« PreviousContinue »
show you how the British themselves regard this. This is my last quotation. Mr. Churchill spoke before the House of Commons :
“ The only cause of unrest in Palestine arose from the Zionist movement and the British promises in regard to it.”
“ The only cause of unrest "%if there was not unrest, they would not spend twelve and a half million dollars in putting 7,000 British troops where the Turks had 500.
"The only cause of unrest in Palestine arose from the Zionist movement, and the British promises in regard to it. But for that fact, the British garrison might have been considerably reduced. The difficulty about the possibility of the national home for the Jews in Palestine was that it conflicted with Great Britain's regular policy of consulting the wishes of the people in the territory under her mandate and of giving them representative institutions as soon as they are fitted for them."
(The New Palestine, June 17, 1921, page 15 )
Mr. COCKRAN. I think that is excellent policy and I think it is our American policy. I do not know what the wishes of the people of the country are, but they should be heard, and I think as soon as they were fitted for it they should be given representative institutions.
Mr. REED. Mr. Churchill says "We can not do it.” They are doing it in Ire land, in Egypt, in Mesopotamia, in India, and yet they say, for this one strip of land we have made the Balfour declaration, and that precludes giving you a voice in your government; that precludes us from hearing your wishes. That is why I think this Balfour declaration is very un-American and that is why I think we want to go very slowly before we underwrite it.
There has been an immense change in England in regard to this subject. During the war England had the problems of Ireland, Egypt, India. Now the change of feeling in regard to Zionism is extraordinary. Lord Northcliffe is an example. A short time ago it was as hard to get anti-Zionist articles in his papers as in certain New York papers. He went to Palestine and saw representative people and was so shocked that he completely reversed his attitude. That moment he gained the enmity of that, the great powerful Zionist organization. What gain could he have from the help of 630,000 non-Jewish Palestinians. He changed his attitude for no gain at all. He changed it because he saw it was the only thing to do. There is great trouble over the Balfour declaration. Why in the world should we depart from our American principle of giving to people of a country the right to be heard, the right to a representative government? Why should we do this? Because the Zionist organization, which, Mr. Lipsky said, has a membership of 45,000 and because hundreds of thousands of Jews have indorsed it by resolution? Why should we do this to that country?
Mr. COCKRAN, You have made a suggestion that is striking, that these people have lived in Palestine for thirteen centuries. I want you to explain it to the committee. You have been in Palestine?
Mr. REED. Yes, sir.
Mr. COCKRAN. Of course, that has an important bearing. You have overlooked it in the course of your argument. My point of view is that here is the very extraordinary immigration in the whole course of international procedure, unparalled in the history of the world. There is an attempt, an effort to restore
When you speak of Jews, there is no comparison with Catholics and Protestants; it is not a question of religion. It is a question of race. Those Jews are peculiar in the whole human family. They are all descended from one or two individuals. They have kept apart through all these centuries, through the limitations and changes, and are now as different and easily distinguishable as when Abraham was moving with his flocks to Canaan. Here is an attempt to face this problem. It is a very difficult one. For some reason or other the allied governments have decided that they would restore the Jews to the land of their origin, not the land of their origin, but maybe the land they believed was assigned to them by the act of the Creator himself. That can not be carried out under the ordinary rules that govern international relations. The rule that you invoke, the will of the people to determine their own fate certainly can not be questioned by any American.
Mr. REED. No, sir.
Mr. COCKRAN. With the Allies we made common cause and they have decided in the peace settlement that the Jews should be restored to this land in Palestine. All those suggestions you have referred to come from different Jews with
the idea of carrying that out. If they are to be restored, they should have the same rights as one of our States.
In the city of New York nobody can be employed by the.city unless he is a citizen of the United States. They have tried to put through laws that nobody should be employed unless he is a resident of the State of New York. That is, these regulations that have been suggested here by different Jewish authorities would not differ very widely from those, assuming that they are a separate State, an independent State, and that, I understand, is the object of the treaty. Is it your idea if that is the object, that that can not be done with justice? Are you opposed ? Do you think we should humiliate the Jews? Would you give the Jews to understand that you think their enterprise
Mr. BRAGG. Do we have it to give?
