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An interesting account of Political Zionism, the movement for a homeland, and the secular one state vs the non secular two state solutions

August 27, 2014

Letters from The Rt Hon Sir Isaac Alfred Isaacs QC KCMG GCMG GCB (6 June 1855 – 11 February 1948) to The Hebrew Standard of Australasia published during November 1943

POLITICAL ZIONISM. (1943, October 28). The Hebrew Standard of Australasia (Sydney, NSW : 1895 – 1953), p. 2. Retrieved August 27, 2014, from

Tne Editor,

‘The Hebrew Standard,’ ‘ Sydney. Dear Sir, In specially asking the serious attention of the Jewish Community to the sub ject of Political Zionism at this juncture ? I wish to make my purpose clear. With all my Australian co-religionists . I share to the full their deep and sincere anxiety for the rescue and salvation -so

far as humanly possible of the ‘Mori- turi’1 millions of Jewish victims and allother the millions of oppressed and tor tured peoples in Hitler’s sadistic poweror control. , But I am perfectly convinced that the present and future fate of the Jews of the World, both the potential and actual refugees, and even those who happily are far outside the danger zone of Nazism and the countries at present under’ its coercive influence is most seriously pre ‘ judiced by the advocacy »pf Political Zionism in any form and under- any guise. .It is, a peril whether presented openly and independently, or as a subtle ‘ ‘background to the picture we have lately had of £he policy and attitude of the two great Democratic Governments and their . Bermuda Representatives. Political Zionism as it is pursued to day is from even the low standard of a selfish point of view imprudent to an astonishing degree. It is founded on principles that bear a striking resemblance to’ the slanderous doctrines that Hitler put forward as justifying AntiSemitism. Its advocacy is inconsistent ^ ‘with other ‘demands’ . that . are legitimate and are already granted by demo cratic nations. The ‘Demand’ forPalestine as a, ‘Jewish. State,’ is so far from being uniform in various Contin- ‘ents as to be self-contradictory in the means proposed, and in two of them’ is’decidedly anti-British. It is moreover – highly dangerous to the Empire, harassing to the British Government in a criti cal hour; it is unjust to another greatPeople; and in view of the consequences that have been plainly, repeatedly and i authoritatively pointed out, is ungrate ful to the Christian world. -Finally,, it is /impossible, but the incessant attempt to attain it detracts from the noble principles of our Religion. I do not rest content with merely stating these ob jections; I shall treat of them each In turn. .?’?’??? ‘ – What Is Political Zionism? The one feature that is invariable in the varying ‘demands’ of Political Zionism is that in some way, directly or indirectly, Palestine is to be converted , ?’ ? into an autonomous ‘Jewish -State’ or ‘Jewish Commonwealth.’ That is sought to be reached in one of two ways, the direct or the indirect. .First; and preferably in ‘the minds of \ ‘. Its advocates, it is urged that Palestine ^’ , , ‘ should be legally in some way not yet ,’y’ defined, constituted’ an autonomous ?n-y’ . ? ‘Jewish State.’ That necessarily means ;’ s1”’-. that the only citizens are Jews, for. f-v’1- *, ? otherwise the title would mean nothing. i *’ ‘ The only inhabitants of Palestine to be. [y ‘ ‘ ‘ invested with political power must in 7, – that event be Jews, either originally of (-,.(r , that faith or by conversion. That is evl y\ , dent on the surface by present day law. f’/ ‘ was as Chief Rabbi Herzog of ,;. ‘.’?’. Ireland has pointed out, one of the main ‘.V,,-. Institutions of the ancient Jewish law. V All other inhabitants would be ‘the ?’ ! governed’ only, until conversion, they : – _; ‘ j – would be unemancipated, and without ?y).^ – any power of the vote, or even of man U, ;\ r ? agement except that which was granted ?? ‘ to them by the Jewish population by law. ? , ‘ i1 , To put the converse case for a moment. C’ Suppose Palestine were constituted a * Moslem State, then Jews could never be :J-‘ , t , cltladen*,’ they would be politically as they ? ? \ ‘ ‘ ‘ i . ‘ ‘\ , !

?were in England before emancipation, and . perhaps worse off. That is the Direct Method. The alternative course that is sought as an indirect method of securing Jewish government of Palestine is the Immigra tion ‘demand.’ That demand is not confined to the admission of a substan tial number of Jewish immigrants con sistently with not ‘swamping’ the Arabs as has been frequently expressed, but it is to force the British Govern ment, even at the peril of arousing Mos lem hostility everywhere, to throw open wide the doors of Palestine to unlimited Jewish immigration, and under Jewish Control. This is going to the EXTREME: It would; of course, secure an over whelming and permanent majority of Jews over the Arabs, and thereby con stitute Palestine in fact a ‘Jewish State.’ The Arabs in Palestine and Moslems .there and. in other Countries whose atti tude in this war and afterwards is of the utmost importance to the Empire are definitely antagonistic to either method of creating a Jewish domination over the Arab population of Palestine, and re sist both ‘demands.’The Foundation of the ‘Demands.’ The foundation of the ‘demands,’ whether in ? Palestine, America, Eng- . land, or Australia, for Palestine as a ‘Jewish State’ is’ ; that the JEWISH PEOPLE ALL OVER THE WORLD ARE ONE NATION. It 1b claim ed that they are a distinct nation, that Palestine is their ‘Homeland,’ thatwherever they may be elsewhere they are ‘Exiles,’ are ‘homeless,’ are ‘Wan-derers,’ or even as in .an address to Jewish Youth in Australia, are ‘slaves,’ and in another Address’ are told they are leading ‘an abnormal life,’ How sane, patriotic, Australian Jews can listen, not merely without remons trance, but even with approbation, to such senseless absurdities, to such iin Australian deliverances, passes my com prehension. But some do’. ‘ How parents can permit the Jewish Youth of Australia to imbibe such doctrines is, to me, inconceivable. Sometimes in adult circles and gather ings as reported in the Jewish Press, we find quoted in support of a Jewish State1 two well-known lines from the i37th Psalm, without the slightest regard to their context or historical significance Enthusiastic Zionists repeat these lines with a fervour that does infinite credit to their religious devotion, but with an utter fprgetfulness of their ‘ inapplic ability to the political situation of this century or the condition of the Jewish people in the world , of to-day,: and it refers to the Babylonian captivity. Itrecords that the ‘tormentors’ of the Jews in Babylon asked of them: ‘Sing us one of the songs of Zion.’ The ans wer was: j . ‘.’???. ‘How shall we sing the Lord’s song In aj FOREIGN LAND?’ Then comes in’ the exclamation: .if I forget thee, O Jerusalem ; Let my right hand forget its cunning, . Let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth ? ? .If I. remember ;Thee not; If I set not Jerusalem Above my; chief est joy.’ The Jews were captives, unwilling dwellers in a Foreign Land; in sub jection; they’ were Allen. Do the enthusiastic quoters of the third and fourth lines I have mentioned regard Australia as a Foreign Land? Do they regard themselves as Aliens? Is Australia not their homeland? Have they now, or have they ever had during the years that it was possible without prohibition, the’ desire to leave Aus tralia and live in Palestine? Can they, lay their hands, upon their hearts and

