NOTE: All corrections to this verbatim record should be sent in writing, within 48 hours after receipt, addressed to Mr. I. Milner, Assistant Secretary, Room 108, Y.M.C.A., Jerusalem, Palestine. Subject to the Provisional Rules of Procedure for the General Assembly, any such corrections will be incorporated into the Official Records when published.
SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON PALESTINE
VERBATIM RECORD OF THE THIRTIETH MEETING (PUBLIC)
Held at be Y.M.C.A. Building
Monday, 14 July 1947 at 9:00 a.m.
Mr. Garcia Granados
Sir Abdur Rahman
Mr. Garcia Salazar
Assistant Secretary General
Mr. Garcia Robles
CHAIRMAN: I call the Thirtieth Meeting to order agenda for today’s meeting contains three items: public hearing of representatives of the Communist Party of Palestine Central Committee, public hearing of representatives of the Ihud (Union) Association, public hearing of representatives of the Council (Waad Hair) of the Ashkenasic Jewish Community. For special reasons we shall have to change the order in which the hearings are going to take place so that we can hear first the representatives of the Ihud Association.
Can we adopt the agenda with this change in the order?
CHAIRMAN: It is adopted.
For Ihud, I understand that Dr. Magnes and Dr. Rainer will speak. Will you come up to the platform, Dr, Magnes and Dr. Ranier?
(Dr. Magnes and Dr. Rainer took their seats at the table).
Mr. MAGNES: Mr. Chairman and gentlemen, I should like first to present the apologies of Mr. Smilansky who it was expected would appear before you. You have from him a memorandum on land in Palestine. Unfortunately, he is not well.
I also wish introduce Dr. Rainer who for twenty-five years was one of the chief engineers of the Department of Public Works in Palestine, and Mr. Gabriel Stern, who is the editor of the Hebrew Monthly, which the Ihud Association publishes.
We had not expected to deliver an opening address. We had expected, on the basis of the material which we handed to you to spend the greater part of the time allotted to us for questions and answers. Inasmuch as the procedure seems to have been that an address should open the testimony, I have, within the past few days, jotted down what I believe has been distributed to you and what has been called an outline of the remarks I should like to make introducing what we really have to say. I will ask your pardon, therefore, for not having these remarks written out in full for you so that–they may followed with greater ease.
Our contention is that Arab-Jewish co-operation is not only necessary for the peace in this part of the world, but that it s also possible. We contend, upon the basis of experience of the past twenty-five years, that Arab-Jewish co-operation has never been made the chief .objective .of major policy, either by the Mandatory Government, by the Jewish Agency, or by those representing the Arabs. We regard this as the great sin of omission which has been committed throughout all these years. Arab-Jewish relationship is the main political problem which one has to face. There may be attempts to evade facing this by placing emphasis on other very important aspects of the problem, but that is the kernel of the problem, and it must be faced courageously and with intelligence, and upon the basis of the experience of these past twenty-five years.
Palestine is a land sui generis, and no one can have in Palestine everything that he wants. In all of the history of Palestine, no one has had everything that he wants. Palestine is not just a Jewish land; it is not just an Arab land. Among other things, Palestine is a Holy Land of three great monotheistic religions. The Arabs have great natural rights in Palestine. They have been here for centuries. The graves of their fathers are here. There are remains of Arab culture at every turn. The Mosque of Aksa is the third holy Mosque in Islam. The Mosque of Omar is one of the great architectural monuments in the world of Islam. The Arabs have tilled the soil throughout all these centuries; they have, as we say, great natural rights in Palestine.
The Jews, on the other hand, have great historical rights in Palestine. We have never forgotten this country. “If I forget Thee, O Jerusalem, may my right hand wither.” That has been upon the lips of our children from generation to generation. The Book of Books was produced here in this city by our ancestors. From that time until the present day, there have been hymns, prayers, voyages, great stirrings among, the Jewish people, indicating that this Holy Land has been engraven in their hearts all these centuries.
Moreover, since the return to Zion, during the past generation and more, the Jews have, by their sacrifice, by their scientific ability, by their love of the soil, by their hopes for its future, built up a national home of which in many respects they may well be proud. This labour also has given them a kind of right, which is not to he despised.
We have, therefore, the Arab natural rights, on the one hand, and the Jewish historical rights on the other. The question, therefore, is how can an honourable and reasonable compromise be found. There are those, we know, who reject the very idea of compromise. No answer can be found for this complicated situation, except through compromise that may be reasonable and feasible.
We are in full accord with Recommendation No. 3 of the Report of the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry. You will permit me to read part of that: “that Palestine shall be neither a Jewish State nor an Arab State”, but “a country in which the legitimate national aspirations of both Jews and Arabs can be reconciled, without either side fearing the ascendancy of the other. In our view, this cannot be done under any form of constitution in which mere numerical majority is decisive.” I should like to emphasize that they say that the answer cannot be found under any form of constitution in which a mere numerical majority is decisive “since it is precisely the struggle for a numerical majority which bedevils Arab-Jewish relations. To ensure genuine self-government for both the Arab and the Jewish communities, this struggle “— that is, for majority — “must be made purposeless by the constitution itself.”
The Anglo-American Committee did not, unhappily, propose the outlines of such a constitution. We regard this as the main weakness of their Report, with all of the recommendations of which we are in full accord. We are attempting to give the outlines of a constitution for Palestine in which the question of a mere numerical majority is not to be decisive. We propose that Palestine become a bi-national country composed of two equal nationalities, the Jews and the Arabs, a country where each nationality is to have equal political powers, regardless of who is the majority or the minority. We call this “Political: Parity”.
Majority rule is, to be sure, the accepted working rule in countries which are uni-national as, for example, in the United States, but majority rule is not the universal working rule in multi-national countries such as Belgium, Canada, Czechoslovakia, Soviet Russia, Switzerland, Yugoslavia, where the equality of basic national rights of the different nationalities making up the state is protected against majority rule. It will not do, therefore, to try to apply to a country like Palestine the working rule of the majority in some such way as is done in countries of the West. Bi-nationalism based on parity is a comparatively new way. It gives full protection to the various religions of the country, to the national languages, cultures, institutions, and yet, with all of that, there is full allegiance to the political state. Switzerland proves this possible. That, to be sure, is not so new, it is over one hundred years old. In Switzerland, there are three or four basic nationalities. There is no concurrence of religion, language, nationality in the twenty-two cantons. Some of them are divided up. Nevertheless, we find in Switzerland this great experiment that has been succeeding for more than one hundred years, of three distinct nationalities, each one guarding their own culture jealously, and at the same time, proving faithful citizens of the political state.
We contend that multi-nationalism is a high ideal. It is not just something that is made to order to cover a given situation. The old way of having a major people and a minor people in a state of various nationalities we regard as reactionary. It will not do to have a dominant people and a dominated people. That leads to constant frictions, breaks out in revolution, results in war. Parity, we, contend, is the one just relationship between the different nationalities of a multi-national state.
It is not always easy to, achieve a bi-national or multinational state. In Palestine great concessions have to be made by all concerned. What are the concessions that the Arabs would have to make? They would have to yield their ambition to set up in Palestine a uni-national independent sovereign state. There are other Arab states which are uni-national, independent, sovereign. Yet in yielding that great ambition of theirs, which is only natural and to be understood, they would enjoy the maximum of national freedom in a bi-national Palestine equally with their Jewish fellow-citizens.
What are the concessions that the Jews would have to make? They would have to give up their dream of a uni-national independent sovereign Jewish state. That is a great concession. This is the only country where such a thing is conceivable. Yet a bi-national Palestine based upon parity between the two nationalities would give the Jews what they have not in any other place. It would make them a constituent nation in this country. They would not be classified as a minority, because in the bi-national state, based upon parity, there is no such thing politically as majority.
We have seen how the minority guarantees of the Treaty of Versailles broke down at every point. Minorities can be protected only through parity, and the Jewish case, the Jewish cause in Palestine, can be protected here upon the basis of bi-nationalism with two equal nationalities, so that they are in Palestine not a minority — to be sure, not a majority, and they, too, can have full national rights equally with their Arab fellow citizens.
There is another concession that the Jews would have to make which is rather serious and which requires grave consideration. If there were a Jewish the State, presumably that Jewish State would have its representation in the United Nations. This is a problem which requires very careful consideration. We are of the opinion that the Jews should have representation in the United Nation; exactly in what form remains to be seen, although we have certain views as to how that might be achieved.
Now what are the concessions that the Administering Authority or the Mandatory, or whoever it is that is here, would have to make? This is a concession of very far-reaching importance. We say that Palestine is the Holy Land of three great monotheistic religions. Are there any practical consequences to be drawn from this? Does that merely mean that there will be a few so-called sacred places which will be held intact, to which access will be granted? That is not our conception of it. Our conception of Palestine as the Holy Land covers the whole country. Our historical and religious associations are with the whole of Palestine and not with a few isolated places. The practical consequence to be drawn from that thesis is that Palestine should be made neutral, that perpetual neutrality should be accorded Palestine. Switzerland has neutrality. The Vatican has neutrality. And what we mean by that is that Palestine should not be, should not become, a military base or a naval base, or an air base for any of the Powers, whether that Power be the Mandatory or the Administering Authority or anyone else.