Mr. COCKRAN. We can not, of course, give it. We can extend our moral aid without damage to ourselves. That is the question, it seems to me, before us.
The CHAIRMAN. It is the policy of the committee to give the witnesses almost unlimited time.
Mr. REED. I will not ask it. I suppose one ought not in fairness to be merely destructive and not constructive, and I am absolutely opposed to political Zionism. I do not think any State will ever prosper founded by such means because people are the same all over, and the fact that 2,000 years ago a certain people lived there does not very much impress the minds of those who live there now. I know the Palestinians. I have talked with them. They are sensible. How would you feel if the German troops were holding you down until enough Frenchmen came in to take possession of the State.
Let me make a constructive suggestion : First Jewish colonies are brought to Palestine, and Palestinians praised them and said they were fine institutions. This was done without any political oppression whatever; and now, under the British Government, there is no doubt that other colonies could be founded. If the Jews went in and built up colonies, what would happen? I come from New Haven. We have 180,000 inhabitants, and they say there are 50,000 of Italian blood, and I am_told in another generation it will be an Italian town. Our great surgeon is Doctor Verdi; our great theatrical manager is Mr. Poli. Italians have taken up land, made fine market gardens, and when I walk in the streets they ride in motors. I do not hold that against them. They have not taken away my rights. They have come in here fairly and we are all on the same footing, and if the Italians of New Haven by education in our schools become the best doctors, the best lawyers, the best theatrical managers, there will not be a single, solitary word said. There never was a protest from our New England town. But if those Italians had come in, waving a flag, saying, " This is our land," and supposing they make the claims Doctor Weizmann has made, such as I have read here, how do you think they would be received ? I do not think you can ever found a just state on injustice, and the Zionists say that their state is to illustrate Jewish justice. I know my Zionist friends will not agree with me, yet I believe no greater harm could come to them than to found a state in this way. You can not separate that little place from Ireland and other free countries.
Mr. COCKRAN. I understand that your position is that the repatriation-I use that word-should occur through the action of the Jews themselves without any assistance of the Government, by the Jews going in and purchasing ground, exercising industry on the soil, and getting possession?
Mr. REED. Gradually.
Mr. COCKRAN. Would you quite agree that if they finally became owners of the soil and England said you can be independent, you would not have any objection to their establishing independence?
Mr. REED. There is only one objection. I have talked to educated Palestinians, and this is what they said: They would for protection make a bar to immigration for 10 years, so as to get on their feet.
Mr. COCKRAN. Who would ?
Mr. REED. It is self-evident that the Zionists want immigration. The non-
Mr. TEMPLE. The non-Palestinians ?
Mr. COCKRAN. The Jews in Jerusalem are working very well, and, further, they are making lands fertile that were sterile.
Mr. REED. To a certain extent; but it is not yet an economic success. It is an experiment.
Mr. COCKRAN. So far it is very promising.
Mr. COCKRAN. Your position is this: As I understand from what you state now, it would not be quite safe to leave those Jews to the protection of the non-Jewish Palestinians?
Mr. REED. No; I do not think so, for at present they are so inflamed. It would not be safe now, in my opinion. I have not brought in any testimony on that point from outside sources.
Mr. COCKRAN. Therefore, the only safety for these Jews, investors in the land of Palestine, that they could have, is some such arrangement proposed by these men that would perpetuate the English authorities. You are not in any sense contending for the rule of the majority of the people there.
Mr. REED. They could possibly make a state by saying, “ We do not intend to swamp you by immigration. We will not establish a majority and then invoke self-determination.” It was perfectly safe before the Balfour declaration,
May I just close what I have to say ?
Mr. COCKRAN. Go ahead. I just wanted to direct your attention along the crux of our problem.
Mr. CONNALLY. Of course, this whole theory is based on the idea that the Jewish people have some claim in Palestine, and it is also apparent that the present occupants of that land have been there for a great many centuries. Is the claim of a great-great-grandfather any greater than the claim of a father or grandfather that occupied this land ?
Mr. COCKRAN. There is no dispute between these possessors of the soil. Your proposition answers itself. Those Jews do not seek to get possession of the soil except by purchase.