declare that ‘if they set not a political Jerusalem above their chiefest joy, theyhope their right hand may lose its cuii ning, and that their tongue may cleave to the roof of their mouth? ; ,-. As an Australian Jew, 1 resent the epi thets ‘homeless,’ ‘exiles,’ ‘wanderers’ and ‘slave.’ I resent the necessary impli cation of them that. Australia is for the Jewish Community a ‘foreign land’ and that Jerusalem calls us to it as our poli tical ‘Homeland.’ These doctrines of Political Zionism might well have been taken as a para phrase from Hitler’s ‘Mein Kampf.’ I made . a point of that in earlier letters on the subject. Listen again to Hitlerwriting of the Jews. He’ says of the Jew: ‘He can live_ among other nations and States only so long as he succeeds in persuading them’ that they are not adistinct people, but the representatives of a religious faith, who thus constitute a religious community . . .’ ‘The peo ple who grant him hospitality may be led to believe that the Jew among them is ai genuine Frenchman for instance, anEnglishman or German or Italian who just happens to belong to a religious denomination which is different from that prevailing in those countries’.’ . . ; ‘Jewry has always been a nation of a definite racial character and never dif ferentiated mere^ by the fact of belong ing to a certain religion.’ ‘A SECTION OF THE JEWS AVOWS ITSELF QUITE, OPENLY AS AN ALIEN PEOPLE.’ He goes on to state that he there refers to, THE ZIONISTS. If the Political Zionists are right that we are ‘homeless’ and ‘exiles’, and ‘wanderers,’ that we live . everywhere but in Palestine an’ ‘abnormal life,’ that ‘Only in Palestine can we be at-home,’ that it is Palestine that is our ‘home- land,’ what possible answer can be made to Hitler? The real answer ‘to him is that what he’ says and what the political Zionists say is NOT TRUE. I ask , my fellow Jews in Australia: Why play into Hitler’s hands by such pestilent doc trines as. have been poured into the ears of our Jewish Youth? They must tend to weaken their Australian patriotism. Their Effect on Anti-Semitism. The Extreme Zionist doctrines promul gated are fuel for the fire of Anti Semitism. This was recently, in mem orable terms, pointed out in the .Houseof Lords. On September 10, 1942, the Earl of Listowel put the position withperfect clarity in a speech that should be’ taken to heart by all Australian Jewry who are not deaf to kindly but candid warnings, or blind to the perils to which those doctrines would expose them. He said: ‘The Nazi doctrine that . the Jews of the present day are a sep arate racial type whose inherent in feriority should be acknowledged by something akin to a slave status in society has its adherents all over the world.’ ‘The Anti-Semites. in this country (and there are many of them) are among the spiritual cousins of the German Nazis and the Italian, Fascisti.’ ‘It cannot be too often said, I think, that such theories have no scientific foundation whatever, and that they are one of the most pernicious and anti social inventions of anthropological mythology.’ ?-….’ ‘Curiously enough — it does not seem to have been very frequently pointed out —ANTI-SEMITISM AND JEWISH NA TIONALISM HAVE A CERTAIN AM OUNT IN COMMON. Both regard the Jews as a Separate People from the Gentiles, and) as STRANGERS AND ALIENS. in whatever country they may have settled over however long a period of time. They each- therefore have the EFFECT— though not, of course, so strongly in the. case of Jewish National ism—of ENCOURAGING that unfair dls -crimination between Jews and non-Jews in social life which one hopes will dis

