Page images
PDF
EPUB

“Whereas owing to the outcome of the World War and their part therein the Jew sh people, under definite and adequate international guaranties are to be enabled, with due regard to the rights of all elements of the population of Palestine and to the sanctity of its holy places, to re-create and reorganize a national home in the land of their fathers—"

That states a fact, and the fact is this, that they are already under definite and adequate international guaranties. What are those definite international guaranties?

Mr. COCKRAN. We are trying to get the facts of the present economic conditions.

Mr. COOPER. That is the first thing to be ascertained.
Mr. Fish. They have explained that is in the Balfour declaration.
Mr. LIPSKY. The Balfour declaration during the period of the war.
Mr. COOPER. I know about that.

Mr. LIPSKY. It was indorsed by the allied governments. In line with that Balfour declaration, at the conference of the allied governments in San Remo in April, 1920, were created these conditions mentioned in the preamble of the resolution; that is, at San Remo the conference of the allied governments indorsed the Balfour declaration, and embodied the Balfour declaration in the treaty of Sevres with the Turkish Empire. They agreed among themselves with regard to certain conditions to be created, and among those conditions were these: That Syria, formerly part of the Turkish Empire, should be given under a mandate to the French Government; that Mesopotamia and Palestine should be given to the British Government under a mandate.

Mr. COOPER. At San Remo and in the treaty of Sevres?
Mr. LIPSKY. Yes. I quote the letter of Mr. Balfour to Lord Rothschild.

FOREIGN OFFICE, November 2, 1917. DEAR LORD ROTHSCHILD :

I have much pleasure in conveying to you on behalf of His Majesty's Government the following declaration of sympathy with Jewish Zionist aspirations, which has been submitted to, and approved by, the cabinet :

His Majesty's Government view with favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which 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.

I should be grateful if you would bring this declaration to the knowledge of the Zionist Federation. Yours sincerely,

ARTHUR JAMES BALFOUR. Mr. COOPER. The Armenians claim that they were guaranteed certain rights under the treaty of Sevres by these same people and that they have totally disregarded the guaranties under the same treaty given to Armenia. What is there to show that the guaranties of the Armenians, disregarded in their case, will be observed in the case of the Jewish people?

Mr. LIPSKY. We are simply asking the American Government to express its sympathy with our endeavors. We will be more than glad to know that the American Government expresses its sympathy and interest in the Armenian people and hope America can express its sympathy and interest in the wellbeing of all oppressed peoples. We can not here ask assurances with regard to the conduct of the British Government. We simply want support and good will of the American Government in what we regard our just rights in the matter.

Mr. COCKRAN. How is it proposed to put the Jewish people in possession of this land?

Mr. LIPSKY. By purchase. We are not expropriating; we are purchasing. We have purchased only recently over 12,000 acres of land at an expense of $1,500,000, purchased from the Arabs. No land in Palestine has been gotten except by purchase. There is no intention whatsoever to expropriate anybody.

Mr. FISH. There are a number of others who want to be heard, and I will ask you to finish in 10 minutes.

Mr. LIPSKY. There have been interruptions. I can finish in five minutes. Mr. FISH. The interruptions have been valuable.

Mr. BEGG. If there is nothing beyond an expression of what is written in this resolution, an expression of satisfaction and sympathy, have you not a right to take it for granted that you have that? In other words, what is the concrete good, or what abstract good can come out of a declaration of sympathy from the Nation that has always treated the Jews as equals? In other words, a Jewish-American is just as much an American as an Irish or Scotch or Welsh American. Supposing you pass this and then it flunks, is there any likelihood that they would come back and say, you are the partner of it and now come across and give us money? What have you not got that you will have if this goes through? That is vital in this.

Mr. LIPSKY. I will explain. Since the San Remo conference the mandate that was to be given to Great Britain has been held in abeyance, because when it came to present the treaty of Sevres to the Turks for signature the Allied Governments could not find the Turks; they did not have any party there pre pared to sign on behalf of the Turks. So the treaty of Sevres was held in abeyance. Because the treaty of Sevres was being held in abeyance, conditions in Palestine being uncertain, the British Government was unable to proceed in a legal way with the development of the country, with the granting of concessions, with the establishment of certain permanent institutions; there have been all sorts of troubles with regard to our affairs. We are also finding it hard to keep the Jewish people organized in this work, because the conditions are uncertain; we do not know exactly what is going to happen. The treaty of Sevres is not signed; the mandate is not actually under the League of Nations; the British Government is hesitating, and in England there is developing an anti-Semitic movement which aims at us, and we have to fight that anti-Semitic movement which paralyzes our constructive efforts, and in the United States itself we have exactly the same difficulty. The Jews are quite willing to go to Palestine, willing to give money to build up Palestine, to do anything for building up a Jewish home in Palestine, but can not do it while our affairs are in a state of uncertainty. We hope that other Governments will adopt resolutions similar to this and that we shall get an expression of opinion that will help to stabilize the situation.

