Waters Flowing Eastward
Sionism is a convenient peg on which to hang a powerful weapon," wrote Louis Marshall,1 meaning that the project of a national home in Palestine would serve as an excuse for building up a powerful, international organization to supplant eventually the present national governments.
From whatever angle one considers it, the project is an experiment on a vast scale. Decades have passed since the experiment was begun, and it is time to ask:
a) Is the experiment a success or a failure ?
b) Have the promoters of the experiment proved that they have throughout always acted in good faith, or not?
To answer these questions properly would require a careful study of onditions, not only in Palestine, but in the world at large: such a study is beyond the present scope. It is, however, possible to examine certain points which bear directly on the above, namely:
In connection with the first point, the origin of the Sykes-Picot agreement and of the Balfour declaration has already been traced.2 Both of these were in direct violation of the agreement made by the British government in 1915 through Sir Henry MacMahon with the Sherif of Mecca, Hussein. Then the Sherif had agreed to aid the British cause against the Turks, in return for a promise that Great Britain would recognize and support the independence of the Arabs, south of the prospective Turkish boundary. The British government has withheld from publication part of the official correspondence containing this agreement, in spite of requests made in the House of Lords and the House of Commons.3 It is affirmed by a writer to whom Hussein showed Sir Henry's letters that, when the Arab leader flatly refused to accept territorial reservations proposed by the British authorities, the latter finally conceded the point and in January 1917 definitely undertook to support Arab claims in the whole territory south of the Turkish boundary, except in the protectorate of Aden and in the region of Basra in southern Iraq. In March 1916, Sir Henry wrote again to the Sherif confirming the agreement.4
But, as Chaim Weizmann once said,5 in this connection: " Negotiating with a government is easy: one must demand things from a government; a government does not do things by itself; you must know what to demand, how to demand, and when to demand. If you know that, you know all the secret: that is essential for Zionists to understand."
The Balfour declaration was endorsed in February, 1918, by the French government; in May, by the Italian government through its ambassador in London; in August, 1918, by a published letter from President Wilson; and, later, by a joint resolution of the United States Congress in its 1922 session.6
To allay Arab fears, just before the armistice (Nov. 7, 1918), the British and French governments issued a joint declaration which was posted throughout Syria and Palestine and ran :7 " The end aimed at by France and England in the East is the complete and final enfranchisement of the peoples so long oppressed by the Turks, and the establishment of national governments and administrations, drawing their authority from the initiative and free choice of the native populations.
Early in 1919 there also gained currency in Palestine the twelfth of Wilson's fourteen points, to the effect that nationalities under Turkish rule " should be assured an undoubted security of life and an unmolested opportunity of autonomous development".8 In May of the same year a purely American commission went to the Near East to ascertain the wishes of the communities as to a mandatory; the commission reported that Great Britain received second choice in 57.49 per cent, of the petitions; that there was a general agreement in favour of retaining the unity of Syria and Palestine, as well as a strong sentiment against France as a mandatory for Syria; less than one per cent, of the petitions supported the establishment of a Jewish national home in Palestine, while 72.3 per cent, expressed opposition to it.9
Yet, without reference to these findings, the allied supreme council, at its meeting in San Remo on April 24, 1920, awarded the mandate for Syria and the Lebanon to France, and the mandates for Palestine and Iraq to Great Britain. This in itself was an act of bad faith on the part of the council; but the terms of the Palestine mandate were still less in keeping " with the wishes of the native populations ". The mandate provided for carrying out the Jewish national home policy on the one hand, and for guaranteeing the rights of the existing population on the other. Throughout the confusion of the two aims, and the duplicity of both the British government and the Zionists behind it, are striking. In article 2 the mandatory made itself responsible for placing the country under such political, administrative, and economic conditions as would secure the establishment of the Jewish national home; for the development of self-governing institutions, and for safeguarding the civil and religious rights of the inhabitants of Palestine, irrespective of race and religion. In article 4 the Palestine administration was to receive special advice from a so-called Jewish agency; under article 6 the British government undertook to facilitate Jewish immigration and encourage close settlement by Jews on the land, including state lands and waste lands: other sections provided that local autonomy should be encouraged, that there should be free access to the holy places, etc.
