« PreviousContinue »
Mr. KENNEDY. If to-day there were not 100 Jews in Palestine, would you still hold for the justice of the proposition ?
Mr. GOLDBERG. I am just coming to that.
Mr. GOLDBERG. You have hit the nail 'on the head by asking that at first. This is a fundamental question. The first fundamental is : Are we entitled to a land ? Now, we come to the second, that you have touched upon, the second fundamental.
Mr. KENNEDY. I think that that is the essence of the whole question.
Mr. GOLDBERG. We are getting back to ihe next question, which is about Palestine. Is Palestine the homeland of the Jews? As you said, suppose there were not 100 Jew's there. Would we still claim that Palestine is our home? I say yes. The reason why is this: The Jew was forced to leave Palestine. He did not do it because he wanted to. Read Jewish history. Read Josephus and you must impartially admit that the grandest fight that was ever put up against an enemy.was put up by the Jew. We never thought of leaving Palestine. But we were driven out. Did the Jew, when he was driven out, give up his hope of getting back there? Jewish history and literature give the answer to that question. Never! Take our prayer book. We have even a fast day devoted to the day of the destruction of the Jewish homeland. We never throughout history gave up our hope of returning there. We are this very day celebrating the last days of Passover in every synagogue, with the exception of a few reform Jews, who do not count. Even among them we have the best men for us, as Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, Rabbi Martin Meyer, Rabbi Max Heller, and Professor Newmark, of the Union College. In a word, the best minds among them believe in the necessity of reestablishing the Jewish land. But I speak of the Jewish people. The Reform Jews are simply a small branch, insignificant according to the numbers. Ninety per cent of the Jews to-day are praying for the return of the Jewish people to its own home. We never gave up the idea. We never have forgotten it. On the other hand, see what happened to Palestine. Was Palestine during the ages taken over and held by anybody in the sense of a homeland of any other people? No. I do not know whether you are religious or not. It is a ma‘ter of personal views, but there is something providential in the fact that Palestine for 1,800 years was not conquered by anybody or settled, but remained in desolation to this very day as if waiting for the rečurn of its people.
Of course, gentlemen, if you go to Palestine, as I was there, you would see that whatever there is yet of the culture in that land it is still the reminder of what the Jews have done there. It is still Jerusalem, still Jaffa, still the Mount of Olives, still Carmel, and the other names remain yet. It is still Bethlehem, it is still Nazareth, nothing has changed. Jewish law is still imprinted in every step you take, every little mountain or big mountain, every hillock, every stream. It is still the same Jordan. Nothing has been changed. Yes, sir; something was changed. I do not want to speak against the Turks. We are through with them; but surely they have ravaged our country. They made a mess of it. Everything was destroyed ; they felled the trees. You know what the Bible tells us about our land flowing with milk and honey. There is no honey there now and the milk is dried out. They made a fine mess of it. That is what they have accomplished, and it is still waiting in desolation for an industrious people to come in and make a real land in accordance with the picture in the Bible. That is what is going to happen, gentlemen. That is what we want to do there.
Mr. ACKERMAN. Have they destroyed the forests of Mount Lebanon?
Mr. GOLDBERG. Lebanon is cultivated to-day. In Palestine the trees were felled and destroyed. There were trees planted called the eucalyptus. Even the Arabs over there call it the tree of the Jews, because the Jews introduced it.
The CHAIRMAN. When was the eucalyptus planted there?
Mr. ACKERMAN. Between Jerusalem and Jericho how much devastation did they do during the war?
Mr. GOLDBERG. I am not speaking of the war. I am speaking of the ages. The land’was devastated, and I do not speak of one particular place.
Mr. KENNEDY. You mean that the place was already desolated. If it was already desolated before the war, the war would not desolate it.
Mr. GOLDBERG. I did not speak of the war. That is what I want to say. Within these 1,800 years, if anything of culture remained there—if anything of importance remained there—it was still from the ages when the Jew was there. Since then
Mr. KENNEDY (interposing). My statement was directed to the other gentleman.
The CHAIRMAN. What is the total Jewish population of Palestine?
