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but the powers that signed that issued a mandate to England; therefore the mandate is simply confirmed.
Doctor SHATARA. The mandate has not been ratified by the League of Nations yet, and they expect on the 25th of April it will come up for discussion,
Mr. COOPER. The mandate was issued to England.
Mr. COOPER, I know it has not been ratified; but in so far as issuing the mandate is concerned, that affirms the Balfour declaration.
Mr. REED. There is another native Palestinian here, a law student.
(Additional statement of Doctor Shatara is as follows:)
We, the members of the Palestine National League, Americans by naturalization and Palestinians by birth, respectfully beg to submit for your consideration on behalf of the non-Jewish inhabitants of Palestine some important facts concerning the country of our birth which we believe have not been generally recognized, and which, in our opinion, ought to be given careful consideration when the status and disposition of that country come up for final settlement.
While we recognize that the United States has not and probably never will enter the League of Nations, we feel that for several valid reasons our Government will and should have her wishes considered in the final disposition of the status of Palestine. This is borne out by more than one statement issued by the State Department regarding the interest of the United States, the principal associated power, in the disposition of the territory which once formed the Turkish Empire. Palestine is specifically mentioned in these statements.
Moreover, Palestine is the Holy Land to Christian America, and as ex-Commissioner John Finley stated after his return from Palestine, it is too precious to revert to the followers of one creed or religion. Similar opinions have been expressed by the late Pope, by Cardinal Mercier, by Cardinal Bourne, by Bishop McInnes, Anglican bishop of Jerusalem, by the Rev. Dr. Herbert Adams Gibbons, by the Reverend Doctor Peters, by the Rev. Abraham M. Rihbany, and by others.
Furthermore, we believe that the principle of safeguarding right against might, for which the United States entered the war, has been trampled upon by the giving of what is known as the Balfour promise, upon which the Zionists base their hopes.
It is needless to submit in detail the arguments against Zionism, which are numerous and valid, but a few salient facts should be emphasized. It is the common impression in America that Palestine is a Jewish country, but nothing is further from the truth. There are about 70,000 Jews in Palestine, about 7 per cent of the existing population and about 5 per cent of the number of Jews in New York City. The overwhelming majority of Palestinians are uncompromisingly opposed to Zionism and the orthodox Jews of Palestine look with disfavor upon the Zionist movement. Palestine is a land of shrines sacred to Christians and Mohammedans. The Jews have little more than a few colonies which are still maintained by charitable support of Jews in Europe and America.
Historically Palestine was under Jewish rule from David's time to the fall of Samaria, under Shalmanezar III in 722 B. C., or, roughly, 250 years. After that the Jews regained independence only under the restless rule of the Maccabees, which lasted less than a century. On the other hand, the present inhabitants of the land are descended from a stock which goes back to the time before the Jews invaded the country and have remained in it long after the Jews ceased to be a nation, a period of about 2,000 years. To use the argument of Lloyd-George, “there is a limit to the title of property." Commenting on this, the London Morning Post of March 3, 1922, states :
"An Enoch Arden who has been away from home for 2,000 years does not come back with a title which the present possessor could be expected to recognize as overriding his own.”
Furthermore, the Jews never occupied all Palestine, and the very name is taken from the Philistines, the arch enemies of the Jews. To turn over a country to a people who occupied it for about 350 years and ignore the wishes of the people who have lived in it for about 2,000 years is not only unjust but sets a dangerous precedent.
The claim that the Zionists will make an oasis out of barren Palestine is both erroneous and misleading. Palestine has more than 70 inhabitants per square mile, whereas the United States, with its rich natural resources, ha's only about 35 per square mile. There is more justification for admitting the overcrowded Japanese to colonize Texas. The Jew is not, instinctively, a farmer, and the Zionist colonies in Palestine were mostly built by non-Jewish labor. These colonies, which enjoyed special immunities and privileges under Turkish rule, when the Palestinian farmer was subjected to every form of oppression and suppression, are still not self-supporting, and, unaided by outside subsidy, would cease to exist. Palestinians are not as backward as Zionists portray them. They are entitled to a chance to build their own home land under a just and helpful administration. The claims for any other homeland can not be countenanced, and Palestine, which is smaller than Maryland, is too small for an imperium in imperio. Col. Vivian Gabriel, who was financial secretary in Palestine, says of Palestinians:
“All these elements have conspired to form a type that is as refined and beautiful as it is intellectually intelligent."