We have tried to set out in the documents presented to you how self-government based on parity might be introduced and carried through in Palestine. We have envisaged this in three stages:
First, while the Mandate lasts, however long that may be, we ask for the immediate appointment —now, today, tomorrow — of an equal number of Jews and Arabs to the Executive Council of the Government, to the Secretariat, as heads of the non-controversial Central Government Departments, as Presidents of Courts, as District Commissioners. There are no Jews or Arabs in such-positions in the Central Government. There is a considerable amount of local government, but Jews and Arabs have been excluded from all responsible posts in the Central Government, as I have tried to outline. The Anglo-American Committee stated “British officials hold all the important positions. They exercise as much authority as in a country where the inhabitants are in a primitive stage of civilization.”
Now I am not criticizing the British officials. I regard them as good and able men. There are many hundreds of British officials, aside from the police, in this tiny country. That we do contend is that there are Jews and Arabs — and many of them — who could fill these positions with equal distinction, and we see no reason in the world why in these posts of great authority in the Central Government merit there should be no Jews and no Arabs. We ask that that be done now, at once.
Secondly, we favour — we have favoured, it is not only just before you that we have favoured — the transfer of Palestine for an agreed transitional period to the Trusteeship system of the United Nations. When and if that stage is reached we think that the first thing that ought to be done is the appointment of a Commission on Constitution which should be composed, among others, of an equal number of Jews and of Arabs. It will not be easy to work out a draft of a constitution for a bi-national Palestine based on parity. It may take a long time. It will require a great deal of expert help, particularly from such countries as are successfully multi-national today. It may be that there will be more than one report presented to the Constituent Assembly which we envisage. But it is necessary that this basic work be done under the auspices of the Trusteeship Council of the United Nations. If, at the Constituent Assembly which is to be elected upon the basis of parity between the Jews and the Arabs, there be no agreement on this or that point, we propose that on these moot points the decision be left to the Trusteeship Council of the United Nations.
Now we realize that one of the disadvantages of a bi-national system based upon parity is that there may be a deadlock, a stalemate, and that it may hard to come to a decision. We think that on social and economic questions as the Royal Commission expressed it in its Report, some Jews and some Arabs would vote together. On national questions, however, it may be that the Jewish representation and the Arab representation would find no way of coming to a conclusion. We propose, in order to meet this, that a tribunal of arbitration should be in constant existence, appointed by the Trust ship Council of the United Nations. Some of these provisions must be embodied in the organic law of the state. They would have to be removed from all danger of majorization, of being subject to a majority. It has beer asked, for example, how could the bi-national state legislate on immigration. We propose that there be a standing Committee on Immigration on which should be represented the Jews, the Arabs and the United Nations. I shall deal with immigration later on, but the decisive voice would be that of the United Nations. We do not believe, in general, that it is possible, within the near future, for Palestine to be without some third party — the United Nations. It may be that in the course of Palestine's development that may be achieved. There certainly is required, I do not say a long period, but a considerable period of transition under the auspices of the trusteeship system of the United Nations.
Why should that be so hard to accept? A bi-national Palestine would be a union, a federation of two peoples. Every union, every federation, lays certain limitations upon its constituent members. Even great powers turn to the United Nations or wish to turn to the International Court of Justice in order that some of these very difficult basic problems may be considered and may be decided by someone other than themselves. Why should a tiny country like Palestine, a Holy Land of three religions, regard it as a disgrace to have to turn to the Trusteeship Council of the United Nations for help to bring them over these difficulties which history — a long and chequered history — has created?
We then envisage the third state. After this transitional period of trusteeship, the bi-national Palestine of two equal nationalities is to become an independent state. It is to have the power of deciding whether and upon what terms it is to join a wider federation of neighbouring countries within the framework of the United Nations. We are all for that, we have been for that these many years. We think that a bi-national Palestine based on parity has a great mission to help revive this Semitic world materially and spiritually. The Jews and the Arabs are the only two peoples remaining from Semitic antiquity. We are related. We have lived and worked together. We have fashioned cultural values together throughout our history. We regard it as the mission of the bi-national Palestine to bring about once again, within the Semitic world, this revival of the spirit which has characterized Semitic history from antiquity.
I have dealt thus far with the structure of the bi-national State based upon parity. If you have given attention to the documents which we have submitted, you will have seen that we have given in very great detail certain suggestions as to how this state should be constituted, suggestions which might be turned over to that Committee on Constitution which I mentioned. We talk of the Head of the State. We talk of the Federal Executive, the Federal Legislature. We talk of countries or cantons, however they may be called. We talk of the Executive and of the Advisory Council. We talk also of a consultative body to be constituted even during the time of the Mandate, or the Trusteeship. If you wish to go into some of these details in your questions, we shall try to do our best to answer. We do not pretend that the scheme we have drawn up cannot be improved. We do say that we have given it considerable thought.
Now, just as the structure of the state is one side of the problem, so is immigration another side. Indeed, the question of Jewish immigration is in many ways the crux of the whole situation. We propose three principles upon which Jewish immigration is to be encouraged. You will note that I say “encouraged”.
First, that Jewish immigration be permitted up to parity with the Arabs. We call this numerical parity. What I have been describing before is, I said, what we call political parity. This would enable the Jews to bring in another 500,000 to 600,000 immigrants.
The second principle would be that Jewish immigration be regulated in accordance with the economic absorptive capacity of the country.
Third, that this economic absorptive capacity of the country be enlarged through a Development Plan, which is to be of benefit to all the inhabitants of the country.
May I take up these three principles or stages one by one as brief as I can: Number one. Why should not the 100,000 Jewish displaced persons be admitted into Palestine rapidly? President Truman began to speak of it, I think, almost two years ago. Admitting them into Palestine would, of course, mean an enormous enterprise. It will require great sums of money, great capacity for absorption, and great sacrifice on the part of the Jews of Palestine and perhaps of the rest of the world. We wish to express to you our opinion that if it be decided to admit these 100,000 Jews into Palestine as rapidly as possible, you will find that the Jews of all the world will put their shoulders to the wheel — that they will find the manpower, the organizational ability, the money, together with the money which the United States and Great Britain have already said they were ready to put into this enterprise. It will be a great challenge to the Jewish people. No one can say to you at the present time that these 100,000 can be absorbed in Palestine in a year, as was thought. But the Jewish people should be challenged with that. We have wanted these 100,000 of our brothers and sisters so intensely that it seems to us that it ought to be granted, if for no other reason than because the Jewish people have suffered this unspeakable tragedy. Forty percent of the Jewish people have been annihilated. No other people has suffered anywhere near such losses. This challenge to the Jewish people, putting upon their backs this burden, this task, would in large measure calm them down and keep them from thinking constantly of what has happened to father, mother, brother and sister in those gas chambers. The Jewish people need to be saddled with this enterprise. One should not be particular and say that 1,500 or 4,000 or 5,000 a month, or however many a month, should be admitted. Give these certificates, 100,000 certificates, and tell the Jewish people that they are primarily responsible for the use of them. Those who have rooms to spare in our spacious homes will yield some of them. Those of us who have clothes to spare will turn some of them over. Those of us who have a little extra money, or no extra money, will turn the money over or go into debt. It is a matter of historic mercy. It is a psychological problem, and not so much a political or an economic problem. The Jewish people must be given something not as a gift — not as charity — but given a task, a burden, an enterprise. One hundred thousand souls: What greater function can all of-us see before ourselves than to do what we can to bring these brands from the burning into this new National Home.
The Arabs need not be afraid of these 100,000. In one of our documents yon will find that we have made a computation based upon authentic figures which will show that during the war there was very little Jewish immigration. The Arab natural increase is much greater than that of the Jews — almost twice as much. During the war, all these years, the Arab natural increase has brought the Arab population up to figures out of all proportion to what they were at before. Last year when we prepared these figures we found that if 100,000 Jews were brought into the country at once the increase in the Jewish population in relation to the Arab would be only about 30,000 taking into account the lack of immigration during the war and the greater Arab natural increase. These 30,000 would not bring the Jewish state of which the Arabs are so afraid. We are convinced that if these 100,000 had been admitted, without all of this discussion going on for almost two years, the Arabs would have acquiesced. They would have protested, but we know that they are at heart our brothers, and that it would not have been on account of these 100,000 that any revolt would have taken place. We feel the same thing now despite the fact that the situation has been aggravated by these two years of bitter and acrimonious discussion.
The next stage that we envisage is, as I have said, up to parity with the Arabs. From where would these additional immigrants come? There are, in accordance with figures that I have seen lately, about 200,000 displaced Jews in the camps of Europe. That would not make up the 500,000 to 600,000 to bring the Jewish numbers up to parity with the Arabs. These immigrants would probably come, in the first place, from North Africa. There are 300,000 to 400,000 Jews in North Africa, who are very unhappy. Then there are hundreds of thousands of Jews in Hungary and Rumania. And in Jewish history, one can never tell, unfortunately, where the shoe will begin to pinch next. Moreover, there are many Jewish young men and women who want to give their strength to the upbuilding of the National Home, although they are not in need of migrating at all. They would make up, so we think, the additional numbers.
Then the third stage is if parity were ever reached with the Arabs, what then? I mentioned to you, in the first place, the greater Arab natural increase. There would always be that much to catch up with. But the chief answer that we give is that if in the course of those years Jews and Arabs find the way of peace and understanding together, they would come to some agreed conclusion as to how much additional Jewish immigration the Jews might be able to have.