Mr. GOLDBERG. I am coming to that. That is the particular point. Before the war we had there about 100,000. During the war many Jews died, and no Jews have come in, or not very many, and the Jews died in the number of about 14,000 in Jerusalem alone. We have now nearly 90,000.
The CHAIRMAN. The population of Jews in Palestine has been running along about 100,000 for perhaps a century.
Mr. GOLDBERG. The real movement began 25 years ago; that is, the movement of repeopling the land by Jews.
Mr. ACKERMAN. How many years?
Mr. GOLDGERG. Twenty-five years ago the great movement began. The first Zionist congress was called then.
Mr. Fish. How many Jews were there in Palestine 50 years ago?
Mr. GOLDBERG. We had no statistics under the Turks, but you may be sure they were few. Fifty years ago there may have been 40,000 approximately. There were no statistics. We were dealing with the Turks.
The CHAIRMAN. When did the Jewish population in Palestine reach its lowest number, or were they all driven out?
Mr. GOLDBERG. Reached its lowest number?
Mr. GOLDBERG. For instance, 500 or 600 years ago there were not even a handful of Jews, not enough to hold a prayer meeting. You have to have 10 Jews in order that you may hold such a prayer meeting. Well, they did not even have enough to be able to pray together, so few they were.
The CHAIRMAN. Assuming that 500 years ago there were no Jews in Pal. estine
Mr. GOLDBERG (interposing). Almost very few.
The CHAIRMAN. Let me ask the question. The growth of the population was Very slow?
Mr. GOLDBERG. Very.
The CHAIRMAN. The Jews at the present time or before the war numbered about 100,000 ?
Mr. GOLDBERG. Yes.
The CHAIRMAN. As I understand you, all of the Jews throughout the world are desirous of returning to Palestine. What is there to prevent any Jew that desires to do so from purchasing property in Palestine and living there without any assistance from the American Congress or the British Government or anybody else?
Mr. GOLDBERG. The answer is very plain, Mr. Chairman. Under the Turks there was a law preventing Jewish immigration. The Jew that entered the land received a ticket of permission to stay there a short while and then he had to get out. I do not want to speak against the Arabian nationality, but Jewish lives were not secure there. I will show you what happened in the last few years, and that is the reason, actually, why we are here. Why do I stand here to plead with you? To make this land accessible to the Jew, to secure Jewish life and property there; in order to do that certain rights must obtain. Palestine is not a land like the West in this country where you could come and get a piece of property and settle it and make your home there. No; the land has to be bought. It has to be drained and made sanitary. It needs a great deal of money to do that. Besides, you have to turn a population that is not farmers into colonists. This is a very hard task. Millions of dollars are necessary to do that. To take a man who was in the city for 2,000 years, a city dweller, and turn him into a colonist is a hard task. You can imagine how long it will take to make this land arable, to make it productive. Consequently we neer?
money, we need sympathy, we need the support of the world behind this. Otherwise we could go in there and Jewish history may tragically repeat itself.
Mr. ACKERMAN. Is there not a great deal of land between Jaffa and before you get into the hills into Jerusalem?
Mr. GOLDBERG. There is a good deal of land, but it is occupied. But there is other land one could buy. There is other land to be improved. The Jewish colonies were made out of swamps. Take one colony, for instance, Hederah. When I was there the first thing I did was to go to the cemetery. Why? 'Because so many of them died out in a very short while due to malaria, with which the land was infested. But now the climate there is excellent. Holes were bored deep in the soil for water. I saw the Arabs coming to the well and getting that water fresh from the well. How did they do it? That was pre pared; it cost money. You can not say, Mr. Chairman, let it go free. In order to get that we must raise millions of dollars. So we come here asking and pleading with you to give us this moral support necessary so that the Jew shall know that if he goes in there he is not going to have his work and energy put in there, to be again deprived of his property and again driven into a new exile.
The CHAIRMAN. How does the moral support of the American Congress protect the Jews in Palestine?
Mr. GOLDBERG. The moral support counts for very much. You need not protect them in the sense that you are going to send armies and navies. I do not mean it in that sense. I mean that we want to have it proclaimed by the American people that you look with favor upon the establishment of a Jewish home.