Prof. Albert Clay, of Yale University, corroborates this.
The Zionists claim that they wish to try out an experiment in Palestine; but as Father Reginald Ginns, O. P., stated after a personal study of the situation, “There is no objection to experiments, safe or dangerous, provided they are made with the property of the experimenter.” The events of the last three years, such as the riots, Bolshevik propaganda, and smuggling of arms by Zionists, have clearly demonstrated this experiment to be a miserable failure, thus confirming what the Hon. Henry Morgenthau wrote of Zionism in last July's World's Work:
“I assert that Zionism is wrong in principle and impossible of realization; that it is unsound in its economics, fantastical in its politics, and sterile in its spiritual ideals."
Sir Stuart Samuel, president of the board of deputies of British Jews and brother of the high commissioner of Palestine, in an interview published in the Daily Mail of February 18, 1922, expresses his belief that Zionism must fail and advises Jews to “keep out of Palestine.'
The latest statistics published show that out of a Jewish population of three and a half million in the United States only less than 150,000 are Zionists.
Lord Northcliffe, who a few months ago visited Palestine, has denounced Zionism and recommended that immigration be immediately stopped. The British Press, which once favored Zionism, now recognizes its impossibility and dangers. Leaders of English thought have similarly changed their attitude.
It may be remembered that before President Wilson sailed to Versailles a petition against Zionism was submitted to him by a group of prominent American Jews. Such men as the Hon. Julius Kahn, the Hon. Simon Rosendale, the Hon. Henry Morgenthau, Adolph Ochs, editor of the New York Times, were among those who signed this petition.
The “Balfour promise,” the corner stone of Zionism, is illegal, unprecedented, and incompatible with other valid promises given in regard to Palestine both preceding and following it. This promise, which was wrung out of the necessities of Great Britain in the darkest days of the war, was dictated by Zionist leaders and issued by the British foreign office on November 7, 1917, prior to the occupation of Palestine and without the knowledge or consent of Palestinians. Early in the war special efforts were initiated to detach the Arab population from its suzerains the Turks. Negotiations were opened with Lord Kitchener's friend, Shereef Hussein of Mecca. In a letter to Sir H. McMahon, high commissioner in Egypt, in July, 1915, the Shereef asked, before taking up arms for the Allies, " that England should acknowledge the independence of the Arab countries bounded on the north by Adana and Mersina up to the thirtyseventh degree of latitude, on the east by the frontiers of Persia up to the Persian Gulf, on the south by the Indian Ocean, with the exception of Aden, and on the west by the Red Sea and the Mediterranean up to Mersina. Palestine is within these boundaries.
Replying in October, 1915, the high commissioner wrote:
“I am empowered in the name of the Government of Great Britain to give the following assurances : 'Great Britain is prepared to recognize the independence of the Arabs within the territories included in the limits and boundaries proposed by the Shereef','”
The active military support which the Arabs gave to the Allies, and the passive resistance of the civil population of Palestine, of which Gen. Liman von Sanders complained, greatly contributed to the victory over the Turks in Palestine and the Near East. It may be remembered that Jerusalem was captured without tiring a single gun.
The pronouncement of the “ Balfour promise" was to the Palestinians a bolt from the blue. They had hailed Great Britain as their liberator, had trusted her promises, but found that she had bartered their homeland without their knowledge or consent. Feeling in Palestine was aroused to the highest pitch, and this caused so much embarrassment to the Palestine administration that on November 7, 1918, one year after the “ Balfour promise,” the British and French Governments issued a proclamation, which was circulated in every town and village in Palestine and Syria, declaring that the object of England and France
“In carrying on in the Near East the war let loose by Germany's ambitions is to assure the complete and final liberation of the peoples so long oppressed by the Turks and the establishment of governments and administrations deriving their authority from the initiative and free choice of the native populations. They are far from wishing to impose any form of government on the people against their will and only desire to insure, by their moral and material assistance, the proper working of those governments and the forms of administration which shall be adopted by the people themselves.”