Mr. CONNALLY. They propose to get it by reason of the Government giving them à preference.
Mr. COCKRAN. Even then they do not want to get it. The theory is that the Jews should have preference placed in possession with full compensation to the persons there.
Mr. REED. I think we have the American principle. That is why I do not want you to vote for this resolution-because it is un-American. All men are equal before the law. If any man has preference he is not equal before the law.
Mr. COCKRAN. They are not equal before the law; and men who are citizens are not equal to nonresidents.
Mr. REED. Certainly; immigrants who come in there from everywhere are not on an equality with the people who have been there for years. The people there all those years are residents.
Mr. COCKRAN. The point is that we can not enforce over there the rule that governs in international relationship in Europe itself, because you say you could not trust them.
Mr. REED. I say at the present moment you could not; but if you changed the conditions you could.
The CHAIRMAN. I gather from your statement that you believe that the enforcement of the Balfour declaration would be a serious infringement on the rights of the people of Palestine.
Mr. REED. Of nine-tenths of the population of Palestine. If I have not made myself clear, my coming here has been useless.
The CHAIRMAN. With the passage of this resolution, in your opinion, thert would be ratification by implication of the action taken by the League of Nations at San Remo?
Mr. REED. Exactly.
The CHAIRMAN. Would it to that extent commit the American Government to the policy of the League of Nations?
Mr. REED. I am not an international lawyer; but you see that Senator Lodge's resolution absolutely names the Balfour declaration, and these are concurrent resolutions. I think the whole purpose of this is to line up America with the foreign powers in support of the Balfour declaration; and I think it is a very dangerous thing to do, because I think the Balfour declaration is un-American.
Mr. MOORE of Virginia. He has characterized the mandate as he has gone along in some very severe terms. Would you ask him if he would give a con
venient reference to the mandate, so that we might have a copy of it in the record ?
The CHAIRMAN. Yes.
DRAFT OF THE MANDATE FOR PALESTINE AS SUBMITTED BY MR. BALFOUR ON DECEM
BER 7, 1920, TO THE SECRETARIAT-GENERAL OF THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS FOR THE APPROVAL OF THE COUNCIL OF THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS.
THE COUNCIL OF THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS.
Whereas by article 132 of the treaty of peace signed at Sevres on the 10th day of August, 1920, Turkey renounced in favor of the principal allied powers all rights and title over Palestine; and
Whereas by article 95 of the said treaty the high contracting parties agreed to intrust, by application of the provisions of article 22, the administration of Palestine, within such boundaries as might be determined by the principal allied powers, to a mandatory to be selected by the said powers; and
Whereas by the same article the high contracting parties further agreed that the mandatory should be responsible for putting into effect the declaration originally made of November 2, 1917, by the Government of His Britannic Majesty, and adopted by the other allied powers, in favor of the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, it being clearly understood that nothing should be done which might prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing of non-Jewish communities in Palestine or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country; and
Whereas recognition has already been given to the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country; and
Whereas the principal allied powers have selected His Britannic Majesty as the mandatory for Palestine; and
Whereas the terms of the mandate in respect of Palestine have been formu. lated in the following terms and submitted to the council of the league for approval; and
Whereas His Britannic Majesty has accepted the mandate in respect of Palestine and undertaken to exercise it on behalf of the League of Nations in conformity with the following provisions :
Hereby approves the terms of the said mandate as follows:
ARTICLE 1. His Britannic Majesty shall have the right to exercise as mandatory all the powers inherent in the government of a sovereign State, save as they may be limited by the terms of the present mandate.
ART. 2. The mandatory shall be responsible for placing the country under su political, administrative, and economic conditions as will secure the establishment of the Jewish national home, as laid down in the preamble, and the development of self-governing institutions, and also for safeguarding the civil and religious rights of all the inhabitants of Palestine, irrespective of race and religion.
ART. 3. The mandatory shall encourage the widest measure of self-government for localities consistent with the prevailing conditions.
ART. 4. An appropriate Jewish agency shall be recognized 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 the interests of the Jewish population in Palestine and, subject always to the control of the administration, to assist and take part in the development of the country.
