to the people who for all these hundreds of years have been separated from it."
-(Lord Balfour, Albert Hall, July 12th, 1920.] The map 1 shows only those Arab territories which were under Turkish domination or suzerainty before the World War. The extensive Arab territories of Lybia, Tunis, Algeria, Morocco and Egypt are not indicated.
The map shows the frontiers of Palestine and Trans-Jordan as drawn after the Peace Conference. The parts of historic Palestine in the North up to the Littany River (which Great Britain had first proposed should be included in Western Palestine) and in the North-East (Bashan and Hauran now included in Syria) Not printed.