Page images

abitants. The newer colonies that have been established in Palestine are mostly n the cooperative basis, because they are composed of working people generally, ho are engaging in cooperative agricultural work.

Doctor LAZARON. The sum total of the population of all the colonies is somehere between 65,000 and 80,000.

The CHAIRMAN. I understood there are 76,000 Jews there.
Mr. LIPSKY. That includes the population in the cities.
Doctor PHILIPSON. The entire Jewish population is about 76,000.

Mr. LIPSKY. The total Jewish population is estimated to be between 75,000 ind 85,000, and the population dwelling in the agricultural colonies would be bout 12,000. There are about 12,000 in colonies that are established on their wn foundations and maintained by individuals, and probably about 3,000 or 1,000 in those cooperative colonies. There are about 16,000, all told, working on farms.

The CHAIRMAN. Pardon my interruption, Doctor, but I wanted that information in the record.

Mr. MOORES. Did not Sir Moses Montefiore establish a Zionist colony somewhere?

Doctor LAZARON. He made visits to Palestine and attempted to bring certain Jewish people there.

Doctor PHILIPSON. He visited Palestine.
Mr. MOORES. Did he not form a colony somewhere?
Doctor PHILIPSON. No, sir; he founded no colonies at all.

Doctor LAZARON. The whole situation sums itself up in my mind in this way: The Jewish people of the world, through the generosity of Great Britain and through the Balfour pronouncement, have been given the opportunity to go to Palestine, and there, by the sweat of their brows, to lay the foundation of a new life. They do not ask for any special privileges.

If I understand the spirit of the Jewish people, the Jewish pioneer in Palestine says, “ Give me this opportunity ; I do not want any special privilege.” When I was in Palestine I saw about 2,000 young men who had come from some section of southeastern Europe, and they were breaking stone under the pitiless, blinding Palestine sun. I spoke to them and said, “Are you disappointed, or did you expect to do this sort of thing when you came?” They said, “We did not expect to do this, and we were disappointed, but only the weaker ones go.” I said to them, “What do you want to do?” They said, “ We want to dig in the soil of the Holy Land with our hands. We want to get back to the land." That, gentlemen, is all that the Jew asks. Now, since you have adopted a policy of restricted immigration to this country, which I think is wise, and since the only place in the world where the Jew can go and get any opportunity is in the South American Republics, and since there are hundreds of thousands of Jews in southeastern Europe who are knocking at the frontiers of every one of those lands saying, “Let me out, I want to go to Palestine," I think they should have this opportunity. I do not want to go; my children do not want to go; but, as a Jew, and recognizing the fact that a sister, nation like Great Britain has assumed the responsibility for this mandate under whose terms justice is assured to all, I say that when these Jews come to us and say, “Give us this opportunity ; we do not want any favors, but we only want a chance," and that is all they ask. I say the opportunity should be given them. The passage of this resolution merely states to the world that our country takes its stand by Great Britain in desiring to confer upon the Jews who care to go to Palestine the chance that they ask. That, gentlemen, to my mind, is a summary of the whole situation,

The CHAIRMAN. Before the Balfour declaration was made, there was nothing to hinder any Jew who desired to go to Palestine from going, was there?

Doctor LAZARON. No, sir.

The CHAIRMAN. That was true for, perhaps, at least 50 years, because they have been establishing colonies there during that time. The difficulty that is experienced in going now has arisen since the Balfour declaration was made.

Mr. FISH. Of course, a Jew might have been able to go to Palestine during the Turkish régime, but he was never assured of his property rights. His possessions might be taken away from him at any time, and there were all kinds of trouble under the Turkish régime. There was no absolute security under Turkish rule, whether in Palestine or any other place. Naturally, the Jewish people would not like to take the chance of going there and securing property without knowing what would happen to it.

Doctor LAZARON. And even more than that, because during the war the group sections of Europe where, perhaps, more than one-half of the Jews of the world live, were devastated, and hundreds of thousands of Jews lived out in the forests under lean-tos. Then, through the activities of the Zionist organization, this hope that had burned in the heart of the Jew for centuries seemed about to be realized. It became, not a dream or a fancy, but it was lifted into the realm of practical politics through the pronouncement of the Balfour declaration,

Mr. FISH. There are thousands of Jews to-day in such cities as Vienna, Warsaw, and Budapest, for instance, where they are out of work and where they are starving. They would be glad of this opportunity to go to Palestine, would they not?

Doctor LAZARON. Yes, sir.