appear as . completely . as the artificial ? barrier which for many centuries divid.H ed Catholics and Protestants!’ H ‘When it is generally, if not univer- 1sally realised that the Jews are in fact | .A RELIGIOUS COMMUNITY like the ICatholic .or Nonconformist- sects, aniifl that this is THE ONLY SUBSTANTIAL1 H DIFFERENCE between: them and usjfl they are bound to be accorded full Iequality of treatment — to enjoy in prao.. I tice as well as in theory all their right* I and privileges of citizenship.’ I I ask seriously is it not time, even’ I on the lower ground of the true material I welfare of the members of the Jewish I community, to abjure the ridiculous and H even pestilential doctrines that I have! I pointed to of ‘homelessness,’. ‘exile’ and i I the like? . ? How different they are from the Ipatriotic declarations of Claude Monte- I fiore, and of Gollancz, whose words re- I f erring to Britain, ‘I know no other, B country,’- proclaim his political creed, ?while he still finds the fullest scope for ? his ‘ religious devotion and his human ?sympathy. ..-‘?-?’ . I How different too from, the teachings I of the ancient Rabbis. Schechter in his I Rabbinic Theology, says: ‘We must re. I member that Israel is not a nation in I the common sense of the word.’ To the I Rabbis, at least, it is not a nation by I virtue of race or of certain peculiar polt I tical combination. As R. Saadya ex-j-1 pressed it: ‘Because our nation is only a I nation by reason of its Torah.’ -I As we know, our venerable Chief Rab- I bi has in his Book of Jewish Thoughts I (2nd Edition, p. 107) incorporated both I Schechter’s reference to the Rabbis, and I the declaration . of R. Saadya^ 1 To give .any colour of justification to I Hitler’s slanderous imputations, by I segregating the Jewish, people, andjl claiming Palestine ‘as our political I ‘homeland,’ by posing as ‘exiles,’ I ‘wanderers’ and ‘slaves’ is ihcontest- I ably the very pinnacle of imprudence,-! I and contrary to the ancient teaching of. J the Fathers of our Faith. . I In Leading Articles that have frem I time to time appeared in your- journal,’ I the :’Hebrew Standard’ has clearly,! shown the weaknesses, follies, the con- I tradictions. and the dangers of political I Zionism. It is satisfactory to know that I another important Jewish Journal has I .strongly supported that position. I quote j from the ‘Westralian Judean” for Janu- I ‘ ary, 1942, and ; referring to some letters I I wrote at that time, on the subject. I am sure no’ one1- will think, ‘the quotation is from a personal point of’yiew. It Js solely for the1 cause of our common wel fare as citizens of this country. The leading article at p. 2 says: ‘ ‘Men like. Sir Isaac Isaacs, Lord Read »Jng, Lord Samuel, have resolved their Jewishness in the simple belief in Jewry . as a faith. The motion is free from all ‘ .political attributes. It accepts the glory and the justifications of Jewry as a faith and a’ way of life. It carries no buntings, It has no flag. Their nationality is British, their faith is Jewish. When ; Jewry begins to accept any other defini tion of itself and its destiny, it must accept the consequences that ensue from its choice. .The consequences that are necessarily contained in the acceptance of Jewry as a scattered nation,’ and ? Palestine as the ultimate political Jewish State are self-evident. The idea is not treasonable in itself. It only becomes untenable1 and intol erable when it finds its expression In peopfe who have accepted the citizenship of one country, and1 murmur’ for an ; after the last war, so far as it concerns other.’ There is much more of value in thatArticle but what I have quoted is .suffi cient. It places the position remarkablywell.* The Inconsistency of Political Zionism. A so-called ‘Ambassador’ referred in v – ‘

I it speech in! 1941 in Sydney to two Jew- ? .. I lsh ‘fundamental demands,’ namely: I ‘(1) Equal rights’ as citizens in all coun I tries of the world; and (2) Palestine a* I our National Home.’ I in other words: Political equality for I Jews everywhere, no exception being I made even as to Moslem countries; and I yET: No such equality for Moslems or I Christians in Palestine. ‘ ‘ I How can Australian Jewry support the I principle of exclusive political suprem I acy of Palestine inhabitants of the Jew I tea faith over the other inhabitants of I that country? Those who advocate that I principle adopt another Hitler doctrine. I They advocate making the Jews the Her I renvolk of Palestine, and all others «ub I ordinates ? politically silent. I ‘ if they concede political equality, I they abandon the word ‘Jewish’ from I the title of the political organism and I make it what the British Government I have declared it irrevocably to be ‘A I Palestinian State.’ I In plain Australian, that Zionist claim I besides being inconsistent is wholly UN I DEMOCRATIC, and I denounce ! it as I contrary to all that the United Nations I stand for. .’.’….-.’ I . Some Anti-British Elements of the – I General Zionist Movement. As I recently indicated in quoting Mr. Rosenwald’s statement in ‘Life,’ the official Zionist platform in America ‘Demands’ that a Jewish body be vestedwith control of immigration into Pales tine … and that Palestine be establish ed as a Jewish Commonwealth integrated in the structure of the new democratic [ werld. ? ‘ That is to say the Mandate is to be disregarded, it is to be taken out OfBritain’s hands, and the ‘Jewish Com monwealth’ is to be integrated — not in to the British Commonwealth but — into ‘the . new democratic world.’- How itsundemocratic political character will fit into a democratic world, is not explained.From the ‘Canadian Jewish Chronicle’ of May 15, 1942, we learn of a very decided Anti-British trend at a Confer ence called by the American EmergencyCommittee’ for Zionist affairs. Mr. Ben Gorton, Chairman of the Jewish Agency ?Executive, said: ‘The task which was entrusted to Great Britain in Palestine after the war, so far as it concerns the Jewish people, should now be hand ed over to the Jewish people themselves —which means that. all. Immigration andcolonization should be entrusted to the Jews themselves, to an Agency of thewhole Jewish people.’ Sentiments of that character so open ly expressed apparently moved. the late Lord Wedgwood, whose memory we must sincerely cherish for’ his sympathetic sentiments towards Jewish sufferings, to. broadcast to America suggesting the transfer of the Mandate to the United States. I have not observed any objec tion by Zionists to that proposal. But in ‘the House of Lords,- Lord Listowel made it clear that the Labour Party in no manner of degree supported Lord Wedgwood’s broadcast. He said that, the Labour Party could not support * policy leading to the probability of civil war in any part of the Empire at tWe most critical moment in the struggle. The critical, moment is not yet over;and from the standpoint of the integrity, of the British Empire, and the safety OfAustralia, it will continue as long as the risk of antagonising the Moslempopulations of the world by a policy of Jewish domination over the,, Arabs, ofPalestine remains. . ‘? ? The Extremists seem to have given no thought to this danger, to say noth ing of the injustice. . But in . the same debate, Lord Cranbourne plainly declared that the Gov ernment did not intend to abandon theMandate. I should hare thought the smallest consideration would recognise that Pal

estine is an essential link in Imperial communications.: * ‘ , Again at Syracuse, N.Y., ? the ‘Cana- dian Jewish Chronicle’ of November 20, 1942, records that Rabbi Silver, an out Standing Zionist leader, in an address to a Zionist meeting, ‘Voiced,’- as it is said, ‘the DEMAND that Palestine be placed under international control to en able the rapid establishment of a Jew ish majority or the immediate establish ment of a Commonwealth based on the possibility of a Jewish majority.’ It is also stated, he said, that ‘the inter ference of the British Colonial Office with the mandatory system under which Palestine is governed must terminate.’ It is, added: ‘Dr. Silver emphasised that ZIONISM IS A POLITICAL AND NOT A PHILANTHROPIC MOVEMENT, and that its aim is to establish Pales tine as a POLITICAL ‘STATE FOR THE JEWISH PEOPLE.’ Nothing could be plainer. Its aim is to make Palestine a political State for Australian Jews among others. Can Australian Jews subscribe to that? Dr. Silver leaves no doubt as to the aim of Zionism as he, an outstanding leader, understands it.1