As I have said to you, my friend, Mr. Smilansky, had expected to say something to you about legislation for land reform. His point is that all discriminatory restrictions should be removed and that adequate protection for small owners and tenant cultivators, particularly among the Arabs, should be provided for. I mentioned, in passing, the Development Plan. It has been said that the United States Government and the British Government are ready to invest large sums in the economic development of Palestine and the Middle East. We propose that on the Development Board, that board which is to work out these plans, the Jews and Arabs be equally represented, among others, just as we proposed the same thing for this Immigration Board, which I touched upon in passing.
We have no belief in Partition for many reasons — religious, historical, political, economic. Indeed we regard Partition as not only impracticable, but, should it be carried through, as a great misfortune for both Jews and Arabs. We have not wanted to encumber our documents to you by engaging in polemics with the advocates of Partition, whom we greatly respect. We have wanted to present a positive case for a united bi-national Palestine on its own merits. Should it, however, ha desired, we are ready to formulate our arguments against Partition as well.
We are greatly encouraged by the advocacy of the idea of a bi-national Palestine by some of the delegates at the Special Session on Palestine of the United Nations General Assembly. It had been said by the Chief Delegate of the U.S.S.R. that Partition is only to be considered if a bi-national solution should prove to be impossible.
We think it is the task of statesmanship to make this possible. In any event we think consideration of Partition entirely premature until the bi-national Palestine be given a full and fair chance to prove its worth over a number of years.
We regret to say that it has never been .given this chance. Neither the British Government nor the Jewish and Arab leaders have ever made any determined and systematic attempt to make Jewish-Arab cooperation a chief objective of their major policy. The Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry made very important recommendations in this direction, but the leaders all around failed to accept them or to implement them.
Many Jews as well as many Arabs of all classes and sections — some openly and many more privately — anxiously look for a courageous lead from you which will deliver this unhappy country from the evils of political tension and nationalist passion, of mental and physical terror. We call upon you to take up this noble attempt, and not to accept counsels of despair, but to give a fair chance to constructive proposals which in the long run bear hope for real freedom, prosperity and peace for the two peoples of this land.
CHAIRMAN: I thank you, Dr. Magnes. I understand that Dr. Rainer is not going to give an address. Is that right?
Mr. MAGNES: No, Dr. Rainer is prepared particularly to give you details in relation to Partition should you so require them, more specially in relation to the analyses of the Woodhead Commission which rejected, in its time, the proposal of the Peel Commission. Dr. Rainer can tell you a great deal about the water resources of the country, erosion, and other things. And should you so desire, he will answer your questions, if they come.
CHAIRMAN: How we can begin our questions.
Mr. MAGNES: You can begin your questions with me, if you please.
CHAIRMAN: Before I do that, I will ask you if you want a recess before we begin?
Mr. MAGNES: No, I am ready for a long session with you.
CHAIRMAN: Then we will begin at once. I should, first want to ascertain whether your suggestions now are the same as those you made before the Anglo-American Committee?
Mr. MAGNES: Substantially the same.
CHAIRMAN: I understand there are very small modifications?
Mr. MAGNES: Yes, we have taken into account some of the documents that have appeared during the past year, particularly the Morrison-Grady Report, and the Bevin proposals of February 7, 1947, which are the latest of the British proposals, and we have addressed ourselves in some detail to those. But, essentially what we propose to you is what we proposed to the Anglo-American Committee, and for that reason our document to you is really rather thin. We thought that you would be called upon to read several thousand pages and if you found a thin document you might be tempted to read it.
CHAIRMAN: Wee appreciate that. Then I should want to ask some questions regarding the way in which your scheme for bi-national state would operate. I want to know if I am right when I think that it would be partly through regional provinces, territorial provinces, and partly through communities without any territorial basis?
Mr. MAGNES: Yes, we provide for the division of Palestine into counties, to use the English term, or cantons, to use the Swiss term. Some of these counties need not be territorially contiguous. Some of them would be mostly Arab or purely Arab. Some of them might be purely Jewish. Some of them would be mixed. They would be scattered throughout the country. That would be on the one hand. On the other hand, in our plan we provide for two National Councils, the Jewish National Council and the Arab National Council, which would have cultural functions, primarily. Then we provide also for the religious courts, both Jewish and Moslem, inasmuch as those are institutions that are rooted in the very ancient tradition of this country.
CHAIRMAN: I suppose that you mean the details of the constitution would be worked out by this Committee which would be set up for working out the constitution. But I should like to have your suggestion as to how the elections for the legislature would take place.
Mr. MAGNES: We do not favour what is called “communal lists”. By communal lists one means that all the Jews of the .country would vote on one list of electors and all the Arabs of the country on another list. We favour the territorial method. We favour election, as I have said, by counties. In the purely Arab counties we presume that there might be two or three, or however many Arab tickets, to be voted for by the elector. The same in the purely Jewish counties. In the mixed counties we even go so far as to think that in some places the Arabs might even favour a Jewish candidate, and the Jews might even favour an Arab candidate. I do not want to become too personal, but I think I could mention a couple of mixed districts where that might very well take place. The voting would be by counties and be regulated in such a way as in the final analysis to produce in the Constituent Assembly in the first place an equal number of Jews and of Arabs, and in the Legislative Assembly, which we hope might result from the Constituent Assembly, an equal number of Jews and Arabs.
CHAIRMAN: Yes, there will be a provision in the constitution which would have the effect that an equal number would be elected?
Mr. MAGNES: Yes.
CHAIRMAN: I come now to the big dividing question — the question of immigration. I suppose the question of the 100,000 Jews who would be allowed to immigrate immediately would be a problem which would have to be provided for in the decision of the United Nations. When you came to your further immigration policy you mentioned the principle that the Jews would be allowed to immigrate up to a number which would equalize both groups, and you mentioned also that the principle would be the economic absorptive capacity. Do you mean that these principles could be inscribed in the original decision of the United Nations, or in the constitution? Or how have you envisaged that?
Mr. MAGNES: Yes, I think. It is absolutely required that those principles be enunciated from the beginning. Those would be principles that ought to be very clearly laid down because in that way you would be providing for two equal nationalities. That is the basis of our whole conception.
CHAIRMAN: I think your scheme is inspired by a great ideal. If one has hesitation it is, as you yourself pointed out on the ground of the practical workability of the scheme, and the test for the workability of the scheme, I think you said yourself, would be cooperation. If you cannot bring about the necessary cooperation I think the scheme will fail. Do you agree with me on the importance of cooperation in the working of your scheme?
Mr. MAGNES: Your question is how to bring that cooperation about. There are some who say that the Jews and the Arabs will have to agree in advance to certain abstract principles providing for cooperation between them. We say that cooperation is not produced in that way. We say that discussion, while very essential, can run out into the years and produce nothing practical. That has been the case right along in this country. There have been certain agreements, certain texts of agreements drawn up, certain discussions between Jews and Arabs. Our contention is that cooperation is brought about not through discussion, but through life itself. By life we mean, among other things, government.
Why do we propose that there should be Jews and Arabs in the Executive Council? Why do we propose all of these things that affects intimately the individual and the communal life of every person and of every community. Immigration affects it. Development affects it. Sitting in the Executive Council of Government affects it; being members of the Secretariat, being Presidents of Courts, being District Commissioners — most important position, coming into contact with the people of the country. That is the way cooperation is brought about. Cooperation cannot be brought about, so we have learned, through agreement in advance. Had that been possible, that agreement would have been made long since because, whatever be the views of this one or that, there is hardly anyone who would deny that cooperation is much to be preferred to strife and animosity.
Why has cooperation not taken place up to this time? It is because the Jews and the Arabs have not been given the opportunity of creating together. One of the ways of creating together is through government. That is perhaps the chief way of creating together. And it is for that reason we lay such great stress upon declaring in advance more or less what the form of government is to be.
A man in a municipality — a Jew or an Arab — knows that the paving of a street in front of his house, or the laying of a sewer is an important thing. But we find that there have not been the opportunities for Jew and Arab to sit down together over these matters. There have been opportunities — I should like to correct myself — in relation to the municipality, but I am talking primarily now of central government. That is the way, so we contend, cooperation can be brought about. By creating the conditions in life, people must come together and work together for their common good.
CHAIRMAN: I quite appreciate what you said. When you are striving for an ideal you are perhaps not engrossed in the difficulties, but on the other hand, you have to have the difficulties cleared before your eyes, and I suppose that you are quite aware that the difficulties in the way of cooperation in this case may be greater that in the case of bi-national or federal states, which you have quoted. We have, for instance, this difference of mentality between the two communities, the difference of general outlook on life, the difference in ways of living, the differences of standards of life. I suppose those are difficulties which have not existed to the same degree in the other multi-national or bi-national states of which you have spoken”?
Mr. MAGNES: I do not want to go into a description of the other multi-national states, although I think I could show that there are these differences in standards in some of them. But those are facts which you have mentioned. There are these differences in the standard of life between the Jews and Arabs. Those are the facts which we have to face together, the facts that we have to try to overcome together. It will not do, so it seems to us, to try to segregate the Jews from the Arabs, or the Arabs from the Jews, because there happen to be differences in standards. One sees for example, in the United States of America how in one generation — and it takes no longer than that, and sometimes half a generation — these differences of education and of tradition are completely wiped out, and the ignorant become the learned on an equal level with those who have the tradition of learning for a long time back.
Those are not insuperable problems. It requires merely the will to face them together. They cannot be faced by trying to put the Arabs into one compartment of an insane house, and the Jews into another compartment of an insane house.