Mr. FISH. There is one other question I would like to ask you: Many of the speakers here have said that the Jew 'is simply a commission merchant or business man, and does not know how to till the soil. I know that in many instances Jews have been successful agriculturists in this country, and we have in the United States Jewish agricultural societies. I know that in my own district we have quite a considerable number of Jewish farmers who are a little more prosperous than the ordinary farmers. There is nothing that I can see that would prevent the Jew from going back and becoming a very good farmer. Do you know of anything that would prevent them from going back to the land and becoming farmers?

Doctor LAZARON. No, sir. One of the reasons that prompted Great Britain to issue the Balfour declaration was that that country is now a link in the chain of the British Empire, and the only people who will get down to the soil are the Jews, and England knows that.

Mr. COCKRAN. You mean the soil of Palestine?
Doctor LAZARON. Yes, sir.

Mr. SABATH. The majority of those who go there, go for that purpose, do they not?

Doctor LAZARON. Yes, sir.

Mr. COCKRAN. That is the only opportunity open to them, is it not? The only industry that is open to the Jew at this stage in Palestine is agriculture of some form, or the cultivation of the soil, so that if he goes there, he must go there with the intention of making a living out of the soil primarily.

Doctor LAZARON. Yes, sir.

I just want to give you one picture of the relationship between the Arab and the Jew. I do not want to take up too much of the committee's time, but this is a matter I would like to present. Last Easter, a year ago, there was a riot at Joppa, and in the little suburb of Tel Alsib, just outside of Joppa, still suffering from the blow, still fearful of the Arabs, the Jewish people were living under tents. At Rishon L' Tsion, 8 miles out of Joppa, there is a beautiful Jewish colony. Before the Jew came there that was all desert land, but now it all blooms and blossoms. There are about 3,000 people there. Now, to my complete surprise, when we approached Rishon we saw scores of ! Arabs, who were leaving the colony and going to their villages around about. Those Arabs had been employed by the Jewish people in that colony for the vintage season. I say this to you in order to show you how deeply forgiving is the spirit of the Jew, because 20 of his brethren had been killed just a few months previously. Nevertheless he was giving employment and living in peace with the murderers of his brethren.

The CHAIRMAN. I do not know that you would be justified in calling the trouble at Joppa a pogrom. The British investigation disclosed that there was a controversy between Bolshevik Jews or labor-party Jews

Mr. COCKRAN (interposing). Are you quite accurate in that? The preliminary statement says that it was started from a rumor going out among the Arabs that certain Arabs were held as prisoners in a Jewish colony. That was the preliminary statement, and it was stated that various efforts were made to spread among the Arabs information that that was not true. That is called the preliminary report.

Mr. MOORES. How extensively is Hebrew spoken in Palestine?

Doctor LAZARON. Practically entirely among the colonies, and especially among the children.

Mr. MOORES. Do they speak Hebrew or Yiddish ?

Doctor LAZARON. Those who have just come usually speak Yiddish. There is quite a problem in the education of the children of the recent immigrants, because the children who are growing up go to school and learn Hebrew, and

ery frequently the parents can not understand it. However, Hebrew is the nguage of Palestine. Mr. MOORES. Hebrew language is used among the Jews there? Doctor LAZARON. Yes, sir. Mr. MOORES. Do the Arabs speak Turkish or Arabic? Doctor LAZARON. Arabic.

Mr. COCKRAN. I did not have the benefit of hearing the beginning of your ddress, but I gather from your answer to Mr. Fish's question that you have raveled through those countries of Europe where the Jewish question is quite cute?

Doctor LAZARON. Yes, sir.

Mr. COCKRAN. You have seen the condition of the Jew in central and south'astern Europe? Doctor LAZARON. Yes, sir.

Mr. COCKRAN. Is it not a fact that in a great many of those eastern countries, specially those that have been newly set up as independent nationalities, there

a disposition to exclude the Jews or to drive them out, as, for instance, from Poland?

Doctor LAZARON. Yes, sir.

Mr. COCKRAN. When he is driven from one country and reaches the frontier, he is stopped by the authorities of the other country and driven back, so that the most of them are practically wanderers.

Doctor LAZARON. Yes, sir; that is it.

Mr. COCKRAN. Is there any place in Europe to-day where there is a prospect of the Jew finding a resting place, or a place where he may exercise his industrial powers? Is there any place for him to go?

Doctor LAZARON. Nowhere except to the South American republics, Mexico, or possibly south Africa.

Mr. COCKRAN. He is practically excluded now under the immigration laws of the United States, is he not?

Mr. CONNALLY. That statement is hardly fair, because he is not excluded from the United States as a Jew.