Mr. COOPER. A century ago, a very great American, one of the greatest intellects of modern times in this or any country, an American statesman, Daniel Webster, thought that the resolution passed by the American Congress in sympathy with the Greeks fighting the Turks would help the Greeks.
Mr. GOLDBERG. That is it exactly, and what we are pleading for, what the Irish were voted and given--sympathy—and we are pleading for what the Czecho-Slovaks had.
The CHAIRMAN. The Jews are not fighting with the Turks. The Turks are out of there.
Mr. GOLDBERG. I did not hear that.
Mr. GOLDBERG. The Jews of Palestine to-day are disturbed by agitators who are going around among this very population that we would like to live peaceably with, and spread all kinds of rumors against the Jews. We therefore must once for all know that if we go to Palestine that we are protected by the moral support of the world, and, naturally, by the British who are there and try to hold the scales of justice evenly.
Mr. COCKRAN. The British are there now.
Mr. COCKRAN. Let me suggest this for consideration. Suppose the present system were continued and the British mandate was the authority there, there would be nothing to prevent the Jews from coming and buying land, would there?
Mr. GOLDBERG. Assuming the present condition is continued.
Mr. COCKRAN. And if the British authority were maintained there, the Jews would feel safe then in coming in, buying land, and investing their money?
Mr. GOLDBERG. Yes.
Mr. COCKRAN. What you want there is the continuance of the present conditions or else the substitution of some system yet to be clerised by which the Jew will be protected?
Mr, GOLDBERG. Yes, sir.
Mr. COCKRAN. All that you insist upon according to that is that if there is any change in the present system provision should be made to insure the safety of the Jews; I mean to secure property and opportunity.
Mr. GOLDBERG. Perfectly right. The only thing that we want at this moment is to have America line up with all the other great nations who have indorsed the stand of Great Britain.
Mr. LINTHICUM. You think this resolution will indorse the British mandate over Palestine?
Mr. GOLDBERG. It is not a question of the mandate. We have not included that. It is the moral support of the principle of a Jewish homeland that we ask for. We want to be satisfied to say to ourselves that America, that great Republic, is in sympathy with this great cause. That is all.
Mr. KENNEDY. You do not mean that you will be satisfied for that British mandate to go on forever, to get your protection from that?
Mr. GOLDBERG. No.
Mr. KENNEDY. What you want is for that to continue as long as necessary, and then the time will come when you will direct your own government?
Mr. FISH. When they have a majority.
Mr. KENNEDY. That does not accord with what you just said in respect to Mr. Cockran's question.
Mr. GOLDBERG. I said we are satisfied for the time being. I do not see any contradiction in that; but, for further elucidation, the word mandate” means the same thing we mean when we speak in the case of a minor
Mr. KENNEDY (interposing), A mandate is a trusteeship?
Mr. LINTHICUM. The highest figures I have seen quoted were 70,000, and most of them say 60,000. Where do you get your statistics?
Mr. GOLDBERG. I did not say a hundred thousand. I said about 90,000.
Mr. GOLDBERG. Before the war. There is an influx. That was Mr. Lipsky. There has been a monthly increase.
Mr. LIPSKY. There has been a monthly increase.
Mr. LINTHICUM. It has not increased so rapidly. There are 60,000 to 70,000. Is that correct?
Mr. COOPER. One of the speakers said yesterday that the influx was 1,500 a month. That would be 18,000 a year.
Mr. GOLDBERG. Of late there has been an increase,
Mr. GOLDBERG. It is guesswork; no statistics. But I want to say this: That if the influx of immigration would not be stopped, and if we could have our chances for free development—within the last two years we had three massacres in Palestine, which frightened away the Jews. If we are to go to Palestine and be massacred, where is the redemption; where is that great idea ? That puts a quietus on that movement. But if liberty were secured, if all good Christians would voice their sentiments—that they will not tolerate massacres in Palestine; that they demand that there be peace, peace for everyone, and allow the Jews to go in there and live peacefully; then I assure you that there would, as quoted yesterday, in 10 years be a half a million Jews in Palestine.
Mr. COLE. You say there are about 700,000 Arabs in Palestine?