In the Government memorandum I was struck by one phrase which, I must say, seemed to me to be very frank because it was in accord with what I had been observing for the past twenty-five years of my residence here. They said there — I do not think I can quote the exact words — that the Mandate did not apply itself to bridge-building. Well, it was always our conception that the Mandate was just for that purpose — to build the bridge between the two peoples. It would appear from this document — and that is not true, for example, of the administration of a High Commissioner like General Arthur Wauchope who was greatly interested in bridge-building and did a great deal of bridge-building between Arabs and Jews — that the Mandate was a sort of in referee in a prize-ring where two combatants were fighting one another. These combatants were doing all the work and the umpire was judging them. We do not regard the thing from that point of view at all. We think that the conception of bridge-building is a much higher conception. You build a bridge this way — from both ends bringing peoples together. Or we have thought of it from the point of view of the teacher: The Mandatory as a teacher trying to teach two peoples not always equal in their standard of education, not always equal in many other respects, but teaching them, leading them. It says there, however, the Mandate does not apply itself to bridge-building.
What we propose is this bridge-building. It can be done. It will take a long time. We do not try to deceive ourselves, and we certainly are not trying to deceive anyone else. It will not be done overnight. It cannot be done from today to tomorrow. For that reason we do not think there can be any sort of finality about any answer that is given to this problem at the present time. This is a situation that has to be permitted to develop and. to grow under happy auspices, under the direction of men of goodwill, teachers who understand what it is to have two pupils in one class, one backward and one more forward-looking. That is our whole contention. That is one of the reasons I have been talking about, one of the reasons we oppose partition. It is along those lines we think.
CHAIRMAN: One could certainly develop a good deal on the difficulties; and one of the difficulties is, of course, what you have pointed out, the separateness of the communities and the tendency of the Mandatory rule to widen the rift instead of bridging it. But I shall not go into that question. I shall only mention one difficulty, which I think might be the greatest, and that it this. When you state that the Arab standpoint, the Arab ambition, as you put it, is self-government, that is true; but I wonder whether the Arabs, in self-government, do not also put in a notion of proprietorship to the country and that they feel the Jewish immigration here is an invasion, a penetration, and that they resent this immigration. My question is whether the Arabs, in the scheme you propose, resent the insertion of this immigration as a condition of the cooperation. It is just the opposite of their aim, I think.
Mr. MAGNES: You are right in saying that that is the chief objection the Arabs have to the Jews — that the Jews are coming here in too large numbers. And from a certain point of view, when they use the term “invasion” it may be right. People are coming from the outside who were not born here, and that might perhaps conceivably be called an invasion. We have great sympathy with the Arab fear of Jewish domination. That is what it arrives at. We do not believe that the Arabs ought to be dominated by the Jews. We do not think Palestine is a place for that. But we do not think that the Jews ought to be dominated by the Arabs. If we come here as invaders — to use that very harsh term — it is not because we have found a new continent, as the early American settlers who found great riches before them and who wiped out the Indians in order to make a place for themselves in those vast spaces. We have not come into this country for wealth, because it can hardly be called a wealthy country from the material point of view. The wealth that is here we have more or less created by taking advantage of some of the natural resources which heretofore had been supposed not to exist as, for example, water. We have not come here because we happened to find on the map a country in 1917 where there were 800,000 inhabitants and which perhaps might hold 4,000,000; where the inhabitants are weak and we are going to overcome and dispossess them.
Why is it that we do it? Why is it that there are some of these younger men and women among the Jews who have no need whatsoever, materially or even spiritually, of migrating from their homes? It is because this is Palestine. It is because this is Eretz Israel. It is because we have these links with this country. If the Arabs want to deny the substantiality of these spiritual links, that is of course their affair, but we think that these spiritual links are just as substantial as the Kushan which my former landlord had, in the house where I lived, throughout his family for almost six hundred years. Before Columbus went to America his family had that title deed to that land. That is a mighty strong claim that he has. We contend that our claim is at least as strong — to be sure, not so material. This happens to be an instance where the Jewish people, which is accused of being a materialist people, is trying to emphasize spiritual bonds and trying to make these spiritual historic bonds of equal validity at least with these material Kuslans or deeds, which certain landlords have over the soil.
You have put the problem from the Arab point of view, and you must consider it from that point of view. I have tried to give you an answer from our point of view. There are some who criticize us and say that the Arab natural rights, as we have called them, are not to be considered as of equal validity with Jewish historical rights. Our whole conception is to try to make this something that is equal —equality. There may be a certain amount of artificiality in that. If you weigh the thing, if it were capable of being weighed — these natural rights and these historical rights — heaven known to which side the scale would tip. But this is a human situation and we think that situation can be met more or less successfully if we say to both of these peoples, both of whom have very good claims to this country: your claims are just; your claims have equal validity; now let us try to see if we cannot build up a common life together from that common background.
CHAIRMAN: You spoke of the somewhat artificial character of this principle of equality. That makes me ask another question. Would not the Arabs resent this artificial character of some of the most important principles of the constitution? Would they not say that they had been conceived with the aim of keeping them down? I mean, I suppose they have the majority now in the country, and they could say that these principles aim at depriving them of this majority situation.
Mr. MAGNES: These principles do deprive the Arabs of what a majority has in uni-national states. If Palestine were an Arab state and the Arabs were in the majority, they would be the rulers of the state; they would be the dominant people, the Jews the dominated people. If this were a Jewish state and the tables were reversed, the Jews would be the dominant people and the Arabs the dominated people. We have tried to avoid that. We have tried to set up the principle of multi-nationalism. It is not a principle which we ourselves have invented. There is a great literature to be studied on that principle. We quoted at least three books in some of our documents, all of them published in 1945: one on “Nationalism and Nationalities”, by Professor Janovsky of New York; another “Eastern Europe between the Wars, 1918-1941” by Professor H. Seton-Watson; and another by Mr. A. Cobban on “National Self-Determination”. It is not as though the situation in Yugoslavia, for example, which is the newest of the multi-national countries, were the same as in Switzerland, or that the situation in the Soviet Union were the same as in Belgium. The situation in Palestine is different from what it is in any of these, but there is this basic guiding principle of which we are advocates. We contend that this principle is a lofty principle. It is lofty because it tries to do away with domination by a majority over a minority. And it is lofty because it tries to find a practical way of bringing together different types of human beings. It is history that has created that. It is history that has created this congeries of nationalities in the Balkans, for example, and in this country and in other countries. No one of us has created that. The question is, how are we going to try to meet that historical situation?
We contend that you have to have a principle. That principle is the principle of bi-nationalism. Within that principle you will have to find very many ingenious methods of meeting certain practical, day-to-day difficulties. We have tried to outline some of those — by no means all of them — and it is for that reason that we suggest that there be a Commission on constitution, which is to work through and take its time in working through the details of this bi-national or multi-national state.
CHAIRMAN: I look at the question the whole time from the point of view of the practical workability, and from that point of view I ask this question also. Would not this artificial character of the principle of equality of which we have spoken give from the outset an invidious character to the constitution on the Arab side?
Mr. MAGNES: It might well be. There are Arabs who say that. On the other hand, there are Arabs — and I can testify to this from my personal experience — who are altogether in favour of this bi-national idea of two equal peoples in Palestine. If there is another answer that is better than this, then that other answer ought to be applied. We think there is no better answer and we think therefore that the best must be made of this principle of bi-nationalism or of multi-nationalism.
CHAIRMAN: Would it not have been a good thing for the success of your idea — of your scheme — if it had been put to trial at an earlier stage — let us say ten years ago?
Mr. MAGNES: You would not think that I was trying to be amusing if I said it would have been better if it had been tried twenty-five years ago.
CHAIRMAN: What I am aiming at is whether the situation has not deteriorated.
MAGNES: It has deteriorated almost from year to year.
CHAIRMAN: And also, we may say, from the time when the Anglo-American Committee made its inquiry.
Mr. MAGNES: It has deteriorated in certain respects since then, I think, primarily because of the failure to grant the 100,000 immigration certificates. On the other hand, since the Anglo-American Committee has been here there have been discussions of the problem on the Arab side, not altogether in the spirit of the present Arab Higher Committee. I think you will find from some of the discussions of the Arab League, or from some of the members of the Arab League, a much more moderate attitude towards these proposals of ours than the present intransigent position of the Arab Higher Committee. But you are right; the situation has deteriorated. The situation has deteriorated technically in my view since the Jewish Agency adopted as its official programme the Jewish State for Palestine.
Mr. GRANADOS (Guatemala): I should like to ask a question in this connection.
CHAIRMAN: I should like to put my question first. Then I shall give the right to other Members to put their questions.
Mr. GRANADOS (Guatemala): But it is related to this.
CHAIRMAN: Yes, but it is related, you can also put the question afterwards. Is it not right to say that the anxiety of the Arabs has been aroused by this claim for a Jewish State?
Mr. MAGNES: There is no question of it.
CHAIRMAN: That the exasperation on both sides, has increased?
Mr. MAGNES: Yes.
CHAIRMAN: That there is a rather nervous state of affairs here?
Mr. MAGNES: Yes.
CHAIRMAN: But you do not think it is .too late to put your idea to a test?
Mr. MAGNES: It is never too late to do a good thing.
CHAIRMAN: You envisage the continuation of the Mandate for a transitional period and then a trusteeship. Would that not, to a certain degree continue the present situation, with important modifications? I quite see the importance of for instance, the elements of the population taking more part in the Government and of these attempts to bring about cooperation. But would it not be, in the main, about the same situation for the trustee as it is for the Mandatory?