rurning to .raiesime, your readers wiu remember the recent ‘demand’ there foran ‘Exile Government” to be located in the United States. ‘ These various ‘demands’ are made because Mr. Churchill and his Govern ment and previous Governments have re: peatedly, firmly, and unequivocally de clared that it is impossible to make Palestine a ‘Jewish State.’ So the World Zionist body has determined that, if possible, Britain is to be side-tracked. Coming to the Australian Zionist atti tude, that has been somewhat watered down. But it is interesting to see when the last Conference met, and made it3 ‘demands’ and the form they took. . ‘ The meeting took place just when the House of Commons Debate of May 19, 1943, was to be entered upon. Whether ‘it was intended to influence that debate I am not in a position to offer any opinion. . The ‘demands’ included: — . (1) The immediate repeal of the White Paper of 1939 and the Opening of the doors of Palestine to free Jewish mass immigration; and (2) That that alone can solve the problem of JEWISH HOMELESSNESS IN THE WORLD. ‘ No consideration appears in those de mands for the danger to the Empire. It was, however, stated in the Presi dential Address that: ‘After the War we would ‘demand’ the establishment of a Jewish Commonwealth within the frame work of the British Commonwealth.’ The qualification of ‘within the framework of the British Commonwealth’ looks as if it was felt that the larger and infinitely more powerful American body was treading on dangerous ground so far as Australia was concerned. But all the same, what was declared and what was resolved for the present and for the future, are elements of ‘dis- regard for the difficulties of the British Government and the United Nations. Such statements and ‘demands’ are cal culated to create embarrassment, by arousing Moslem antagonism. And fur ther, they raise a doubt whether there is an intention to deprive Great Britain of the Mandate or whether the lawyers of the Australian Zionists have overlook /’ ed some serious legal and constitutionaldifficulties in, the way of carrying out the qualified ‘demand’ approved by theConference. To these I shall refer later. In the meantime I am wondering wherethe ‘homeless’ participants in the Con ference betook themselves after its termination. -^ : As in my previous letters, the empha sis on words and passages is mine unless the contrary is indicated. (To be continued.) Yours faithfully, ‘ , ISAAC A. ISAACS.

POLITICAL ZIONISM. (1943, October 28). The Hebrew Standard of Australasia (Sydney, NSW : 1895 – 1953), p. 2. Retrieved September 6, 2015,

SirIsaacIsaacsLetter1943A [pdf]

POLITICAL ZIONISM. (1943, November 4). The Hebrew Standard of Australasia (Sydney, NSW : 1895 – 1953), p. 2. Retrieved August 27, 2014, from

The. Editor,. . ‘ ..’. The ‘Hebrew Standard,’ : ; Sydney. ? Dear Sir, ‘ % i Th’e Balfour Declaration. The . ‘Demand’ for a ‘Jewish State,’ to be attained either directly by a speci

11U VjUUSllt.ULiUlllU UXilUl UJL BU111O JL1UU, or indirectly by a mass immigration of Jews ‘swamping’ the Arabs, rests basi cally, as I have stated, on the erroneous notion that all the Jews of the World col lectively form in. a political sense One Nation, and that they, are wrongfully pre vented from ruling -Palestine in the same way as Britain is ruled by the British people. As Mr. Churchill said in his letter to the Zionist Organisation in 1922: ‘Phrases have been used such as that Palestine is to become ‘as Jewish as England is English’.’ This he declared as ‘impracticable’ and added. that His Majesty’s -Government ‘have no such aim in view.’ He proceeded to give solid reasons for that decision, which for the moment I pass by, for I wish to indicate what that erroneous notion involves. It is a notion that, in accordance with the ‘ Hitler doctrine, looks upon all the Jews of the World, such as the 550,000 in Palestine, the 375,000 in Great Britain, the ,300,000 in France, the 500,000 in North Africa, the 115,000 in Iraq, the .18,000. in India, the 4,800,000 in North America, the 368,000 in South America, the 33,000 in Australia and New Zealand, the 8,800,tf00 in Central and Eastern Europe, the 198,000 in Greece, Turkey and Syria, the 79,000 in Iran and Afghan istan, the 50,000 in Abyssinia, and others in Spain, Portugal,’ Belgium, Hol land, Scandinavia, and Finland are all as one political body demanding restora tion nf fh«aiT ‘Pnlilipnl TTnmA frn-m wninh

they have been wrongfully deprived for over 2,000 years. ; The Worjd JewishCongress claims by its title to be, author ised by and to represent them all in this ‘demand.’ Its branches act’ on that claim. The mere statement of the nature of the notion is, I think, suffi cient to show its untenability. As for the Australian J’demand’ as formulated last May, just think for a moment. What do the American, Mexi can, Iraquian, Russian, North African, Iranian and Afghanistan, Turkish iand Syrian Jews care for a ‘Jewish Common wealth within the framework of the British Commonwealth?’ Even the Pal estine Jews urging an ‘Exile Govern ment’ situate in ‘ the United States, do not favour it. But itf addition to that notion, and in support of it, it is constantly maintain ed by Political Zionists that a written pledge was given by Britain to hand over Palestine to Jewish political con trol as an’ ‘autonomous Jewish State’ or as sometimes phrased, ‘Jewish Com- , monwealth,” which, as in America, means ‘State.’ This, it is said, was the meaning of Mr. Balfour’s letter to Lord Rothschild of November 2, 1917. That document contains no such pledge. As a convinc ing proof of that is the speech which Dr. Weizmann himself, at whose instance it ‘was given, shortly, afterwards delivered1

m Jerusalem iu ism auu wuiuu a.u uio . time allayed Arab fears of Jewish domination. Mr. Bentwich, in his ‘England in Palestine,’ at p. 27, tells us that Dr.\^eizmann’y’!DENIED emphatically the alle gation which was already being spread, -that the Jews intended to take the poli tical domination of Palestine at the end of the War, in other words TO CREATE A JEWISH STATE.’ ~ The Zionist Congress of 1921— that is a year before the Mandate— passed a Resolution declaring the desire of the Jewish People to li,ve with the Arab People in relations of fraternity and mutual . respect, and together with, the Arabs to DEVELOP THE HOMELAND I , .r -‘I