Mr. COCKRAN. He is not excluded as a Jew, but under the operation of the immigration act he is practically excluded from coming from those European centers of Jewish population. What I am asking now is whether, outside of the South American republics, which are at a greater distance from Europe, and to which the cost of transportation is great, there is a spot anywhere in or around Europe where the Jew can cultivate the soil, or where he could be admitted to what might be called an industrial opportunity?

Doctor LAZARON. There is no place, and that is quite true. Besides that, there is the desire of hundreds of thous:ınds of Jews for Palestine.

Mr. COCKRAN. That is the spiritual side of it, but I was speaking of the political and economic aspect of it.

Mr. MOORES. Are there any periodicals published by the Jews in Palestine?

Dortor LAZARON. Yes, sir; there are three journals published by the Hasolel Publishing Co., one in Hebrew, one in Arabic, and one in English. The English journal is the Palestine Weekly.

Mr. MOORES. One is printed in Hebrew, and not in Yiddish ?
Doctor LAZARON. They are printed in Hebrew, Arabic, and Yiddish.
Mr. MOORES. In printing in modern Hebrew do they use the vowel mark?
Doctor LAZARON. No, sir; they do not in the newspapers.

Mr. MOORE. I waut to ask one question : As I understand it, the Balfour pronouncement is embodied almost literally in the terms of the mandate under which Great Britain proposes to act in Palestine. The exact provisions of the regulations under which she is going to act hereafter have been, as we are informed, subn to English Parliament and have been submitted to he Council of the League of Nations for approval this month. Have you studied the draft containing those provisions and regulations with a view to determining how far they go or what is proposed ? Have you had occasion to do that?

Doctor LAZARON. Yes, sir; I have read through the draft of the mandate.

Mr. MOORE. The reason I ask you that is this: You seem to premise your discussion altogether upon the terms of the Balfour declaration, and I wanted to know if you had gone further and considered the terms that are carried in this draft?

Doctor LAZARON. Yes, sir; I have read the draft of the mandate.
Mr. MOORE. There is not anything there that changes your view?
Doctor LAZARON. No, sir.

Mr. LINTHICUM. Doctor, there is one thing I would like for you to explain to the committee: Yesterday there was something said about Doctor Eder or about some statement that he made in reference to wanting to make Palestine solely a Jewish home. I want to know whether you know anything about that, or whether that is really the prevalent idea among the Jews.

Doctor LAZARON. There are among all parties radical leaders, who in the enthusiasm of the moment will express themselves perhaps unwisely. That happened in this instance, just as it will happen everywhere. Some sich expression as this has been used by Doctor Weizmann: “We will make Palestine just as Jewish as England is English." I believe that has been discountenanced and is not accepted by the conservative leaders of the Jewish people at all.

Now, gentlemen, in conclusion let me state a summary of my position: I am not talking as a Zionist. Of course, I must speak as a Jew, but I am not interested in the political end of this thing at all. I am interested in the opportunity which Great Britain has given to the Jewish people to build up Palestine, together with the Arabs, and not with any preferential rights or privileges. I am interested as an American citizen in seeing our country, so long as this resolution has been introduced, take its stand by the side of Great Britain in this matter, which is one of humanity.

Mr. Fish. You have read this resolution, a copy of which I introduced, and which is known as the Lodge resolution?

Doctor LAZARON. Yes, sir.
Mr. Fish. I understand that you are in favor of this particular resolution?

Doctor LAZARON. I am in faror of the Lodge resolution, because it embodies that phrase.

The CHAIRMAN. Before you sit down, Doctor, I call your attention to the statement attributed to Doctor Eder in the report of the commission of inquiry on the disturbances in May, 1921, as follows:

* He stated that, in his opinion, there can only be one national home in Palestine, and that a Jewish one, and no equality in the partnership between the Jews and Arabs, but a Jewish predominance as soon as the numbers of that race are sufficiently increased."

Doctor LAZARON. I do not agree with that point of view at all.

Mr. COCKRAN. Why would they not have the predominant voice in the gov. ernment if their numbers were greater than those of the other people in the country? How could you have any government or society if some one were not predominant or if the majority were not predominant? If the majority does not rule, then the minority must.

Doctor LAZARON. I believe that question was discussed before you came in. We discussed the question of what probably would be the future form of any Jewish commonwealth there.

The CHAIRMAN. For your information, Mr. Cockran, I will say that I asked him if the Jews would not control the Government when they had a majority.

Mr. COCKRAN. Why would they not do so? Who would have the control if the majority did not have it?

Mr. LINTHICUM. Perhaps the Jews would not wish to elect all the officers from their own people.