That many French senators still remember and try to respect this proclamation is shown by the following cable received from Senor Dominique Delahaye in answer to an inquiry by our league:
PARIS, February 28, 1922. PALESTINE NATIONAL LEAGUE,
New York City: Mes amis senateurs tres opposes mandat anglais Palestine qui lese France.
DOMINIQUE DELAHAYE. Again, it may be pointed out that when in 1917 the Hon. Henry Morgenthau secured the promise of cooperation from Mr. Balfour to detach Turkey from her Teutonic allies, and thus open up the gateway to the Bosphorus and end the war, Dr. Chaim Weizmann, president of the World Zionist Organization, wrecked this scheme because no provision was made for Zionist ambitions, thus prolonging the war in order to attain his selfish ends. The details of this significant incident were published by Mr. Jewett in Current History.
Just why the British Government is anxious to keep the “ Balfour promise and break its other prior and later promises; just why she is willing to spend over $20,000,000 annually to maintain a British garrison of 7,000, whose bayonets alone support the policy of Zionism, when the much-maligned Turk kept Palestine in order with a force of 400 men, can only be ascribed to the powerful pressure by Zionist leaders. Palestinians are already beginning to think that if they could use force the British Government might respect her promises to them. This may be a dangerous but, indeed, a logical conclusion.
On March 2, 1922, the National Political League of England held a meeting at the Hyde Park Hotel, London, to hear the case of the Palestine Arab delegation, now in London. Mr. Shibly Jamal, the honorary secretary of the delegation, said:
“No valid argument of history or of religious sentiment could support the Zionist case; the only thing that could be put forward in support of that case is the “ Balfour promise,” which was made in ignorance of the facts. It is the right thing for a gentleman when he makes a mistake in undertaking what is wrong to acknowledge his fault frankly and withdraw. Let the British nation follow the gentleman's way in the matter of the “ Balfour declaration."
Finally, we wish to point out that Zionism has been a vehicle for conveying Bolshevism to the Holy Land, from which it is to be spread throughout the East. This is borne out by the official report of the commission which, under Sir Thomas Haycraft, investigated the riots which occurred in Jaffa in May, 1921. The following are extracts from posters and handbills circulated by Bolshevist Jews prior to the May riots :
“We call you to war against your rich people. Unite with the Russian nation. Leave your work to-day and go out in the streets and acclaim under the red flag. Long live the third international. Long live the social revolution. Long live soviet Palestine.”
The Arabs resented this propaganda, and the riots ensued.
In conclusion, we respectfully submit the following requests for your consideration :
1. That a thorough and impartial investigation be made of the situation in Palestine. No impartial investigation has ever hurt a just cause.
2. That the report of the Crane-King Commission be published.
3. That the United States should maintain that the principles for which this country entered the war should be inviolate by the Allies, and that no power should be given a mandate to carry out a policy distasteful to the people of the governed country.
On behalf of the Palestine National League.
The CHAIRMAN. Give your name, address, and occupation.
STATEMENT OF MR. SELIM TOTAH, 1214 FOURTEENTH STREET
Mr. TOTAH. Gentlemen, there was a statement made before you that Palestine was desolate.
The CHAIRMAN. What is your occupation?
Mr. TOTAH. Yes, sir. I have lived over there. My people and my father and mother are there. My brother is a school-teacher there, and, as far as I know of that country, there are several thriving cities, one Jaffa, with a population of 65,000; Haifa, 75,000 people; Jerusalem, 100,000; Lud, 25,000; Ramleh, 25,000; and many other thriving cities. I come from a town of 10,000 people, 10 young of which are graduates of American universities in this country who are there, one teaching school and one engaged in engineering. One is a lawyer; another a judge. My own brother is teaching school, being a graduate of Columbia University.
As to the products of the country, it is not desolate. The people there are very hard working people. The best figs in the world are raised in Palestine. The best raisins are raised there. It is one of the best countries in the world. The land is not desolate. The Jordan Valley, which is flooded and fertilized, raises some of the best crops of wheat in the world. The British Government, if not hampered by the Zionists, is trying to introduce cotton there as in Egypt. The land is not desolate. The natives cultivated the land there. We have intelligent, law-abiding people and can develop the country if given a chance. We were never given a chance. Under the Turkish régime no people were given a chance. Now, since we have this opportunity to develop ourselves, there come the Zionists to deprive us of the first instance where we have a chance to assert ourselves and see what we can do, if left unhampered.