COMMON TO BOTH, in a prosperous community which would, ensure the pros-,perity of BOTH PEOPLES.’ (See Bent wich in ‘Fulfilment in- the Promised-/Land!,’ at p. 19&.) Note particularly, the’ . ‘Homeland common to both.’ When the War ended and the League’ of Nations was formed, the time came in 1922. when the question arose as to Britain accepting the Mandate for Pal estine and on what terms. Palestine was, as it is now, an essential link in the chain of Empire ; communications. Egypt and the Suez Canal with the In dian Ocean and India by sea, and Aus- . tralia and New Zealand on one hand, and India by land’ and the Middle East on the other, made it indispensable that Palestine should not become the focus of Moslem hostility to this Empire. It was necessary to consider and decide definitely the terms and implications of the Balfour Declaration. An event of supreme importance oc curred in that connection. On June 3, 1922, Mr. Churchill in his letter to the Zionist Organisation stated explicitly the intention of the Government NOT TO CREATE* A JEWISH STATE by making ‘/Palestine a National Home,’ but to

make ‘A National Home IN Palestine.’,’ That is, shortly, the effect of the letter. He referred to the resolution of 1921 Zionist Congress as to ‘THE COMMON HOME’ of the Jewish and Arab peoples. He pointed out that the Balfour Declara tion did not contemplate in its, terms that Palestine as a whole should be con verted into a Jewish National Home, but that ‘such a Home should be FOUNDED IN (PALESTINE.’ He de scribed the nature of the Home at length. He emphasised that it was ‘not to be the imposition of a Jewish nation ality upon ? the inhabitants of Palestine as a whole.’,’ ‘ -( On June 18, 1922, Dr. Weizmann, forthe Zionist Organisation, replied AC CEPTING THAT INTERPRETATION. ? A Compact. Those two letters formed ^a solemn Compact. On that Compact, together with the Resolution of the United States Congress, the Mandate was granted to, and accepted by Britain. ? . , . The Congressional resolution was perfectly in line with, the British, interpre tation, assented by Dr. Weizmann. itfavoured ‘the establishment IN PAL ESTINE of & National Home for ‘the Jewish People,’ and added: ‘It being clearly understood that nothing should be done which may prejudice the civil or religious rights of Christian and all other non- Jewish Communities in Pales

une ana max me noiy nac«s ana ren gious buildings and sites in Palestineshould be adequately protected.’ On this Compact the League granted the Mandate on July 14, 1922. The Mandate. – In 1930 the Mandates Commission of the League reaffirmed the interpretation of the Compact. . Mr. Hyamson, in his informative book, ‘ ‘Palestine, a Policy,’ very accurately says: ‘The Mandate in effect SUPER . SEDED THE BALFOUR DECLARA , TION, of which it was not only an elab , oration, but ..also to some, extent an in terpretation. It had also behind it a : FAR GREATER MORAL AND LEGAL FORGE. The Declaration … remained of .;? merely ? academic interest.’ Lord Baifour himself, as Mr. Hyamson says ? (p. 95), in a speech on the proposed Man , , date in the House of1 Lords, declared against the -Mandate meaning a Jewish domination ‘over, the, Arabs. The Balfour Declaration is merged – in the Mandate., it stands to-iday in the same position as preliminary negotia tions of parties to a- lawsuit which are afterwards made by agreement the subject of the ^Judgment of the Court.You can no longer contend about the

preliminary negotiations, the rights o£ ? the parties depend on the terms of tha IJudgment, which in this case is The I Mandate. ‘ ? It is interesting, passing over for the I moment intervening events, to note that* I as’ late as 1931 — that is nine years after I the Mandate — Dr Weizmann was again I most explicit. To the Zionist Congress’ I he said: ‘The Arabs must be made to I feel, must be convinced, by deed as well I as by word, that whatever the nunierl- I cal relationship of the. two nations in I Palestine WE ON OUR PART CON- ITEMPLATE NO POLITICAL DOMINA- I . TION. But they must also remember Ithat we oh bur side shall never submit I to any political domination;’ . I That was fair and reasonable for both I peoples. Palestine ‘ was not to be either I a Jewish nor an Arab State. But^hovj I do the recent Zionist ‘demands’ accord I with that interpretation? . I In the meantime, however, a Judicial I decision of the Privy Council, which ] I regard of considerable importance,’ and I is, of course, well known to the lawyers I of the Zionist Organization, was reu- I dered ; regarding the Mandate and ths I duty and authority of the Mandatory I Power. The Judicial Committee in 1925 I decided that the purpose of Article 2 I ‘ of the Mandate, which provides for’ Bri- I tain safeguarding the civil and religious I rights of the Palestinian inhabitants, is I to secure that in fulfilling the duty wMcIi I is incumbent on every Government to’; I safeguard the -rights from time to time| Ibelonging to the inhabitants of the terri-! I tory, ‘THE MANDATORY SHALL NOT1 I DISCRIMINATE IN FAVOUR OF PER- I SONS OF ANY ONE RELIGION OR IRACE.’ That interpretation was found ed on the words of Article 2 itself. It is strengthened- -by reference to Article 15, which says: ‘No discrimination of any kind shall be made between the in- i habitants of Palestine on the ground of,race, religion, or language.’ ?’ One would think that words: could not be plainer. ; Yet v’the ‘Demands,’ reiterated time after’ time, by the Political Zionists are* to DISCRIMINATE in the most absolute manner by handing over political power |to the Jewish inhabitants. It is demand- ! ‘ ing that Britain shall break openly, anddaringly, one of the greatest- trusts §ver reposed in a self-respecting Nation. ?’-? As to the ‘demand’ regarding Imml-‘1 gration, it is an unqualified demand thatBritain, the Trustee to whom the League of Nations has confided the duty of regu* , lating the Immigration and of holding the balance fairly between all the Com munities of Palestine, shall abrogate its . functions and hand ? that – power over to one of the interested parties, against