Mr. COCKRAN. That is not the question, but they would control it just as much if they elected others.

Mr. LINTHICUM. I believe that six or eight years ago they had a Jewish mayor of Rome, and in that case the Italians certainly did not criticise their control by the election of one of their own people.

Mr. COCKRAN. There can be no objection to majority control.

Doctor LAZARON. I believe that the mandate would be carried out, guaranteeing, as it does, the civil and political rights of other people.

Mr. Fish. There are some congressional districts in New York City that are overwhelmingly Jewish in population, but they elect Christians from those districts to represent them. The same thing would probably occur over there.

Mr. LINTHICUM. That is the way I take it.

Mr. CONNALLY. Mr. Fish asked you whether or not you favored this particular resolution, and you expressed your desire that the United States stand by the side of Great Britain and support the project. Now, what do you think of the proposition that Great Britain might feel that she was entirely capable of attending to this matter without any suggestion from us?

Dr. LAZARON. That is another question. Perhaps it might have been wiser if it had not been introduced.

Mr. CONNALLY, Would not that go to the propriety of this resolution?

Mr. COCKRAN. I do not think we should rat'fy the acts of any foreign governdent.

Mr. Fish. I want at this juncture to make a statement to the committee in egard to the resolutions before the committee if I may have the permission of he Chairman, I introduced the original resolution as a concurrent resolution, hen I introduced another resolution, of exactiy the same character, as a joint resolution, because I thought it would be of greater effect if the President signed it. Then I understood from certain sources that Senator Lodge had seen the Secretary of State, Mr. Hughes, and that he had approved the so-called Lodge resolution, and that resolution has also been introduced. I have no preference between the resolutions and gladly leave the choice entirely in the hands of the committee. Of course, the committee will have to decide which resolution they desire to adopt. As I have said, the so-called Lodge resolution has the approval of the Secretary of State. The resolution that I introduced has been seen by the Secretary of State, and he has commented on it and suggested certain corrections. He has no objection to it. The other one has the approval of the Secretary of State. Both of the resolutions will come before the committee in executive session, and it will be up to the committee to decide which of them they want to adopt or reject.

Mr. COCKRAN. I do not think we should be put in the position of asking the witness to express a preference as between the resolutions.

Mr. Fish. If the gentleman has a preference in the matter, I think it is but fair to allow him to express it.

Mr. COCKRAN. I am perfectly willing to express my sympathy with the idea, but when it comes to ratifying the specific acts of some other country, I do not think we should do it.

Mr. LINTHICUM. I did not exactly understand you, Mr. Cockran. Do you not think that the witness should express a preference as between the resolutions ?

Mr. COCKRAN. Mr. Fish asked him that question. I do not think he should be asked to express any preference.

Mr. LINTHICUM. The witness has a perfect right to express a reference for this resolution.

Mr. COCKRAN. He has that right—that is true.


Doctor PHILIPSON. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen, I have listened with a great deal of interest to the proceedings thus far. I will try to present this matter to you from a different angle, possibly, than has been done thus far. There seems to be a sort of idea, especially among nonJews, that this whole matter of a Palestine commonwealth, or the Balfour declaration, is congenial to all Jews. There is a very decided difference of opinion upon it, and I do not know that this has been brought out before the committee.

The CHAIRMAN. It has been to some extent.
Doctor PHILIPSON. I think it should be brought out.
The CHAIRMAN. We would like for you to give us the details.

Doctor PHILIPSON. I would like to speak first from that standpoint, and, secondly, from the standpoint of an American. There is a very decided cleavage of opinion among the Jews in this country on the matter of Zionism. There are those of us who feel that Jewish nationalism does not express the true interpretation of Judaism. We feel that Judaism is a religion, and that we are nationals of the country in which we are born and in which we live.

That is the decided opinion of quite a large number of Jews, and to prove this statement of mine I will read to you some official documents of great representative organizations of Jews. The chief lay organization of Jews in this country, so far as the liberal Jews are concerned, is the Union of American Hebrew Congregations. That organization comprises, I think, nearly 300 congregations, some of them the largest in the country and ranging down to the smallest ones. That organization meets in council every two years. Shortly after the Zionist movement was launched the Union of American Hebrew Congregations had a meeting in Richmond, where they adopted a resolution on that subject. In all the subsequent conventions that resolution has never been changed, and it stands today. That resolution reads as follows:

“We are unalterably opposed to political Zionism. The Jews are not a nation, but a religious community. Zion was a precious possession of the past, the early home of our faith, where our prophets uttered their world-subduing

« PreviousContinue »