Mr. KENNEDY. And keep up interest among the Jews in this country?

Mr. LIPSKY. And keep up the faith of Jews in other countries who depend upon us, upon our sacrifices, upon the money we can collect, to build up Palestine, because they can not build it up themselves. The Jews are not making the necessary sacrifices becau e the conditions are uncertain. They see the enemies of the Jewish people organizing everywhere, new enemies devloping, and there are breaks in the ranks here and there. As far as stabilizing conditions, the American Government, as a matter of fact, is a party to a certain extent to these international guaranties.

Mr. BEGG. How far?

Mr. LIPSKY. The Baifour declaration was approved by a representative of the American Government in advance of its being published. An American representative at Versailles gave assurances to the other Governments with regard to the Balfour declaration declaring a Jewish national home, and that the support of the American Government could be depended upon.

Mr. BEGG. Is it a fact that the man or men who gave the assurances failed to recognize another coordinate branch of the American Government?

Mr. LIPSKY. President Harding himself wrote a letter.

Mr. BEGG. Well, he does not have any more right to do that than President Wilson.

Mr. LIPSKY. I simply say when an agent goes to a very important conference representing the American Government and gives assurances to the conference and discusses these assurances certain acts are performed. I am not assuming to hold anybody accountable for them. I simply say there is a moral obligation involved in that action.

Mr. BEGG. A friendship obligation is all right, but I do not see that the United States would be obligated further.

Mr. Fish. I will say about this particular resolution that I showed this resolution to the Secretary of State, but as it was originally worded it pledged the support of the Government and the Secretary took exception to pledging our support to the project, and those words were stricken out and changed to read as they are in the resolution now. So there is no indication or implication of pledging our support in this resolution.

Mr. ACKERMAN. Did the Secretary of State see the language of this resolution ?

Mr. FISH. Yes.
Mr. ACKERMAN. He approved of this?

Mr. Fish. He has no objection. In fact he suggested a few changes, which were made.

Mr. COCKRAN. He did not take any affirmative action, but approved it.

Mr. LIPSKY. We understand that the State Department has given its approval to a resolution introduced in the Senate by Senator Lodge, which goes very much further than this resolution presented here.

The CHAIRMAN. Is that approval of the State Department in writing?
Mr. LIPSKY. No.

Mr. Fish. It is not quite r‘ght to commit the Secretary of State on this. I have talked to the Secretary and will say he has no objection to it. I think if we asked him he would probably give us his test mony.

Mr. LIPSKY. I will simply put into the record this resolut:on of Senator Lodge in the Senate. I will also present for the record opinions expressed by American Congressmen and Senators favoring the Balfour Declarat on.

The CHAIRMAN. Will you and Mr. Fish see that the record contains the Balfour declaration and approval by the All'ed Powers at Versailles, if any, and the portion of the treaty at San Remo relating to this matter?

Mr. LIPSKY. The treaty of Sevres, yes, and I will submit to you a copy of the mandate which has been subm'tted by the British Government to the League of Nations for approval which is a part of the treaty of Sevres.

The CHAIRMAN. Yes, I want to exclude from the record all matters not relating to this part cular subject so as to hold down the cost of printing.

Mr. LIPSKY. I will also put in the record a letter that President Harding sent to Mr. Alexander Wolf.

THE WHITE HOUSE,

Washington, June 1, 1921. MY DEAR MR. WOLF: I have already communicated to you my regrets that it is impossible for me to be present at the luncheon in honor of Dr. Chaim Weizmann, head of the Zionist Commission to the United States, but I want to add an expression of my most friendly interest in and for the Zionist movement. It is impossible for one who has studied at all the services of the Hebrew people to avoid the faith that they will one day be restored to their historic national home, and there enter on a new and yet greater phase of their contribution to the advance of humanity.