At the time when the mandate was awarded,10 Palestine bad a population of 757,182, of whom 590,890 were Moslems, 73,024 Christians, and 83,794 Jews; the remaining 9,474 were principally Druzes.11 The Jewish fraction, eleven per cent, of the population, was roughly divided into four groups:
The mandate, however, recognized the Zionist organization as the Jewish agency with special public functions in Palestine, because Zionists were thoroughly organized both there and abroad and were the promoters of the whole experiment; and the Zionist, Sir Herbert Samuel, was appointed first British High Commissioner, taking office on July 1, 1920, superseding the military administration.12
The next point, whether the Zionist organization has gained by the venture, is easily elucidated by noting the enormous expansion of that body in the last decade and the millions of dollars that have passed through its hands.
The world Zionist organization today includes forty-seven territorial Zionist federations, a few smaller Zionist societies, and certain special unions.13 all represented at the world Zionist congresses. There are seven members of the Zionist executive committee in Palestine (four general Zionists, two labourites and one Mizrachi Zionist). Their duty is to watch over the work of the Zionist organization in Palestine, and to keep in touch with their colleagues abroad. Of the latter, there are three in England, one in Germany, and one in the United States.14
To make its activities more effective, the world Zionist organization has delegated a considerable part of its practical work to certain corporations and companies, of which the more important are:15
It maintains a complete educational system, including the Hebrew university at Jerusalem, a technical institute at Haifa, four technical and one music school, four normal schools, six secondary schools, and ninety-seven elementary schools.
Under Zionist auspices there has been organized also:
Of the fifteen million Jews in the world today, 1,200,000 are enrolled as members of the Zionist organization. To secure the co-operation of all Jews and thus broaden its base of support, the organization entered into long negotiations with non-Zionists in America.18 In these, Samuel Untermeyer, Zionist, law partner of Louis Marshall (ostensibly anti-Zionist) in New York, took a leading part. The Zionist body altered its name to " World Zionist Organization "; then in 1923, as money was not coming in fast enough, Chaim Weizmann at the Carlsbad congress suggested that the latter should be transformed into the " Jewish Agency under the Mandate ", and should admit all non-Zionist Jews. Alfred Mond, the late Lord Melchett President of the English Zionist federation, was requested to go to America to promote the new Jewish agency and welcome Louis Marshall and his non-Zionist following into it. While in America, Mond said:19
After long negotiations, a basis of agreement was finally reached in August 1929. Zionists and non-Zionists are now merged in a new body known as the Jewish Agency: its council includes an equal number of Zionists and non-Zionists : the executive committee of the council, consisting of twenty Zionists and twenty non-Zionists, is henceforth to occupy the privileged position described under article 4 of the mandate.
Such, in brief, are the visible organs established by Zionists for realizing their aim. What the sums collected by these and other organs would total is not easy to estimate. The Zionist organization is said to have spent seven million pounds ($34,000,000),2i and Baron Edmond de Rothschild an additional $50,000,000 in Palestine. 22 The first sum, however, represents but a fraction of the sums collected. The Keren hayesod alone brought in $18,000,000; and, in the single month of September 1929, the Jews of the United States raised more than ?1,500,000.23 A conservative estimate of the funds that have passed through Zionist hands since the Balfour declaration would be $100,000,000, irrespective of the large sums spent annually by the British government. Had such a large capital been placed in competent hands, there would be no need for further appeals or loans. Yet in May 1931, Alfred Mond made personal efforts to float a projected Zionist International loan and endeavoured to get the Italian government to join with the governments of Great Britain, France and Germany in guaranteeing it.24
But the Zionist administration of funds has been not only incompetent but irregular. A single instance may suffice.
It concerns the opposition made by American Zionists to the administration of Louis Lipsky, President of the American Zionist organization, and the resignation from that body of Rabbi Stephen Wise, Samuel Rosensohn and Lawrence Berenson.
At the Atlantic City (U. S. A.) Zionist convention the previous year, the disclosure had been made of the mismanagement of funds, and Berenson and Rosensohn were appointed to enquire into the affairs of the organization and restore the confidence of the Zionists in the country.