Mr. MAGNES: If I understand the question, it means this: that whatever situation there is anywhere, a certain continuity is required, except if there be a revolution. If you have a revolution, then the existing situation can be overturned and continuity is destroyed. I do not know that anybody at the present time is planning that. So that it would necessarily follow that the Mandate would continue for a given period until the trusteeship system made the mandated territory a trust territory. In order to do that, the Charter provides that a trusteeship agreement has to be drawn up with the Mandatory itself. That would take a considerable period, I should say. Whatever be the answer, the country cannot just be left to itself, all of a sudden, overnight.
CHAIRMAN: I am thinking more of the trusteeship which would follow and which, in your opinion, would take quite a considerable time.
Mr. MAGNES: Yes, I think that the trusteeship system would take a number of years.
CHAIRMAN: I mean that during that period the same difficulties would be encountered.
Mr. MAGNES: No. You know the trusteeship terms better than I do, but if I have read these terms aright, it would seem to me to be a different situation. For example, the old League of Nations Mandates Commission was not permitted to visit Palestine. Well, under the trusteeship agreement, the administering authority would have no right to object to your Committee or some other Committee of the United Nations visiting Palestine. There are ever so many differences, it seems to me, between the Mandatory and the trustee.
CHAIRMAN: Then I shall only ask you one more question, and that is with regard to the section of the population which is in favour of your solution. I know that you do not represent a large organization, that it is a comparatively small organization, but I think it has been pointed out already to the Anglo-American Committee of inquiry that there is quite a large portion of the population which, in the main, adheres to your ideas.
Mr. MAGNES: There is a very large proportion of the population advocating a bi-national state, and even a much larger proportion of the population that would accept a bi-national State no matter what their present views were. There is a very large proportion of the population definitely committed to the bi-national state, and there is an even larger proportion of the population who would accept the bi-national state once the bi-national state were proposed.
CHAIRMAN: I suppose it is difficult to express in figures the section of the population which would be in favour of such a solution.
Mr. MAGNES: Well, it is difficult, but I think it can be approximated. As you pointed out, our organization is not a political party. It is a small political group, a club — you might call it that —which publishes a monthly, in Hebrew, 1,300 copies a month. We know we have thousands and thousands of readers. We are partners with the Hashomer Hatzair Labour Organization in what is called the League for Jewish-Arab Rapprochement and Cooperation, which is going to appear before you, so I gather. It is we and they who make up this League, and it is they who advocate a bi-national state. Their votes during the last election here for members of the Vaad Leumi, if I remember rightly, were over 85,000. Then, there are the Communists, who were here before you yesterday. They are for a bi-national state. I would like to say that there are differences, of course, between all of us as to this and that detail. There is, I would like to add further, a large section of the inarticulate population very much in favour of some such accommodation with the Arabs. There is a large proportion of the Palestine Jewish population not concentrated in political parties. We get evidences of this constantly. I do, personally.
We published a book in February, a copy of which we submitted to the Members of your Committee, called “Towards Union in Palestine”. We published 2,500 copies of that book. The copies were exhausted almost at once.
I was in New York last summer, and there we published the testimony which our organization gave before the Anglo-American Committee. We published 2,000 copies. Those 2,000 copies were taken up within a few days. We had to publish another 2,000 copies, and they, were exhausted presently. In other words, we do get indications all around that a large part of the inarticulate Jewish population would be happy, would rejoice, if some way of accommodation between the Jews and Arabs along these lines, more or less, could be found. Just how many and what the proportion is, I do not know. But I have no doubt and I am ready to admit that the majority of the Jewish population is in favour of a Jewish state.
CHAIRMAN: A uni-national Jewish state?
Mr. MAGNES: In favour of a Jewish state of one sort or another. I think it is correct to say that.
CHAIRMAN: I thank you, Dr. Magnes, for your answers to my questions.
I give you the right, Mr. Granados, to put your questions.
Mr. GRANADOS (Guatemala): I thank you very much for the great favour you are granting to me. It seems that nowadays dictatorship is a bit contagious. I should like to put to Dr. Magnes some questions relating to his plan, but not to the ultimate end of his plan. I should like to know just why this plan which, in a great part, was adopted by the Anglo-American Committee, was not carried out. For instance, the Anglo-American Committee asked for 100,000 immigrants to come in. The Anglo-American Committee accepted the idea of a bi-national state. More than a year has passed, and nothing has been done. Is there not something lacking at the base of the plan? What do you think, Dr. Magnes?
Mr. MAGNES: I do not think that is the reason. I think there are other reasons if I understand the situation. The Anglo-American Committee put forward this general idea: no Jewish State, no Arab State — and we call that a bi-national state. But they did not propose any constitution for that state.
It has been said, therefore, that the British Government held up the issuing of the 100,000 immigration certificates in order to try to bring together the two main aspects of the problem: immigration being one aspect and the form of the state — self-government — being the other. The Anglo-American Committee went into great detail concerning the one aspect, namely, immigration. The British Government therefore, if I read the situation aright — and I have no information except that which one gets from the press — proposed to the American Government that two committees of experts — they were called delegations — were to meet in London in order to try and work out the second aspect of the problem, namely , the political. The result of those meetings was what is known as the Morrison-Grady Report. It is a great pity that the Morrison-Grady Report has not been published in full. I suppose you gentlemen have seen it in full; I think others have also seen it in full. You find there a considerable discussion as to how this recommendation, recommendation No. 3 of the Anglo-American Committee which I read to you, could be implemented. The purpose of the Morrison-Grady experts was to try to find a way of giving practical form to that.
Well, I think only a torso of the plan was produced by Mr. Morrison in the House of Commons at the time. It provided for two provinces, a Jewish province and an Arab province, as you know, with no participation of the Jews or the Arabs in central government whatsoever, and with many other drawbacks. At once, both sides — both the Jews and the Arabs — rejected the Morrison-Grady plan. The British Government therefore was not satisfied that the two aspects of the problem had been worked out together; the immigration aspect and the political, self-government aspect.
What they did was to produce other plans. On 5 February 1947, they tried to call a conference, and all the rest of it. I need not go into those details. At any rate, I think there are two reasons why the bi-national plan was not advocated. The one that I have just given, that there was no political aspect to the immigration side of the problem; and the second, that there was a tremendous propaganda for partition, particularly in England, throughout the whole of the past year. The Secretary of State for the Colonies was said to be in favour of partition. The London “Times” was in favour of partition. And large number of other prominent individuals and publications were in favour of partition. I think it was for those two reasons, because of the lack of a clear-cut political solution, and because of the propaganda for partition, that the bi-national plan was put into the background.
Mr. GRANADOS (Guatemala): Do you think there is a real chance of your plan or any other plan being carried out under a mandatory, or do you think that it would have more chance under an independent state?
Mr. MAGNES: I think that in order to get an independent state you have to have a transitional period.
Mr. GRANADOS (Guatemala): For how long?
Mr. MAGNES: It is difficult, I must confess, for me to say. In these British proposals of 5 February 1947, Mr. Bevin proposes five years. I think that is too short a time. I think that is too short a time for two reasons. In the first place, you have to give the Jews a longer time within which to immigrate. In the second place, you have to give both the Jews and the Arabs a somewhat longer time to settle down together, to work out this constitution that I speak of. I would say that the interim period, the transitional period of trusteeship, should be measured by the time within which this constitution could be worked out.
Mr. GRANADOS (Guatemala): When you speak of trusteeship, do you envisage any particular country as a trustee?
Mr. MAGNES: Yes. I do not know just what the result is going to be, but I assume that Britain is going to continue as a trustee. And why? Because Britain, whatever is said, has interests in this part of the world. Your trusteeship agreement will have to be made with Great Britain, if it is to be if made at all. And I should imagine that Great Britain would say: Well, we can remain a trustee. Moreover, Britain has had this tremendous experience here of twenty-five years, which is not just to be put aside. There are some of us, if I may make a confession to you, who have great admiration for the liberalism of Great Britain, for the traditional liberalism of Great Britain; and, particularly now, if I may speak for myself: for the way in which Great Britain is trying to change [MISSED WORD] inspire, change her Imperialism, which has brought a great deal of unhappiness, into a Commonwealth; the way she has tried to do it in India, the way she has tried to do it in Burma, the way she is trying to do it in Egypt, whether with complete success or not. That is one of the great political movements of history. That is another reason — if you ask me the question — why I say Great Britain would probably be the trustee over this period.
I would like to add one mare thing. We assume also that the Trusteeship Council is going to exercise control. We also assume that the Trusteeship. Council is in a position different from that of the Council of the League of Nations in relation to that unhappy Mandate Commission. Moreover, I hope that you have not overlooked what I said about neutrality in this country. I hope that some consideration may be given to that. I hope that Palestine or this part of the world might be very unattractive, and I hope it may be made very unattractive, to Great Britain or to any other power, if Palestine were to be forbidden as the base for armies, navies and air forces. Now I do not know if, in a neutralized Palestine, Great Britain would want to be the trustee and would insist on being the trustee when she makes the trusteeship agreements with you or with the United Nations. But I have tried to give an answer to your question as fully as I could.
Mr. GRANADOS (Guatemala): You have lived in the country for the last twenty-five years. You have seen the results of the Mandate. Do you think that your people, the Jews, and your friends, the Arabs, would be happy under that trusteeship?