me win ui tut) uiuer nicuti pai ty, auu \ with the full knowledge that it would 1cause civil strife and endanger the in terests of all. Do the’ promoters of this unwarranted curse wish to break the Mandate alto gether? Let them make their purpose clear. – . There is yet another problem that it is the duty of the Political Zionists, of Aus tralia, and PARTICULARLY THE LAW YERS’ of the Organisation, to clear up. j They say, ‘Within the framework of the ; British Commonwealth.’ Now, there, is ‘ another judicial decision that requires attention. In 1940, in a case that is no doubt perfectly familiar to the jurists of the Organisation, the English High Court decided that as there has been NO ANNEXATION OF PALESTINE BY THE EMPIRE— and indeed there cannot be as matters’ stand — PALESTINE IS STILL A FOREIGN COUNTRY. By what process do the Lawyers of the Australian Zionists propose to make a Foreign Country a part of the British Commonwealth? Their views. on this subject will be in teresting. . The Zionist Organisations, in . their references to the White’ Paper of 1939, and Mr. Churchill’s attitude to that docu

ment, give a most inadequate and incor rect representation of the reality ofthese important matters. That will pre sently be demonstrated. The acceptanceof Mr. Churchill’s attitude towards that Paper amounts to an abandonment of ,the ‘Demand’ for a ‘Jewish State.’ That will be made clear. . 1 The Injustice of the Demand ‘ ? towards both , ? I Moslems .and Christians. I The Arabs have inhabited Palestine I for a great many centuries. It is not I hard to understand that after being un I der Moslem rule during that period they I and their brother Moslems both within I and without Palestine, including the I millions- in our Empire, should resent I any attempt- to subject the Arab popu I lation of Palestine to Jewish domination. I This resentment is an inescapable I fact. ^Besides its relation to the Mos I lems, it most seriously affects the ques I tion by reason of its intimate relation I to some of the most sacred associations I of the Christian faith. . I In Micah’s immortal statement of what I the Lord requires of Man he places first:. I ‘To do justly.’ That is where Political ‘ I Zionism parts company with Judaism. . I Let xus consider this separately with re I spect to the Moslem and Christian I Worlds. ? S I The Moslem World. I The Arabs, beyond the general objec I tlon to domination in temporal affairs, I especially oppose the inclusion of Jeru I salem in a ‘Jewish State.’. They have I had the Mosque of . Omar, which ,is on I the site’ of Solomon’s Temple, for a I longer period than Jerusalem was in I Jewish hands. Their associations with I the Mosque and its site are sacred to I them in a very special degree, and these I they as custodians for all Islam jealous I ly guard. The Woodhead Commission, I which was appointed to consider the de I marcation of the Partition States recom I mended by the Peel Commission, makes I the position transparently clear. It I points out (p. 77 of its Report, par. 167) I that: ‘Jerusalem is sacred not only to I the ‘Jews, but also to the Moslems and , I to the Christians.’ It expresses in par. I 167 the assurances the Commission ‘had I received that Moslems throughout the I World would be most vehemently op ? pqged to the inclusion of any part of ‘ I Jerusalem in the Jewish State. ? – I The Commission found that a decision I to include even part of Jerusalem with, I the Jewish State would Inevitably I ‘LEAD TO DISORDERS OF THE MOST I SERIOUS KIND.” That’ is repeated and I reinforced in par. 170. I How true that opinion has proved to I be ‘is evidenced by the preparations for I civil war to which I drew attention in I a previous letter. I One would think that this should be I sufficient in itself to impress the Ex I tremists, not merely with the inherent I injustice of domination, and of over- . I riding the religious associations of the I Moslem world, but also of the danger .ofI arousing its resistance with the conse I quent peril, not alone to the Jewish I People, but even to the integrity and I safety of the King’s Dominions. I It is to me a sincere matter of I gret, that though I have more than once I appealed to the Political Zionists to I have regard to these considerations, they I are altogether unheeded. – I But that Is not all. I the Christian World. I The same Commission at par. 172 I gives expression to a sentiment, that I I again earnestly press upon all my co I reiigfoniatg to accept— as I believe the I vast majority of Australian Jewry do— I and not only to accept but to act upon. I As I said on a former occasion, it brings I lome forcibly, and I should have thought I feesistibly, to us\ the INJUSTICE and I ^e MORAL WRONG to the Christian I Faith, as well as the actual impossibility I °f trying to take up our history to-day

