—Says French Priest
THREE-CORNERED CONVERSATIONS ARE NOW GOING ON IN ST. JAMES'S PALACE, LONDON, BETWEEN THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT, ARABS, AND JEWS.
The Arabs have refused to negotiate direct with the Jews, so two conferences will in reality take place, the British Government acting as a go-between for Jews and Arabs.
American Jews are represented at the conference; American opinion is, apparently, on the side of the Jews.
An American Catholic news agency has protested against the silence of the American Press on the Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Hinsley's, publicly expressed sympathy with the Arabs, and his promise to help them if he can.
Below, a French priest in Jerusalem, with intimate knowledge of
the rival claims of Arab and Jew,
presents the two cases. He con cludes ; " Jews and Arabs have a right to exist, but the latter cannot be sacrificed for the sole profit of the Children of Israel and of England."
Front Rev. A. GUILLOU.
The Nationalist Arabs have revolted against British authority, which they accused of not having sufficiently protected their rights against the constantly increasing Jewish element in Palestine.
Since the Balfour Declaration, the Jews have looked forward to the beginning of the establishment of a Jewish State. The Jewish immigration continues its hasty movement so much so that though the official statistics show only 450,000 Jews in Palestine, their number in reality is more than a million.
And now, owing to the exclusion of Jews from Central Europe, there is the menace of a new Jewish wave of Immigration.
It is curious to consider, after tine. has elapsed, the aspirations of the two opposing groups, Arabs and Jews, and also just as curious to witness the difference in tone of the claims: exacting and harsh on the part of the Jews, moderate, and, let us say the word, more just on the part of the Arabs.
The plan of the Jews was, and still is, to form a Jewish State of all their colonies, including especially the new city of Jerusalem with a population of about 70,000, almost entirely Jewish. Why, then, not end things there? Why wish for more, even the total exclusion of Arabs from Palestine? An outstanding member of the Jewish University was quoted as saying recently that the Arabs, possessing four states, must consequently leave Palestine and TransJordan to make place for the Jews who are at home nowhere.
This la exactly what the Jitdische Review of November, 1937, said. While studying the partition project, it declared, 'we must draw out of it as much as we can, that is to say, the smallest demand made by the Jews must be perseveringly followed up until the complete establishment of the future Jewish State."
ENGLAND'S AIM Is it really the aim of England to establish in Palestine an independent Jewish State. powerful, and excluding absolutely any foreign interest? Palestine is not a deserted country; it has its inhabitants, and the English Government cannot ignore them. The Arabs are far from being a negligible quantity. It is most important that their point of view be presented to the Jewish people. The announcement of the partition plan had as a first result the grouping of Arabs of all foreign countries in one great body.
NOT CONSULTED It was under the influence of these preoccupations, and to answer the 20th Sionist Congress of Zurich, that the Arabs held a Congress at Bludan. It was proved that, if, as the Jews affirm, 52 nations recognised the Mandate at Geneva, the only nation whose consent was important, that of the Arabs, had not been consulted, and the Congress declared that the Arab world can no more abandon a part of Palestine to the Jews than the Free State of Ireland can abandon the hope of uniting the north of the island.
URGENT PROBLEM On one side there are the Jews, desirous of continuing the return of a large part of their people to a land which hundreds of years ago was theirs; on the other hand, the Arabs, established in Palestine for fifteen centuries, cannot admit that they can be deprived of their country.
The Arabs have revolted, and their agitation is far from being at an end. There is question of annulling the Balfour Declaration, of fixing the proportion of Jews in Palestine at 35 per cent., but that percentage has been exceeded!
The Jews are also in action. The Communists are taking the initiative of meetings in Jerusalem.
How will England solve this problem? The solution must come very soon and must be just. Otherwise, it will mean the ruin of all commerce and industry in Palestine. Jews and Arabs have a right to exist, but the latter cannot be sacrificed for the sole profit of the Children of Israel and of England.