The Zionist organization, so long as its organization and constitution are in the opinion of the mandatory appropriate shall be recognized as such agency. It shall take steps, in consultation with His Britannic Majesty's Government, to secure the cooperation of all Jews who are willing to assist in the establishment of the Jewish national home.
ART. 5. The mandatory shall be responsible for seeing that no Palestine territory shall be ceded or leased to or in any way placed under the control of the Government of any foreign power.
Art. 6. The administration of Palestine, while insuring that the rights and position of other sections of the population are not prejudiced, shall facilitate Jewish immigration under suitable conditions and shall encourage, in cooperation with the Jewish agency referred to in article 4, close settlement by Jews on the land, including State lands and waste lands not required for public purposes.
ART. 7. The administration of Palestine will be responsible for enacting a nationality law. There shall be included in this law provisions framed so as to facilitate the acqu'sition of Palestinian citizenship by Jews who take up their permanent residence in Palestine.
ART. 8. The immunities and privileges of foreigners, including the benefits of consular jurisdiction and protection as formerly enjoyed by capitulation or usage in the Ottoman Empire, are definitely abrogated in Palestine.
Art. 9. The mandatory shall be responsible for seeing that the judicial system established in Palestine shall safeguard (a) the interests of foreigners; (b) the law and (to the extent deemed expedient) the jurisdiction now existing in Palestine with regard to questions arising out of the religious beliefs of certain communities (such as the laws of Wakf and personal status). In par. ticular, the mandatory agrees that the control and administration of Wakfs shall be exercised in accordance with religious law and the dispositions of the founders.
ART. 10. Pending the making of special extradition agreements relating to Palestine, the extradition treaties in force between the mandatory and other foreign powers shall apply to Palestine.
ART. 11. The administration of Palestine shall take all necessary measures to safeguard the interests of the community in connection with the development of the country, and, subject to article 311 of the treaty of peace with Turkey, shall have full power to provide for public ownership or control of any of the natural resources of the country, or of the public works, services, and utilities established or to be established therein. It shall introduce a land system appropriate to the needs of the country, having regard, among other things, to the desirability of promoting the close settlement and intensive cultivation of the land.
The administration may arrange with the Jewish agency mentioned in article 4 to construct or operate, upon fair and equitable terms, any public works, services, and utilities, and to develop any of the natural resources of the country, in so far as these matters are not directly undertaken by the ad.. ministration. Any such arrangements shall provide that no profits distributed by such agency, directly or indirectly, shall exceed a reasonable rate of interest on the capital, and any further profits shall be utilized by it for the benefit of the country in a manner approved by the administration.
ART. 12. The mandatory shall be intrusted with the control of the foreign relations of Palestine and the right to issue exequaturs to consuls appointed by foreign powers. It shall also be entitled to afford diplomatic and consular protection to citizens of Palestine when outside its territorial limits.
ART. 13. All responsibility in connection with the holy places and religious buildings or sites in Palestine, including that of preserving existing rights, of securing free access to the holy places, religious buildings, and sites and the free exercise of worship, while insuring the requirements of public order and decorum, is assumed by the mandatory, who will be responsible solely to the League of Nations in all matters connected therewith: Provided, That nothing in this article shall prevent the mandatory from entering into such arrangement as he may deem reasonable with the administration for the purpose of carrying the provisions of this article into effect: And provided also, That nothing in this mandate shall be construed as conferring upon the mandatory authority to interfere with the fabric or the management of purely Moslem sacred shrines, the immunities of which are guaranteed.
Art. 14. In accordance with article 95 of the treaty of peace with Turkey, the mandatory undertakes to appoint as soon as possible a special commission to study and regulate all questions and claims relating to the different religious communities. In the composition of this commission the religious interests concerned will be taken into account. The chairman of the commission will be appointed by the Council of the League of Nations. It will be the duty of this commission to insure that certain holy places, religious buildings, or sites regarded with special veneration by the adherents of one particular religion are intrusted to the permanent control of suitable bodies representing the adherents of the religion concerned. The selection of the holy places, religious buildings, or sites so to be intrusted shall be made by the commission, subject to the approval of the mandatory.
The rights of control conferred under this article will be guaranteed by the League of Nations.