Please assure those who will be gathered at the luncheon to-day, of my continued concern for the cause in which you are all so zealously laboring. Most sincerely yours,

(Signed) WARREN G. HARDING. Mr. ALEXANDER WOLF, Chairman World Zionist Organization Reception Committee,

Hotel Willard, Washington, D. C. Mr. LINTHICUM. You said there were something like 60,000 Jews in Palestine.

Mr. LIPSKY. Eighty thousand, increasing at the rate of 1,500 per month under adverse conditions.

Mr. LINTHICUM. Then there are 700,000 Arabs and Turks.

Mr. LIPSKY. No Turks at all; there are Arabs. A Turk belongs to a different race.

Mr. LINTHICUM. I know that, but the Arabs claim to be descended from the patriarchs also.

Mr. LIPSKY. They are cousins of ours by race. They belong to the Semitic race.

Mr. COCKRAN. They are descendants of Hagar.
Mr. LIPSKY. Left-handed cousins.

Mr. MOORES. Of the Mohammedans and Christians, what proportion are Mohammedans of these Arabs?

Mr. LIPSKY. Three to one.

Mr. LINTHICUM. Sir Herbert Samuel, governor general, wants the Jews admitted as fast as they can come.

Mr. LIPSKY. Yes; and we, too. Those peopie come in at the rate of 1,500 a month and go to work in building roads. They come from different parts of eastern Europe. They have graduated from universities and professions and come into Palestine and take jobs for the same price of labor as Arabs, practically the same, on roads, go to work under the most difficult conditions to help build up the country.

Mr. LINTHICUM. What are you doing to build up the soil ?

Mr. LIPSKY. We have purchased 12 000 acres north of Palestine, on which colonization has already been attempted. We have 71 flourishing Jewish colonies, and Jewish farmers are living an independent economic existence.

Mr. LINTHICUM. You have developed Rishon le-Zion.

Mr. LIPSKY. Rishon le-Zion is the first colony in Zion. That is very prosperous. The colony has about 2,500 farmers. The colony of Petah Tikwah has over 3,000. In Judea there are some colonies on the outskirts to the north. This new tract of land of 12.000 acres will be settled by pioneers that are coming in.

Mr. LINTHICUM. That is in the valley of Esdraelon.
Mr. LIPSKY. That is the land which we have purchased for about $1,500,000.

Mr. LINTHICUM. As I understand, there are two views as to the Zionist morement.

Mr. LIPSKY. There may be three or four.
Mr. LINTHICUM. Two important ones.
Mr. LIPSKY. The truth is that there are no two views about it.
Mr. LINTHICUM, Justice Brandeis?

Mr. LIPSKY. Mr. Brandeis was honorary president of our organization last year and retired at the last convention. In view of Mr. Brandeis, as far as the objects of the movement are concerned, they are identical with the Zionist Organization of America. There are differences of views with regard to internal questions as to the methods to be adopted in developing the land as the Jewish national home. He is a member of our organization.

Mr. LINTHICUM. What I was getting at is that Doctor Lazaron, of my city, I do not know, but perhaps I ought not to think so, but I think he is one of the leading men of the faith in the country, and he was speaking about this very matter the other evening. I just returned from there and he was expressing that there were two views, one of them being that we should do everything possible as a nation to help in this movement. The other view was that some people thought that the Jews throughout the world ought to be united, and as one solid movement throughout the world they ought to help this organization,

Mr. LIPSKY. There is a difference among the Jews themselves as to how to proceed with the work. There are some Zionists who think that the work should be undertaken by groups of people in all parts of the world.

Mr. LINTHICUM, Reaching each nation.

Mr. LIPSKY. No; that each group of Jews, living in this or that country, along its own lines, not concentrated in one organization, or through one agency, each group should have its own activities and interests. There is another view that holds that this will not produce results. The way to produce results is to collect money in a national way and to establish the public utilities first, and then let the individual groups come along and do what is called the individual work. The Zionist Organization, for example, should buy a large tract of land and develop it, should provide for a scheme for utilizing the water power, etc.

Mr. LINTHICUM. Do you propose to have one organization of Jews or each nation have its own separate organization?

Mr. LIPSKY. Each nation has its own separate organization but is united in one international organization which meets once every two years in a congress. That has been meeting for the last 25 years.

The CHAIRMAN. You stated that President Wilson had impliedly committed the United States to a haven of refuge for Jews. Was that in the letter to Rabbi Wise?