Mr. Fish. What proportion of the people there can read and write, outside of the Jewish element?
Mr. Totah. The Jewish element is only 7 per cent.
Mr. Fish. My question was, What proportion of the inhabitants of Palestine can read and write?
Mr. TOTAH. I can not give you the exact statistics. My own brother is engaged in education, and he says about 15 per cent are educated in high school and that probably 35 per cent are illiterates.
Mr. Fish. Thirty-five per cent are illiterates in the country?
Mr. TOTAH. I can not give the exact figures. If I did, I might say 35 per cent. There are two American high schools in my home town, one for girls and the other for men, financed by the people there and by aid from American Quakers. There is also a college run by the English in Jerusalem for the last 50 years. The progress accomplished in Palestine in 30 years by English and American missionaries has been wonderful. The English college in Jerusalem has an A. B. degree equivalent to that of the American universities. This is an instance of the progress.
The Zionists may tell you that the Palestinians are stupid and uncivilized. I just want to quote a word or two from Lord Cromer, once High Commissioner in Egypt.
The British Government had to employ people of that country who speak both the English and the Arabic language, as they did not find educated men in Egypt
to help them in the administration, so they had to resort to Palestinians, Syrians, Armenians. These are the exact words that Lord Cromer used in regard to that situation : “Syrians and Armenians are the cream of the Near East.” Palestinian young men served Great Britain to successfully carry on her work in Egypt, and as a result of 30 years of their service British Government is now willing, and is giving Egypt independence. Why not we be given a fair chance?
Mr. COCKRAN. You speak of the increase in educational institutions in Palestine. Those are mainly supplied from abroad, are they not?
Mr. Torah. The higher institutions of learning are, as a rule; but the Turkish régime did maintain a system of their own.
Mr. COCKRAN. What about the economic development before the arrival of the Jews? How far was the land improved? What manufactures, what improvement of economic conditions was done by the native population, aside from the Government?
Mr. TOTAH. I mentioned the fact about figs and olives and oranges, wines produced in the country, and the majority of that is produced by natives.
Mr. COCKRAN. That was developed. I am speaking of the conditions in the last 100 years. You are speaking of the benefits in the last 25 or 30 years.
Mr. TOTAH. Yes, sir.
Mr. COCKRAN. What I want to ask you is can you give us any idea of the extent to which there has been economic development in Palestine?
Mr. Totah. Yes, sir; we did.
Mr. Totah. Yes, sir. I only speak of things right at home. My father lives on a farm and develops that farm, raises his own wheat and tomatoes, grapes, etc.
Mr. COCKRAN. His father before him did.
Mr. TOTAH. Yes, sir; in Jaffa, one of the most thriving cities which is on the seacoast, they have grapes and the orange industry which is run by the natives.
Mr. COCKRAN. That has always been the case. I mean development in the last 30 years?
Mr. Totah. There are the Jaffa oranges. They had to dig wells into the ground and the first thing they used mules to provide for the water supply. The second development that happened was that they began to use engines. They took a step further and you may be interested to know that right now in Jerusalem and Jaffa there is a Ford establishment that sells Ford automobiles and plans to sell tractors and other agricultural implements to the Palestinians.
Mr. COCKRAN. I am asking about the internal development among the Palestinians themselves, not things brought in from the outside. He had spoken of the great improvements in the last 30 years. How much of it was economic?
Mr. FISH. You might also ask who brought in these things.
Mr. COCKRAN. Have you got an Armenian agricultural establishment there? Have you got an Armenian concern that sells agricultural machinery?
Mr. Totah. Yes; we have natives dealing in implements.
Mr. Totah. I met a man in New York who arranged for an agency for the International Harvester Co.
Mr. COCKRAN. That is an outsider that brings it in.
Mr. Totah. No; native Palestinians who come to this country to arrange for an agency of the International Harvester Co., and also the National Cash Register Co. and a few of the automobile companies, and Delco lighting plants.
Mr. COCKRAN. That is the extent of the development in the last 20 or 30 years?