at the point wliere Pagan Rome des troyed Jerusalem and ended Jewish hopes of nationhood in Palestine 2,000 years ago. It would, mean ignoring the great World events of Christianity and Islam and all that these mean to the millions that are faithful to those reli gions. In view of the inevitable disorders be tween Arab and Jew that an attempt to make even a part, of Jerusalem a por tion of a^ Jewish State,, the Commission’s Report sets out in moving- terms what every Jew with a sense not merely of justice . but also of gratitude for the sympathy and help of the Christian World in the dire calamity ttiat has befallen our people, ought ‘not only re spect but conform to. This is what the Commission’s Report says, and I give it in full as its importance demands : ‘But it is not only Moslem opinion which is to be considered in this matter. JERU SALEM IS ALSO SACRED TO THE CHRISTIAN FAITH, and not only the Old City within which stands the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and the Way of the Cross, but also many other places in the surrounding area, such as the Mount of Olives and the Sanctuary of the .Ascension, the Garden of Gethsemane, Bethlehem, and the Church of Nativity, the village of Bethany and the Road to Emmaus, A’LL PLACES HALLOWED TO. THE CHRISTIAN BY THE MOST PRECIOUS ASSOCIATIONS.’ ‘It may be that many Christians, especially in this country, sympathise with the passionate longing of the Jews-‘ for Jerusalem, and would be willing to see that part of the City which includes the modern suburb and the Hebrew Uni versity incorporated in the Jewish State if that could be done by agreement and goodwill.’ . – ‘But we are convinced that THE DOMINANT DESIRE OF THE WHOLE BODY OF, CHRISTIANS would be to PRESERVE THE PEACE OF JERU SALEM, and to SAFEGUARD THE HOLY CITY from any change which threatened to provoke bloodshed within its walls. ? or ;its. neighbourhood. With this in mind, CHRISTIAN OPINION through put .the world, realising that such a step would provoke resentment and disorder; would be DEEPLY GRIEVED by a proposal to entrust A PART of the City ° jtrecincts to the’ Control of the Jewish Community.’ If that is so, as to even ‘a part of the City precincts,’ how much more as to. IKe wKole City, and still more so as to the Whola Country. , I cannot understand how any Jew, however fervent a follower of our Faith, can fail .to give heed to those moving though temperate impressive words. Still more. In reading the most gen erous-hearted expressions of support for a Jewish Palestine from such distin guished men and women as BishopPilcher, Professor Clunies Ross, Mr. Maloney, M.L.C., and Mrs. Jessie Street, I hesitate to believe that they have been . informed, not only of the assurancesgiven by Governments and Zionist Leaders, that no Jewish State was contemplated, but also of the peril it would mean to so much that is unspeakablysacred to. their Faith. These are well known to Political Zionists, but are in all probability unknown to those outside Jewish circles whose sympathy has beenso warmly expressed. ‘ Jewish Colonlsatton and the British Government. Stress has frequently been laid, as an argument for unrestricted Immigra tion, on the splendid work in Palestine of the Jewish’ Colonists. As to the won-‘ derf ul progress that . has attended the ‘ efforts of the -Pioneers I join unreserved ly in the admiration that, is due to them. But -the progress shown cannot con done the injustice of Jewish domination. Nor must it be overlooked how grate ful we should be .to the British Gov ernment for the success that it made

possible. All honour to the Jewish Col onists for. the transformation they have’effected in various places, to the benefit of the Arabs as well as themselves. Butalso the honour to the British adminis tration that has afforded them the opportunity of doing so much, a debt too little remembered. ‘ … In the HoUse of Lords on December 15, 1942, Lord Cranbourne, referring to the success of Tel-Aviv and other Jew ish Colonies, said: ‘I suggest’ to your Lordships that it has been achieved be cause His^ Majesty’s Government and the Palestine Administration have managed to preserve law and order, and have, managed to provide conditions under which the tender plant of Zionist colon isation has been able to germinate,’ . sprout and flourish. Without the firm hand of British Administration I believe the. Zionist experiment would have only too probably been doomed to early and complete failure.’ Impossibility of Palestine as aJewish State. . . I have stated Mr. Churchill’s written declaration in his letter of June 3, 1922, to the Zionist Organisation, not to constitute -Palestine a Jewish State, a declaration acceded to a few days later by Dr. Weizmarin for the Organisation. Mr. Churchill’s attitude to the White Paper of 1939 has been referred to by Zionists as if he disapproved entirely- of that document. That does not represent his attitude. It arises from the ‘Omis- sion itis’ that has been prevalent lately. In the Debate upon the White Paper in 1939, he adhered firmly to his declara tion in his White Paper of 1922. He said: ‘I entirely accept the distinction between a Jewish National Home In Palestine and makitng Palestine a Na. tional Home.’ If as the Political Zion ists profess, they accept Mr. Churchill’sspeech on that occasion they seal the doom of Palestine as a Jewish State. Hemade it clear that the ‘breach’ of the Mandate he complained of in the WhitePaper of 1939 was the provision that after March, 1944, Arab consent wasnecessary to further Jewish immigration. That was in time of Peace. Since thenWar perils have deterred even him from re-opening the question, a danger, which the Political Zionists by their ‘demand’ for an immediate ‘Open Palestine’ dis regard. . * . ??? On December 4, 1940, Sir George Hall, Under-Secretary for the ColonieB, de clared in the House of Commons that the immigration pressed upon the Gov ernment ‘was likely to prove A SERI OUS MENACE to British interests in the Middle East.’ still the Political Zionists appear to be unconcerned.As late as July 30, 1941 (House Of Commons Debate, Vol. 373, col. 1396), Mr. Churchill said: ‘There has been no change in the policy of the Government with regard to Palestine. THAT POLICY HAS BEEN ANNOUNCED AT V.ARI OUS TIMES OVER A CONSIDERABLE NUMBER OF YEARS.’ One special reference may be made to Jerusalem itself. When the White Paper of 1939 was discussed in the House of Lords the Earl of Zetland, Secretary for India, speaking for the Government and including, of course, Mr. Churchill, said: ‘A Jewish State with its, Capital at Jerusalem was rendered IMPOS ‘ SIBLE by the historical position of Jeru salem itself. TOO MANY PEOPLES, AND TOO MANY RELIGIONS HAVEA PASSIONATE AND A PERMANENT INTEREST IN THAT CITY to make anysuch solution EVEN DIMLY POSSIBLE.’ Both Houses of Parliament endorsed’that view and it has never altered. Later debates reaffirm it. The White Paptor of 1939. Its total abrogation is ‘demanded.’ It should be known, however, that it declared far more than the Immigration policy of the Government . Inter alia: (1) It ‘ affirmed the Churchill White Paper of 1922, refusing to make Pales

