Page:Zionism 9204 Peace Conference 1920.pdf/56

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
44
No. 162
ZIONISM AND THE JEWS

of the Zionists and young colonists and students of Palestine. Imposing demonstrations against the Hilfsverein were made in Jerusalem, J afl'a, and Haifa, and also in Europe and the United States. Many of the teachers in the Hilfsverein schools resigned their posts or were dismissed. The war put an end to the controversy by stopping educational activities in Palestine for the time; but, as Mr. Israel Cohen observes,

It is not unreasonable to suppose the change of policy of the Hilfsverein was due to secret pressure exercised by the German Government, with a view to making the Jewish schools nurseries of Prussian Kultur. This sinister intention was ignominiously defeated through Palestinian Jewry rising to the defence of the Hebrew language as of its most holy possession.

§ 16. The Future of Palestine

After the conquest of Palestine by General Allenby, the British Government lost no time in taking steps to fulfil the promise made by Mr. Balfour in his declaration of November 2, 1917. The declaration ran as follows:

His Majesty's Government View with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement- of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.

This Declaration has since been endorsed by the Governments of France and Italy. President Wilson has also publicly expressed his sympathy with the British Government's Declaration.

The Government authorized the Zionist Organization to send out to Palestine a commission, representative of English, American, French, and Russian Jewry, to investigate and work out ways and means for the establishment of the Jewish national home. The commission went to Palestine accompanied by Major the Hon. W. Ormsby-Gore, M.P., as their liaison