Mr. MAGNES: Whether they be happy or not, I do not know. I think I can say this for the Jews, if you will permit me to. I cannot speak for the Arabs. I think that if, once these problems can be met in some such spirit of cooperation as we have tried to indicate, the Jews would be happy to have Great Britain as the trustee during this interim period. You may think that is strange, but I think I know my own people some what, and I think you can find expressions of that, even in the most extreme quarters. Moreover, who is to be here in place of Great Britain? If we knew that, we might perhaps be able to give you a better answer as to whether we would prefer that particular country to Great Britain.
Mr. GRANADOS (Guatemala): Well, that is exactly what I meant when I said that on the basis of your reasoning there was something lacking. Thank you very much.
Mr. SALAZAR (Peru): I wish to ask Dr. Magnes to explain something. You have stated that in a bi-national state with political parity the numerical relation between Arabs and Jews would have no importance whatever. And yet, you propose immigration until numerical parity is attained. I find an apparent contradiction between those two propositions. Will you make clear your proposal, please?
Mr. MAGNES: Well, I admit to that contradiction. If, on the one hand, .one says that a bi-national state with two equal nationalities, no matter who is the majority or the minority, is to be established, and in the same breath, one says that the Jews are not to be enabled to go beyond parity, there is undoubtedly a contradiction there.
The Hashomer Hatzair Party, for example, who, with us, advocate a bi-national state, overcome that contradiction in a way that we have not been able to. They say, inasmuch as majority-minority is not to play a decisive role, let the Jews then become the majority, if they can, if there be need for that in the exigencies of Jewish life. Now, we have put this, you might say, political level on the increase of the Jewish population up to parity because of political considerations.
I have had the experience that in talking with Arabs there was understanding of parity in population but no understanding whatsoever of the idea that inasmuch as majority-minority was not to play the decisive role, let the Jews become the majority. It is there for the sake of trying to work out some acceptable formula to both sides. Your logical contradiction, nevertheless, remains.
Mr. BLOM (Netherlands): I would like to ask Dr. Magnes this: Dr. Magnes visualizes a transnational period. We do not know exactly — and he does not either — what the duration of this period will be. But Dr. Magnes gave the indication that five years, in his opinion, is to short. I think that was the way he put it. What I would like to know is this: What will be, during this transitional period in the Ihud's proposals, the authority and the position of the Jewish Agency? On the one hand, it is proposed that Jews will be appointed in central government jobs immediately, as well as Arabs. Now, what will then be the relation of the Jewish Agency to the central government, to Jewry all over the world? Perhaps Dr. Magnes will explain what he has in mind in this respect.
Mr. MAGNES: You will pardon me if I cannot give a very brief answer to that question. We look upon the Jewish Agency as the representative of all the Jews in the world in relation to Palestine. We tried, in our memorandum to the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry, to equate the Arab League with the Jewish Agency and to make the Arab League the representative of all the Arabs and Moslems of the world in relation to Palestine. We then said that the Mandatory or the Administering Authority would probably be the representative of all the Christians of the world in relation to Palestine. Palestine is not a country that has only local interests. As has been pointed out over and over again, as I tried to say this morning, this is a place that engages the affections and the interest of millions and millions of persons throughout the world, Jews, Arabs and Christians. We feel, therefore, that there should be in this whole set-up what we termed more or less a regional trusteeship council. I have not emphasized that, because that may be going into too great detail, but that regional trusteeship council would contain representatives in equal numbers of the Jews, of the Arabs and of the Administering Authority. For what purpose? For the purpose of working out this problem of immigration, the numbers of immigrants, of working out the question of the economic absorptive capacity, of working out the Development Scheme. Those are three basic ideas, plans, schemes which one assumes would have to be taken into account whatever was done.
Now who should be the representatives of the Jews, of the Arabs, of the Moslems and of the Christians on this regional trusteeship council? We think the Jewish Agency for the Jews; the Arab League for the Arabs; and the Administering Authority or the United Nations or some representative there for the rest of the world. The Jewish Agency, moreover, collects large sums of money from the Jews of the world. That cannot be done by government officials, whether they be Jews or whoever they be. The Jewish Agency also carries on certain work of settlement, the work of the buying of land, of education, which the Government has not done for the Jews. So that we find that the Jewish Agency would for some time to come have a great role to play as long as the situation here was fluid, until the Jews and the Arabs themselves, in this independent bi-national Palestine based on parity, proved that they could be trustees, as we hope they might, for their brethren throughout the world.
Our objective is that in this independent Palestine the Jews of Palestine — not necessarily the Jewish Agency any more could be the trustee of all the Jews and the Arabs of Palestine the trustee of all the Arabs and Moslems of the world, but for a considerable period — how long one does not know — the Jewish Agency we consider, would be a necessary link in this chain. I should like to go on and continue a bit what I said before as to finality, because some of the questions that are put would seem to indicate that in the minds of some there could be finality given to this question. One of the arguments for partition, for example, is finality. One of the arguments for the Arab state is finality. There is no finality in this problem. This is the kind of problem that is going to tax the spirit of mankind for years and years to come; whether there be a Jewish Partition state or a Jewish state in all of Palestine, or an Arab state in all of Palestine, there is no finality to this. This is a developing problem. If this is a Holy Land, it is not a Holy Land merely because it is a museum of antiquities, but a Holy Land in the spirit of living men today and tomorrow, developing their spiritual values, their intellectual values for today and for tomorrow.
We do not look upon Palestine as a place where once and for all you can put stamp of finality. Moreover, if you have in a Jewish partition state a tremendous — and you can have no Jewish partitioned state without a tremendous Arab minority, Arab minority almost as large as the Jewish majority itself — you would there have the same bi-national problem. Why not then, in all of Palestine. Why use the term “finality” in all of this? Why try to say that a problem as complex as this, an historical problem that has been developing for hundreds, perhaps, one might say for thousands of years, is to be met by some formula that will overnight, .from today to tomorrow pronounce: “The problem is settled now once and for all”? We do not contend that our solution is a settlement of this problem once and for all. We merely contend that it gives the framework for the development of common interests between the Jews and the Arabs, who are both going to remain here unless the Arabs drive the Jews into the sea, as they say they once drove the Crusaders into the sea, or the Jews drive the Arabs into the desert, as some think perhaps they should be driven. We do not believe in that. We believe that the one practical, hopeful solution — and we do not call it a solution either — the one hopeful, practical approach is that which we have tried to outline, so that it does not make so much difference, in our view, whether that interim period is one year shorter or one year longer, That would have to be determined when the time came by the Trusteeship Council of the United Nations.
Mr. BLOM (Netherlands): I have two, more points. One is this: Dr. Magnes has very eloquently expressed to us his belief, and that of the members of his Association, in the cooperation that will come about in life, in the daily necessity of dealing with practical problems of administration. What I would like to know is what, in Dr. Magnes' opinion, will be the influence from outside on this will to cooperate? I can quite see that the daily necessity of deciding practical points will bring about a lot of cooperation, but will or will not this cooperation be endangered by influences from outside countries, surrounding or not surrounding?
Mr. MAGNES: So far as the neighbouring countries are concerned, we believe that the bi-national Palestine based upon parity should become a member in due course of a large federation, a larger union, whether it be the Arab federation or a Union of countries of the Middle East. From that point of view, the neighbouring countries would undoubtedly exercise a great deal of influence upon what is going on in Palestine, and Palestine, perhaps — so we hope — would exercise a beneficent influence upon them. One of the ways in which this influence could be felt would be this: that if in Palestine these problems of majority-minority were put into the background, it is perfectly conceivable that some of the other countries of this federation would say, as some have said in days gone by “We also would like to have some Jewish immigrants in order to help us build our land”. That would not mean, of course, that the Jewish National Home would be extended into those countries, but Jewish scientific ability, Jewish organizing power, perhaps finance, perhaps the experience of the West, which many of the countries of this part of the world have need of, might be placed at their disposal for the good of this whole region. In this way reciprocal influence might be felt. To be sure, if I gathered the purport of your question, people from the outside can always interfere, can always harm. It is not Palestine alone that will have to face that problem.
Mr. BLOM: I do not know whether this question is very easy to answer, but Dr. Magnes’ associate might perhaps do so. If, just for the sake of argument, we exclude now any psychological and political arguments against partition, I would like to know whether in your opinion from an entirely technical, economic, financial and agricultural point of view, there is a possibility of drawing up a partition scheme that is, from this point of view, feasible.
CHAIRMAN: That is a question for Dr. Rainer. I might ask, perhaps, if there is anyone who wants to put some more questions to Dr. Magnes. I think we might do that and then we might continue with Dr. Rainer later.
Mr. HOOD (Australia): I have one question of a constitutional nature for Dr. Magnes, relating to the general framework of the principle which he outlined this morning. I would like to ask Dr. Magnes whether the assumption on which the plan is to some extent based, namely, that the primary division of Palestine into counties or cantons or local divisions of one kind or another is an essential assumption for the primary constitution of the bi-national state; Whether, in other words, a bi-national state, in his opinion, must necessarily be a federal state, or whether the division of Palestine into counties and local administrative areas is a proposal which arises from other motives. I hope I have made myself clear.
Mr. MAGNES: The other alternative would be to have the two communities constitute the two parts of the state without any territorial divisions whatsoever. Instead of having these counties as we propose, the alternative would be that there be a register of the Jews and a register of the Arabs, and that these two communities carry on their elections in the way that they choose to do sending to the Constituent Assembly, and later to the Legislative Assembly, an equal number of their citizens. That is, as far as I can make out, the only alternative to the plan which we propose. Drawing boundary lines for provinces, such as the Morrison-Grady plan did, we regard as dangerous, as almost impossible, because just as we think that it is dangerous and almost impossible to draw many boundary lines for the partition of Palestine, so we think it is almost impossible to draw administrative boundary lines if they are to mean two provinces, one Jewish and the other Arab.