Berenson said later:25
There remains to consider whether the native population of Palestine has benefited by the mandate. It is recalled that 79 per cent, of the population at the time of the St. Remo award was Moslem and it is therefore fitting to weigh the complaints of the Palestine Arabs. These may be grouped as follows:
Jews outside Palestine enter the country " as of right and not on sufferance," it was the more reason that the Arabs themselves should be confirmed in their national home as against all intruders, and immigration placed in their control. The Jews already in Palestine were there by right and should enjoy the same status as the Arabs. But to argue (as the British did) that the right of the present Jewish community in Palestine should be extended to all the Jews of the world, was to adopt a line of reasoning " which no people, let alone the Arabs, would accept if applied to itself."27 5. The Arab-speaking inhabitants, to whom Palestine is Falastin (Philistia) resent its being referred to in all official documents as Eretz-Israel (land of Israel). They do not see why a country which they are accustomed to think of as their own should suddenly become Eretz Israel without their consent, simply because it has pleased other nations to set up in it a Jewish national home. They point out that their own possession of the country since the seventh century gives them rights to-day which the Jews scattered abroad do not possess. The next question is, have the Jews as a whole benefited by the national home policy ? The native Jewish population of Palestine is in much the same position as the Arab population: it has suffered from a large influx of immigrants causing acute unemployment. Nor have the immigrants benefited greatly. Although their future depended largely on agricultural development, the majority of Jewish immigrants, as shown by official figures and estimates, settled in the towns: in 1922 there were found to be 68,000 Jews in urban areas and only 15,000 in rural areas; in 1925, 85,000 in urban against 23,000 in rural.28 In 1926 and 1927 unemployment grew so acute that the Zionist organization had to resort to doles in the chief centres of Jewish population.29 For the seven years 1922-1928 the total number of Jewish immigrants was 79,894, nearly as many as the Jews in the country at the time of the British occupation; the total number of Jewish emigrants (mostly disappointed immigrants) for that same period was 23,761.
The huge sums raised on the pretext of a national home, and the new taxes devised and levied by the Zionist organization have been a heavy drain on Jewry as a whole, without any palpable compensation.30 What of Great Britain? She has long desired to control the Palestine-Transjordan-Iraq route; by the Balfour declaration she was led to the belief that a friendly Jewish population in Palestine would be the best possible guarantee of continued British control of this route which flanks the Suez canal and guards the approach to India. Apparently it is her intention to continue to seek some means of reconciling conflicting interests in Palestine. But her prestige has already suffered: Arab discontent in Palestine has spread to Iraq and India; the Jews have been the first to go back on her and make her responsible for all their difficulties. Moreover Palestine is a heavy drain on her treasury: to it she has had to advance several loans, of which the first in 1927 was for 4,475,000. The Palestine administration has a public debt, guaranteed by the British treasury; it also has a yearly deficit, which in 1928 amounted to approximately 800,000.
In conclusion, it is seen that the Zionists, through undue political influence, engaged England in carrying out a Jewish national home policy. This policy, contrary to England's prior engagements and against her own best interests, has resulted in a costly and futile experiment.
It has created a new politico-racial problem in the near east, and has been disastrous to the native population of Palestine, and even to Jewry taken as a whole. But to its Zionist promoters, it has brought vast influence through the expansion of their own powerful, international organization, and millions and millions in revenue.
World Zionist organization, or Jewish agency, or Alliance Israelite Universelle—whatever name it takes, it is at bottom always the Kahal with its eighteen centuries of accumulated experience. Its aims and principles, whether shrouded in the mysticism of the Talmud or bluntly stated in the Protocols, are the same to-day as under the Roman empire. But in recent years the technical improvements in its methods of operating3! and the debility of national governments32 have advanced its cause with singular rapidity. Just fifty years ago, a German wrote:33 " Russia is the last defence against the Jews, and its surrender is only a matter of time. The elastic spirit of Jewish intrigue will crush Russia in a revolution, such as the world has never seen the like. When it has overthrown Russia, it will have nothing to fear from any quarter; when it has seized in Russia all the offices of state as it has done with us, then the Jews will openly undertake the destruction of western civilization, and this " last hour " of condemned Europe will strike within a hundred or a hundred and fifty years at the latest, since the march of events moves more rapidly in our era than in preceding centuries."
1. Supra, ch. V. * 1922-1932
2. Supra, ch. V.
3. J. de V. Loder, The Truth about Mesopotamia, Palestine, and Syria, p. 19. See also, Colonial Office, Correspondence with Palestine Arab Delegation andihe Zionist Organization, Cmd. 1700, pp. 20, 26; H. W. V. Temperley, VI, History of the Peace Conference of Paris, p. 126.