tine a Jewish State against the will of the Arabs. ?/ (2) It recognised the duty of Britain tfl| safeguards the Holy Places. (3) It severely restricted Jewish Im«migration into Palestine for years, and ‘ prohibited it afterwards without Arattjconsent. .-.-‘? ‘,’?’;( ‘ Mr. Churchill, as I have said, in his speech in 1939, reaffirmed the first, say-: ing’: ‘I would not alter a sentence after the 16 years that have. passed.’ He still maintains it. The second is unassail able, though the ‘demand’ for a Jewish,’ Commonwealth would take ; it out of Bri tish hands and leave it in Jewish hands exclusively. The third, in my opinion, went- to one extreme, just as the ‘Ex- tremist’ demand goes to the other. . Mr. .Churchill obviously would modify it if it were safe to do so. The ‘immediate!.’; : demand of the Extremists disregards the . danger. -. ,..,, .- .; . ,;.. ?;: ‘ .-.. .- . – :??.’ . ‘?. ? I have not the smallest doubt that the ‘Extreme’ demands of Political Zionism have driven the Arabs to present an iin- : compromising front to the equally intransigent ‘demands’ that have been made. If, as men like’ Justice Frankfurter werelistened to I believe Palestine would’ have been a, place of refuge for a muchgreater number of truly ‘homeless’ Jews to-day. He said, years ago: ‘In the whole texture of Palestine life, there must enter unflagging realisation that Arab cannot dominate Jew, nor Jew Arab, and that only in the fellowship of RECIPROCAL RIGHTS AND RECIPRO CAL DUTIES can be realised the distinc tive values to civilisation of Jew and Arab.’ There are many others whoso names I have mentioned elsewhere, and do not here repeat. But one thing needs to be observed by your readers. The ‘wide open Door’ of Palestine has been pressedupon them on the ground of affording the. best place of refuge. It has been – said that ‘Palestine’ is the only ‘ place that would welcome the Refugees. ‘Pal- estine’ does not answer that description; The Government of the Country is alive to the danger to the United Nations of the ‘Open Door.’ It does not dare to do so. The Arabs, who are in the – majority, and are backed by powerful Moslem nations, are opposed to it. True, the bulk of the Jewish population — not all of them — would welcome that policy. But they are the minority, and are not ‘Palestine.’Besides, the humanitarian aspect is not the governing motive of the mass ofPolitical Zionists in the world. That .was made plain beyond controversy at the recent American Zionist gathering in New York in August-September last, that is a little over- two months ago. That American Jewish Conference, as usual, made ‘Demands.’ Among them were: (1) A Jewish Commonwealth. ‘ (2) Immediate withdrawal in Its en. tirety of the White Paper of 1939. (3) Open Door to Palestine for Jew ish Immigration, with the control of immigration vested in the Jewish. Agency. : Dr. Silver1 presented the’. Resolution which is voluminous. I have in my pre vious letter stated that he declared at a former meeting that Zionism was not philanthropic but political. That was in 1942. Again in 1943 he repeated it and apparently with the overwhelming ap probation of his audience. For the bene fit of Australian Jewry who may -not have the’ means of knowing the real ‘ basis of the claim for the ‘Open Door’ I shall quote some of his words on this subject. In leading the Meeting he Bald* .inter alia: ‘On the basis of sheer phil anthropy of SATISFYING PROSSINQ IMMIGRATION NEEDS, PALESTINE}HAS ALREADY DONE. ITS FULL SHARE FOR JEWISH REFUGEES. B has taken- in more than half of the. total ‘ Jewish refugees of the world, and ttoPalestine Arabs and their sympathlsem in England and her* hare bean «akk t*

(Continued from ipage 3,) ?point out that PALESTINE HAS ALREADY DONE ALL THAT CAN BE EXPECTED FROM A SMALL COUN TRY and far more than most of the large countries have done.’ . ‘It is because PALESTINE IS THEJEWISH HOMELAND that we have the right to INSIST UPON UNRESTRICT ED IMMIGRATION. … It is on the NATIONAL IDEA that the upbuilding of Palestine as a place of large scale Jew ish immigration has always rested and CAN ALONE CONTINUE TO REST. Our right to immigration in the last analysis is predicated upon the right to

UU11U lilt* JBWlbU ^UlUUlUUWCctXLLl 111 STAir estine. They are interlinked and IN SEPARABLE.’ . If that is the defiant and uncompromis ing view of the great body of American Zionists, disregarding all that has hap pened during the last 2,000 years, re cognising no rights, temporal or spiri tual, that have arisen in that period, can anyone blame the Arabs, and all other Moslems, including those of Turkey, through whose country the passage of Refugees is sought, and also the British Government for resisting the Zionist ‘Demands’? The Conference of 1943 has thrown off the Mask. ? A Notable incident, In the Report of Jewish Press com ments on the Conference contained i& the special pamphlet printed in honour of the occasion by the ‘New Palestine,’, and dated September 10, 1943, a most notable incident is recorded. It is stat ed: ‘There were ANGRY OUTBURSTS against Judge Proskauer for the passage in his declaration in which he explained his dissent by A DESIRE NOT TO EM BARRASS THE UNITED NATIONS’ WAR EFFORT.’ All honour to Judge Proskauer for hispatriotism as an American, and for his broad Humanity, in refusing to placeZionistic Nationalism before the Safety of Civilised Mankind. He exhibited thespirit of true Judaism. The part he took on that occasion, and some account ofthe newly-formed and important ‘Ameri- can Council for Judaism’ he represented, will be the subject ‘of a following letter, and should be of considerable interest to Australian Jewry. . ? ‘The Zionism of Judaism.’ ? . ? – , If the. Extremists would only drop the untenable and hopeless ‘Nationalistic’doctrine, then suffering Jewish victims would have a far better chance of re lief, and of developing the ‘National Home IN Palestine,’ which is envisaged ?in the Balfour Declaration, in the Man date and by the British Government and the American Congress. Then, too, the spiritual’ and cultural Zionism that could, and I fervently hope will, help the World in the future, be developed in friendship and peace. That is not only a Mission, but a Debt of gratitude we owe to the Christian World for its sympathetic and generous atti tude in our special affliction at the bands of Nazism as the Common Enemy of Humanity, and whose aim is the enalave . ment and torture of the rest of Man kind. ; .,, .’..’?? And if we descend to the less noble standards of .material self-interest we must fain remember— at the peril of a jude awakening— that the worst attitude we can assume r towards Anti-Semitism I is , by .adopting ‘ Hitler’s ‘ presentation ot ,’the, ‘World! Jew/’ to encourage it. ‘ Yours faithfully, r*;..’. ‘??.’..: …’.-,. ISAAC A. ISAACS

POLITICAL ZIONISM. (1943, November 4). The Hebrew Standard of Australasia (Sydney, NSW : 1895 – 1953), p. 2. Retrieved September 6, 2015

SirIsaacIsaacsLetter1943 [pdf]

See Also:

A tribute to Sir Isaac Isaacs:

To find other historical articles on Political Zionism in Newpapers and Journals in Australia:


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