Zionist Peel Commission resolution

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Peel Commission Resolution  (1937) 
20th Zionist Congress

The Palestine Royal Commission, commonly known as the Peel Commission, was a royal commission that recommended a partition of mandatory Palestine into a Jewish State, an Arab State, and a part to remain under British control. In response, the 20th Zionist Congress passed this resolution. The text is taken from pages 18–19 of the report of the Palestine Partition Commission, commonly known as the Woodhead Commission (Cmd. 5854, October 1938). For a detailed account of the debate leading to the resolution, see I. Galnoor, "Territorial partition of Palestine; the 1937 decision", Political Geography Quarterly, 10:4 (1991), pp. 382–404.

  1. The Twentieth Zionist Congress solemnly reaffirms the historic connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and its inalienable right to its homeland.
  2. The Congress takes note of the findings of the Palestine Royal Commission with regard to the following fundamental matters : first, that the primary purpose of the Mandate, as expressed in its preamble and in its articles, is to promote the establishment of the Jewish National Home; secondly, that the field in which the Jewish National Home was to be established was understood, at the time of the Balfour Declaration, to be the whole of historic Palestine, including Trans-Jordan; thirdly, that inherent in the Balfour Declaration was the possibility of the evolution of Palestine into a Jewish State; fourthly, that Jewish settlement in Palestine has conferred substantial benefits on the Arab population and has been to the economic advantage of the Arabs as a whole.
  3. The Congress rejects the assertion of the Palestine Royal Commission that the Mandate has proved unworkable, and demands its fulfilment. The Congress directs the Executive to resist any infringement of the rights of the Jewish people internationally guaranteed by the Balfour Declaration and the Mandate.
    The Congress rejects the conclusion of the Royal Commission that the national aspirations of the Jewish people and of the Arabs of Palestine are irreconcilable. The main obstacle to co-operation and mutual understanding between the two peoples has been the general uncertainty which, as stated in the Report of the Royal Commission, has prevailed in regard to the ultimate intentions of the Mandatory Government, and the vacillating attitude of the Palestine Administration; these have engendered a lack of confidence in the determination and the ability of the Government to implement the Mandate. The Congress reaffirms on this occasion the declarations of previous Congresses expressing the readiness of the Jewish people to reach a peaceful settlement with the Arabs of Palestine, based on the free development of both peoples and the mutual recognition of their respective rights.
  4. The Congress condemns the "palliative proposals" put forward by the Royal Commission as a policy for implementing the Mandate, such as curtailment of immigration, fixing of a political high-level in substitution for the principle of economic absorptive capacity, closing of certain parts of the country to Jewish settlement, limitations on the acquisition of land, etc. Those proposals are a travesty of the Mandate and a violation of international pledges, and would prove destructive of the future of the National Home.
  5. The Congress enters its strongest protest against the decision of His Majesty's Government to fix a political maximum for Jewish immigration of all categories for the next eight months, thus sweeping away the principle of economic absorptive capacity, in violation of Jewish rights and of the undertakings repeatedly given in this regard by His Majesty's Government and confirmed by the League of Nations.
  6. The Congress declares that the scheme of partition put forward by the Royal Commission is unacceptable.
  7. The Congress empowers the Executive to enter into negotiations with a view to ascertaining the precise terms of His Majesty's Government for the proposed establishment of a Jewish State.
  8. In such negotiations the Executive shall not commit either itself or the Zionist Organisation, but in the event of the emergence of a definite scheme for the establishment of a Jewish State, such scheme shall be brought before a newly elected Congress for decision.

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