4. A. Rihani, Around the Coasts of Arabia, ch. IX.
5. At a meeting at the metropolitan opera house, Philadelphia: Jewish Chronicle (May 25, 1928), p. 18.
6. The Balfour declaration was never submitted to either the French or British Parliament. On June 21, 1922, the House of Lords passed a resolution expressing its dissatisfaction with the terms of the mandate. Current History (Sept. 1922), p. 1008.
7. K. de V. Loder, The Truth about Mesopotamia, Palestine, and Syria, p. 32.
8. H. W. V. Temperley, I, A History of the Peace Conference of Paris, p. 434.
9. Ibid., p. 145. If Palestine belongs to the Jews by historic right, then Spain by the same right should be handed over to the Moors.
10. The mandate was approved by the council of the League of Nations on July 24, 1922.
11. Colonial Office, Report of the High Commissioner on the Adminis tration of Palestine (1920-1925), p. 48.
12. Allenby's troops had a song in which the chorus ran : " And they gave the holy city To the Zionist committee."
13. Fraternities such as the Order of Ancient Maccabeans, the Mizrachi, the Poale Zion, and Hitachduth.
14. Foreign Policy Association, Information Service (New York, Oct. 16, 1929), vol. V, no. 16, p. 279.
15. Ibid., p. 280.
16. Zionist Executive Report (1929), pp. 278, 283.
17. Cf. supra, ch. II.
18. Supra, ch. V.
19. Speech at the Town Hall, New York, Sept. 26, 1923.
20. The part played by Alfred Mond, now Lord Melchett, is some what mystifying. Very closely connected with Chaim Weizmann in the chemical company of Brunner, Mond and Co., he was a Zionist and favoured the Balfpur declaration, then he favoured the Jewish Agency. In June 1928, at his country house in England, a secret conference of the
Jewish Agency took place, with Weizmann, Felix Warburg, Louis Marshall and Otto Wasserman. Yet on October 26,1928, there appeared a singular interview given by Lord Melchett deprecating the Jewish Agency, with such exclamations as: " Oh, what is it? What does it want to be? Who needs it? " Jewish Chronicle (October 26,1928). In
April 1929, he is once more praising and advocating the Agency: Jewish Daily Bulletin (April 24, 1929).
21. Report of the Administration of Palestine and Trans-Jordan (1928) p. 117.
22. Reports of the Experts submitted to the Joint Palestine Survey Commission (1928), p. 34.
23. Foreign Policy Assoc., op. cit., p. 273.
24. Jewish Chronicle (May 18, 1928), p. 28.
25. Address on April 29, 1928, in Washington, D. C. Jewish Daily Bulletin, May 3, 1928.
26. Our italics.
27. Colonial Office, Correspondence with the Palestine Arab Delega tion and the Zionist Organization (1922), pp. 18, 19.
28. Foreign Policy Assoc., op. cit., p. 287.
29. Report on the administration of Palestine and Transjordan (1927), p. 29.
30. The financial activities of Zionism before and after its transformation into the ewish world agency have a wide scope. They range from shekel gathering from every member of the Jewish community, innumerable appeals for funds for Palestine, direct taxation " a'aser " of every Zionist Jew, equally innumerable appeals for various relief funds, for government loans, etc. The money thus gathered represents huge yearly revolving funds hich constantly replenish the coffers of Jewish international financiers. How little such funds really benefit the Jewish needy masses can be judged from the constant ppeals for relief and the yearly deficits in every department. The Keren hayesod, the Keren hayemeth, the United Palestine Appeal, the Ort, the Russian colonization Fund, the Agro Joint for Jewish Farm settlements in Russia, the Joint Distributing Committee are a few of the outstanding fund-collecting-Jewish organizations.
31. In organizing revolutions, founding pseudo-religious fraternities like the Freemasons, Theosophists, etc.
32. Partly due to the increased facility of communication and con sequent breakdown of national feeling, partly to the spread of dema gogic ideals, sentimentalism, etc.
33. Wilhelm Marr, who took an active part in the revolution of 1848, in Der Sieg des Judentums fiber das Christentum (1879).
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