Mr. LIPSKY. I would not use the words impliedly committed. I simply said President Wilson in a communication took a position with relation to the Balfour declaration.

The CHAIRMAN. Is there anything in writing from President Wilson.

Mr. LIPSKY. There is the letter to Rabbi Wise, and also a reiteration of the first letter which was issued by Mr. Wilson, I think, when he was in Paris. Mr. Wilson wrote this letter not from Paris but from Washington. The original letter was written to Doctor Wise.

The CHAIRMAN. What action did they take on the question at Versailles?

Mr. LIPSKY. A hearing. There was no action. Action was taken at San Remo.

The CHAIRMAN. To get the record straight, have you any official action at Versailles ?

Mr. LIPSKY. There were hearings at Versailles and final action at San Remo. The American Government was not represented at San Remo.

Mr. COCKRAN. As an observer.
The CHAIRMAN. No, not as an observer.

Mr. LIPSKY. In addition to statistical details the committee should take into) account the feelings of the Jewish people. You might have doubt about the feasibility of the proposition with regard to Palestine. The Jewish people have no doubt about it. The Jewish people have, whether they have been minorities or not, expressed themselves with regard to Palestine for generations and generations. It is in their prayer books, repeated by them three times a day, part of the ceremony and poetry and prohecies of the Jewish people. Everything that relates to the Jewish people has encouraged the return to Palestine, and it is a longing which we now express in concrete, organized form, which we are placing here before you in terms of figures to be taken into account with relation to all the antecedent feelings and emotion and desires expressed by the Jewish people during the period of their persecutions and humiliation. This is the first concrete endeavor on the part of the Jewish people through their own labor and sacrifices to build upthat which their ancestors were dreaming about for generations and generations back.

Mr. COCKRAN. The wailing Jews around the old temple is quite a ceremony.

Mr. LIPSKY. The passover celebration is replete with references to the return to Zion.

Mr. COCKRAN. Do not the Jewish people assemble around there and wail every Friday?

Mr. LIPSKY. Yes; they repeat their prayers at the Wailing Wall. I hope the committee in considering this matter will not consider it purely as if they were economists trying to decide whether this is a good thing for the Jewish people to do, but consider this as an expression of the sentiment and feelings and ideals of the Jewish people, of the soul of the Jewish people for generations. The longing of the Jewish people is put down in this Balfour declaration and is so regarded by Jews all over the world. The Balfour declaration is regarded by us as the most important document in modern Jewish history. It is known from one end of the Jewish world to another. It is likened to the edict of Cyrus the Great. Any person who attaches himself to this act of redemption of the Jewish land is a party to an epochal event in Jewish history.

Mr. LINTHICUM. Your idea is to continue a government in Palestine under English mandate?

Mr. LIPSKY. The British Government is given a mandatory power over Palestine. It holds that power in Palestine for the purpose of cooperating in creating such political and economic conditions as shall transform Palestine into a national home for the Jewish people, holding it as trustees for the League of Nations.

STATEMENT OF ELIHU D. STONE, OF BOSTON, ASSISTANT UNITED

STATES ATTORNEY FOR THE DISTRICT OF MASSACHUSETTS.

Mr. STONE. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee:

I am a resident of Boston, a former member of the General Court of Massachusetts, and at present an assistant United States attorney for the district of Massachusetts. I am speaking for the Zionist Organization of America and especially for the Zionist organization in Massachusetts, in asking you to favor this resolution. I might say that I speak for the people of Massachusetts in general, because our legislature recently adopted a joint resolution similar to the one which is now being considered, and also similar to the one introduced by Senator Lodge.

It will indeed be an act of Christian justice to give expression to the sentiments embodied in this resolution.

I desire briefly to emphasize one point, and that is the spiritual aspect of Zionism. Palestine, the ancient home of the Jewish people, is not only to become a home for the Jews but a home for Judaism. There in Palestine the Jew will be able to live his own life, develop his own culture, and make his characteristic contribution to civilization.

Not only is the Jew in exile, but also Judaism.

A Hebrew Palestine, the creation of a people who are in themselves oriental in origin and possessed of the culture of the West, will constitute a symbol and serve as a demonstration of the harmonizing possibilities of both of them. If granted an opportunity to develop their spiritual powers, the Jewish people may

106932—22-2

« PreviousContinue »