Mr. COLE. You could not assume control of that country until after you have gotten rid of them or until you outnumbered them?
Mr. GOLDBERG. Our intention is not to get rid of anybody.
Mr. GOLDBERG. The point is this: It does not necessarily mean that the 700,000 Arabs would vote against the real interests of Palestine were there not special men who go around egging the population on and advising them not to allow the Jews to come in there were there not these anti-Semitics.
Mr. COLE. Would not they insist upon having their government as long as they are in the majority?
Mr. GOLDBERG. You take it as though the 700,000 Arabs are all inimical to the Jews, but that is not the case.
Mr. COLE. Would you not in process of time have a protracted struggle between the Arabs and the Jews in the same way as they have the north and south of Ireland situation?
Mr. GOLDBEBE. No. I am not a prophet and I am not prophesying here, but I do not see it. I will explain why. I would have come to it anyhow; but since sou ask me I will answer. Out of this war the Arabs have obtained Arabia. They also hare Mesopotamia and they have Syria and Egypt. They have plenty of places in which to develop their nationality. As a nation they have benefited greatly as a result of the war. Before the war they were under the Toke of the Turk. Now they have their own kingdom in Arabia, and they nave Mesopotamia, which ovuld maintain 30.000.000 people
Mr. COLE They would be willing to go out of Palestine?
Mr. GOLDBERG. No; I do not think that. I do not beliere they should go out. We do not want to hare the land purely Jewish. We will have Christians, Mohamelans, and Jews there. If all religions can not live in Palestine peace fully, whertin ovuld we? Palestine should serve as an example to the world. All three rel gions will live there peacefully. As a matter of fact, no one can acrust us that we have done anything in that land to injure anybody; on the contrary, we hare benefited the land.
Mr. KENNEDY. Your policy is not to be antagonistie but to cooperate?
Mr. GOLDBERG. We bare no figures, but I would say the Jewish population is $0.00 300013: it may be 35.00: il fluctuates.
Mr. KESSEDY. The Jews predominate!
Mr. COOPER Mar I make a suggestion without desiring to dietate? Yesterday the professor had a carefully prepared disenare. He was interrupted at interrals los questions not germane to the subject which he was discussing in the LIgress of his prepared discourse.
sir. GOLDIERG. Yes.
Nr. COOPEZ. The gentleman bas some prepared statement that has some sort of suggestions such as were made resteriar. Now, if he is to be interrupted ali asked questions up on this subject ani upon that, without any relation to the argument that he is making it will disrupt and destros the effect of his statement. I should say it rould be well to contine questions to the subject he is discussing as he proceeris That is it seems to me, the fair way to the speaker if he is to be limitel at all in time.
Jir. LINTHICTY. One or two questions I hare to ask.
Mr. GOLIRERE. I should say that we have thre ami a half millions in this country.
The CHARYAX, Proceed.
Mr. GOLDBERG. I want to tell you gentlemen, that Zionism did not start with the World War. Zionism is not a new-fanglei morement. It started 24 years ago and we then made our position very clear, under which conditions we want to go to Palestine. These are the rers words of the program that was formulated at that time: " A publiels Hurai, a legally assured home and in Palestine." The words “publicly #urd " were used because we believed that unless we had the support of the nations it is ef ne use for a helpless maple to go in there and try to build up the land. As a Congressman very apils sid vesterday, the Jews had rery sad experiences. We were building in a lands we were living in Span, France, and in many other countries but as aan as we had reached a certain measure of importance and greatness me were driven out. That happened to us many, many times. What is the knee then of going into Palestime to do that over again? We want to have pubiicr hur? rights so that we will be a nation in the world like Switzerland, like Besium, and hare the support of the world. That is whr we ask the United Stares to help us Our aim was made very clear. There was ne krer about that and there is no use in bringing pieces of paper here to make it appear that there are dark secrets.
First, we had a Congress in the open, before the word to pralaim what we want, asking the world to help us main for the Jewish pede a place in the sun again. That was one of the principles Unless we have the esistance of the dations of the world, the Jew can net let?n his own hente Call there be any secret spoken so openly? As I said, it mas 94 reers 29 that we had our first