We think, therefore, that the only two practical possibilities are — let me repeat — either these counties or these communal lists. We have effected in a certain way a synthesis of those two in what we call the National Councils. There is at the present time a Jewish National Council, the Vaad Leumi. In our proposals we give that Council and a corresponding Arab Council a definite funetic cultural. Those two Councils would be responsible for the schools of those communities, but basically, if I understood your question aright, I have given you the answer as to these two alternatives.
Mr. RAND (Canada): I am rather interested in the potential capacity for cooperation between these two groups. You spoke of them as the remaining representatives of the Semitic group of peoples. Would you say that from the standpoint of their fundamental attitudes and instinctive tendencies there would be more, or less, likelihood of an easy transition to cooperation than in the case, say, of the Central European multinational countries?
Mr. MAGNES: It is impossible for me to give a direct yes or no in answer to that. I think in some ways it would be more difficult, in other ways easier. It would be more difficult than, for example, in Yugoslavia, if I may be so bold as to mention that country in the presence of its representative here. There, although the alphabet of the Croat language is different from the alphabet of the other languages, nevertheless the basic roots and the basic forms are the same. So that from the point of view of language, it would be easier, despite these difficulties, in Yugoslavia for the various peoples to come together and form this tri- or quadri-national state.
Here the basic languages are Hebrew and Arabic. They are sister languages, very closely related. I have here the prospectus of an Arab-Hebrew dictionary, which the Hebrew University is about to publish in a week's time, almost 500 pages and anyone who can go through that, who can read the alphabets, will find out how closely related the Hebrew and Arabic languages are. Nevertheless, it by no means follows that one who speaks Hebrew can speak Arabic, or the reverse, so that the language question here is more difficult than it would be, say, in Yugoslavia. On the other hand, it has to be looked at from the point of view, so we think; of historical perspective. Why do we call the Jews and the Arabs Semitic people? It is because they have presumably more or less a common ancestry. There is no racial problem, therefore between them. An Arab cannot say to a Jew, “You have a big nose”, because a lot of Arabs have bigger noses, and a Jew cannot say to an Arab “You are too clever a merchant”, because we have very clever merchants among ourselves. There is no racial animosity. Moreover, as far as religion is concerned, there are many points of affinity between Judaism and Islam. I do not want to go into that, because that would take one very far afield. But some think there are even greater points of affinity than between Judaism and Christianity, in some respects. To be sure, it is easily possible to arouse the religious fanaticism of many of the Moslems, I am sorry to say. That was done here. I do not think it can be done so easily again by the same people who did it then. There is a great deal of affinity in the religious sense and if I can use the term “spiritual and intellectual”, in the spiritual and intellectual sense there is very much affinity between Jews and Arabs„ if you take their history. The Jews and the Arabs, for example, were the intermediaries, the colporteurs of Greek civilisation to Europe. It was the Arabs and the Jews who translated into Arabic and into Hebrew, and it was these two peoples, particularly the Jews, who brought this translated Greek philosophy to the Catholic monasteries of Europe, where they put them into Latin and disseminated them throughout the European world at the time.
Mr. RAND (Canada): What would you say about the development of what is called the concept of nationality among both groups? I ask that because essentially it is the impingement upon that sensibility in all governmental arrangements that produces, I would think, most of the antagonisms.
Mr. MAGNES: If you knew a way of wiping that problem out —
Mr. RAND (Canada): I was wondering how sensitive it is in this country.
Mr. MAGNES: It is very sensitive. Both the Jews and the Arabs are novices in relation to the feelings of nationality. The Jews always have held together by an invisible national bond, but by a more visible religious bond, so that when one talks of the bond of nationality among the Jews, one talks of a comparatively modern phenomenon. It is even more modern among the Arabs. The Arab awakening from the point of view of nationality, is a comparatively recent development.
Mr. RAND (Canada): Would you think it became more or less sensitive as it developed and became more mature?
Mr. MAGNES: That has been the case I think, with every developing sense.
Mr. RAND (Canada): Would you say that was so in Central Europe?
Mr. MAGNES: I would say it was so in Central Europe, so much so that — but what do you mean by Central Europe?
Mr. RAND (Canada): I have in mind the old Austro-Hungarian Empire.
MAGNES: They have had their fill. For them, national sensibility was no new thing. It was something that had grown stale in their mouths, something that had brought them nothing but pain and suffering, and for that reason the sensibility as to nationality in Austria-Hungary, for example, was, so I believe, a declining thing. This sensibility as to nationality among the Jews and among the Arabs is still on the rise. There are Jews who have passed beyond that sensibility. More of them I think, many more of them, than among the Arabs, because the Jews have had experience of the disadvantages of this national sensibility; they have experienced it in their own lives, trying to work through their own problems of Jewish nationality, and they have come to the conclusion that that is not perhaps the final answer to things anyway. Nationality is something that undoubtedly still requires a great deal of clarification, but to answer your question as to this situation here: there is undoubtedly that sensibility as to feeling of nationality which makes the problem here much more difficult.
CHAIRMAN: Are them any more questions to Dr. Magnes?
Sir Abdur RAHMAN (India): Do you not think that Jews who have been living in this country for a long time feel more akin to the Arabs than the Jews who have come from Europe and other places?
Mr. MAGNES: That is only natural, because they get to know one another’s mode .of life, they get to know one another’s language, they get to fear one another less, they appear less strange to one another.
Sir Abdur RAHMAN (India): Do you not think that the Jews who have been living here consider the Jews who have come from other places to be almost a different nation?
Mr. MAGNES: No, I should advise you not to believe anybody who told you that.
Sir Abdur RAHMAN (India): Then according to you religion and nationality are one and the same thing, so far as Jews are concerned?
Mr. MAGNES: I do not know that I quite catch the purport of your question;
Sir Abdur RAHMAN (India): Whether you would identify the Jewish nationality with those who believe in the Jewish faith?
Mr. MAGNES: No, there are those who have abandoned the Jewish faith, so they say, and who are yet Jews, pertaining to and belonging to the Jewish nationality. There are many such cases.
Sir Abdur RAHMAN (India): And the vice-versa of the statement you made just now?
Mr. MAGNES: That is, those who are Jews by religion are not Jews by nationality? Well, I hardly think so. There may be certain Jews who have been converted to Judaism, who are not born Jews. They may contend that they are not members of the Jewish nationality, because Jewish nationality presupposes, in general, birth into the Jewish nation.
Sir Abdur RAHMAN (India): One more question. How would you fit in the idea of Jewish representation in a bi-national state? You suggested a bi-national state. How would you fit in the idea of Jewish representation in the United Nations?
Mr. MAGNES: I must confess it is a problem that I have not seen discussed as thoroughly as it should be and as it probably will be. But I would have the bi-national state appoint two representatives to the United Nations, a Jew and an Arab. They would receive instructions from the bi-national state as to their attitude in relation to this and that. The Jewish representative, however, would be granted the privilege by the bi-national state of representing the Jews. Now here comes the difficult part for me, I have not worked out in my own mind just those specific things in which he would be the representative of the Jews. I would go further and I would say that it is not only the Jews of Palestine who are interested in problems affecting Jews coming up before the United Nations, but it is the Jews of the world. And I would have the Jews of the world, through some of their representative organizations, meet with the Jews of Palestine in order to discuss the problem about how, together, they could all be represented before the United Nations.
One of the things that impressed me in reading the Charter of the United Nations originally was its flexibility. The Charter, for example, would be ready to let certain organizations appear before certain constituent bodies of the United Nations. The United Nations, I am sure, would find itself flexible enough to provide for a reasonable and just representation of the Jewish people before it. It will hardly do for the Jewish people, who still number, despite all of these massacres, many millions, to be left without direct access to the United Nations. As I have said to you, I have not worked it out for myself, and I have not seen that anybody else has. But I think that one of our functions ought to be to try to do that and come with a prepared plan in relation to it.
Sir Abdur RAHMAN (India): Dr. Magnes, can you suggest any other solution for parity than what you have suggested? Can it not be secured, for instance, by constitutional safeguarding of the rights of the various parties without affecting the numerical parity between the two sections of the community living there?
Mr. MAGNES: Does your question mean to imply that there would be no further Jewish immigration?
Sir Abdur RAHMAN (India): No, it does not imply that.
Mr. MAGNES: Then I do not understand the question.
Sir Abdur RAHMAN (India): Taking the situation as a whole today, the question whether there is going to be future immigration or not may be left to be determined by the state which will come onto being later on. But to settle the question today, is it not possible to achieve the same objective by safeguarding the civil, political and religious rights and liberties by constitution, and by providing that no change in the constitution should be effected unless something like seven-eighths or four-fifths of the majority vote for the change?
Mr. MAGNUS: What you say has a great deal to it. On the other hand, I would like to ask you when that would begin? What would happen to Jewish immigration meanwhile? If I understand you aright, you would leave the determination of the problem of immigration to that bi-national state based on parity when it came into being. Now, I ask when will it come into being? What will happen to the Jews in these intervening years? If that state could come into being at once, then I would say that what you have proposed has a great deal to it. But there is no guarantee that that will happen.
Sir ABDUR RAHMAN (India): But suppose it is that independence be granted to Palestine and the Mandatory Power and the Trusteeship disappear altogether. I am just putting the idea before you to consider whether or not it is practical — we will go into details later on. Supposing independence is recognized for Palestine as such and a bi-national state is brought into being, and that that state is given the safeguards against political, religious and other liberties, will power be given to that constitution which comes into being in pursuance of that recommendation, if it is adopted by the Assembly, to settle the question itself?
Mr. MAGNUS: Is that a bi-national state based on parity?
Sir ABDUR RAHMAN (India): That is what I am saying.
Mr. MAGNES: Is it based on parity?
Sir ABDUR RAHMAN (India): That is what is what I am asking you. That is the very question. Can we, without resorting to numerical parity, safeguard against the minority who are numerically less?
Mr. MAGNUS: I don't think so. I think the history of the past generation has taught us that the safeguarding of minority rights is just nothing but words. The safeguarding of minority rights in the various countries where Jews were minorities, and where their rights were to be safeguarded, failed. That is the basis of our contention. We contend that there is one just, equitable, practicable way of meeting a minority-majority problem, and that is by wiping it out and making both the majority and the minority equal constituent partners.
Sir ABDUR RAHMAN (India): Although numerically they may not be so?
Mr. MAGNUS: Although numerically they may not be so. A numerical majority, we contend, is all right for this place and for that place, but it has not been decreed from Heaven for other places. And if one starts on the assumption that a numerical majority is going to be bound by a constitutional provision to protect the minority, history teaches us that the majority sooner or later becomes arrogant, becomes dominant, and, subjects the minority to its will. It then has the civil service in its hands. It has the military in its power. It has diplomatic representation in its power. It has economic key positions in its power. It can wipe the minority out, if it wants to. And if there is any virtue in any constitution, it must be just that — that there be no minority and that there be no majority. There is, to be sure, the logical contradiction that was pointed out by the gentleman on the other side of the table but we have faced that logical contradiction and we think that our formula of parity is a formula that can be accepted by both the Jews and the Arabs. And, we know Arabs who do accept it.
Mr. RAND (Canada): I would just like to ask a question arising out of the last statement. You say that you can secure parity by constitutional provision but you cannot secure minority right by the same kind of provision?
Mr. MAGNUS: I said if there is any virtue in a constitution at all — I do not know.
Mr. RAND (Canada): I was just wondering. I was suggesting that a majority that in fact would repudiate a provision to secure the minority would scarcely hesitate at repudiating a, parity provision.
Nr. MAGNUS: But may I suggest to you that there is this difference: That if there be in the constitution that provision, minority-majority, all on the same level, there is now something there never was before — a United Nations. And it is the United Nations that would have to guarantee that Constitution. Now, if one is sceptical as to what the United Nations can do, well then the fat is in the fire whichever way you put it. But if one is hopeful as to what the United Nations can become, and I must say I am one of the hopeful ones, then the situation becomes such that it is not love's labour lost to put it into the constitution, because despite what that majority would want to do there would be this greater power behind it.
Mr. RAND (Canada): I quite sympathize with that view. What occasions my question is that I live under a: constitution that has such minority provisions, and it would be rather shocking to me to have to feel that the majority would take the course, in contingencies that are conceivable, of making such a repudiation.
Mr. MAGNUS: You live under a constitution that has a rather long tradition.
Mr. RAND (Canada): Well, they all have to begin, I suppose.
Mr. MAGNUS: Yes, but your people have been trained in the exercise of self-government for a long time and you have not the nationalities' problem before you, and I think there are many other differences, that might be pointed out. I should say that you are very fortunate in not having to live under the fear of that majority. I beg your pardon, I thought you were from Australia. I see you are from Canada. Then, I should have given you a different answer, of course. I am not quite as ignorant as that! Do you want me to go over it all again?
Mr. RAND (Canada): No, it is not necessary.
Mr. SIMIC (Yugoslavia): Dr. Magnes, you said that the Jewish nationality presupposed birth in the Jewish nation, if I have properly understood you. Are you sure that during the centuries there have been no conversions and that all existing Jews have been born into the Jewish nation?
Mr. MAGNUS: By no means. There have been many conversions to Judaism, and they are all Jews, and their children are Jews. Their children are, I should say, members of the Jewish nation. Whether they are or not, I am ready to include them also in the Jewish nation, although nationality to me conveys in some way or other also the conception of birth. But, there have been conversions by the tens of thousands.
CHAIRMAN: Are there any further questions?
CHAIRMAN: Well, then, I take it we have finished questioning Dr. Magnes. Before we question Dr. Rainer we shall have to take a recess. If you, Dr. Magnes, want to leave, I want to thank you once more appreciate very much that you under the circumstances have taken pains to come here and give your very interesting views. I thank you.
Dr. MAGNUS: Let me thank you also for your great courtesy. And I want to thank you for all of those, and there are many in this country, who are looking forward to peace and cooperation and who are not taking the defeatist view that Jews and Arabs cannot live together. They live together and they can live together. Let me thank you.
(The meeting adjourned for a brief recess).
CHAIRMAN: I call the meeting to order. We shall go on with the questioning of the Ihud. Dr. Rainer, will, you please come up to the platform and Dr. Magnes .if he is here.
(Dr. Rainer and Dr. Magnes took seats at the table).
Mr. BLOM (Netherlands): I should like to have the views of the representative of the Ihud with regard to the technical possibility of drawing up a partition plan, not including all the political and psychological aspects of partition.
Dr. RAINER: I have of course to assume a certain partition plan. I am assuming that partition will be along the lines in the Peel Report. That partition plan of the Peel Report consists, you will remember, of two areas: a larger area to the north and a smaller area to the south, both divided by a corridor from Jerusalem to Jaffa. Now there has been added to this suggestion a proposal to include the Negeb. The Negeb of course would also be separated from the other two parts by an area which would belong to the Arab state. It has not been claimed that the area should also be included, in the Jewish State. There would therefore be three separate areas and there would have to be corridors connecting these areas, and also cross-corridors crossing these corridors, because the corridor from the southern part of the Jewish state to the Negeb would pass through the Arab State and would be divided into an eastern and a western part, and there would have to be corridors crossing that corridor.
We think that partition, if carried out, would be disastrous but we do not think it will be carried out for the following reason. We think, even if you recommend it to the United Nations General Assembly, they would have to appoint a technical committee to work out the details of this partition scheme with regard to boundaries — all sorts of technical details — and we foresee that the result would be the same as with the partition plan of the Peel Commission, which brought with it the Woodhead Commission to fix the details. That Commission reported that the scheme was impracticable, but while we think that this partition scheme will not come through, we still think it is a very dangerous proposal because, when this technical commission reported that the scheme was impracticable, probably more than a year would have elapsed and conditions would have deteriorated. Therefore we want to make it clear that in accordance with what we think, there are very serious technical objections to any such partition scheme. Such objections the technical commission would without doubt find. I will deal with them under the following headings: (i) population; (ii) land; (iii) communications; (iv) custom; (v) development, (vi) water economy.
First, population. If we assume the area which I mentioned in the beginning, the population at present would be as follows: in the Jewish State 490,000 Jews; in the Arab State 430,000 Arabs; a total of 920,000, not counting the small number of others who are not Jews and not Arabs. This is a very rough estimate. I have taken the figures of the Woodhead Report and have added the increase of population through natural increase and immigration. But that is enough for your purpose. In percentages that would be 53% Jews and 47% Arabs. At the time of the Woodhead Commission, in 1938, these percentages were 51% Jews and 49% Arabs. With the increase in immigration and the natural increase, the figures would now be 58% Jews and 42% Arabs, but I have included the Negeb, and the Negeb holds about 75,000 Arabs and that makes the percentage to the disadvantage of the Jaws. The inclusion of the Negeb makes this of course a disadvantage to the Jews. Of course this would give such a large minority of Arabs that from the beginning it could only be considered as a Jewish State in name. Actually the 47% of Arabs would consider themselves as belonging to an Arab nation, and the 53% of Jews to a Jewish nation, and there would be a citizenship of the Jewish state which might be considered as a Jewish citizenship. I shall not go into these details because they are political and I am asked to deal only with technical questions, but that is the situation.
Secondly, immigration. Numbers have been given for a maximum number of immigrants, and if we assume that this Jewish State can absorb an increase of 100,000 yearly, the situation after seven years — I am taking seven years because that brings the total population to 1,600,000, which is fairly large for the Jewish State — with the natural increase of Arabs and Jews, would be about 69% Jews and 31% Arabs; and that, after an increase of the Jewish population by 700,000. The density would then be, in the original Jewish State as foreseen by the Peel Commission, the same as the density of Belgium which is, I think, the most densely populated country in Europe. In the Negeb it would bring the density in the plains which could be settled, to the density of Switzerland, and with the Bedouns living now in the Negeb it is assumed that the rest of the Negeb would be developed to such an extent that the present Bedouin population could live on the rest of the Negeb.
To sum up: at present we would have 53% Jews and 47% Arabs. After the population increased to 1,600,000 we would have 69% Jews and 31% Arabs. What we want to point out is that even then the Government of the country would have to be practically bi-national, and even if it were to be called a Jewish State it would actually be bi-national. Therefore, partition is not a solution for overcoming the difficulty of bi-nationality. This is with regard to population.
With regard to land, the situation is even worse. In a Jewish State land would be 23% Jewish and 77% Arab. That was the situation in 1939 when the Woodhead Report was made. The situation is different now because since then Jews have acquired land in these areas, but still it has not reversed the relation. That means the Arabs hold more land than the Jews.
The Woodhead Commission realised these difficulties, and therefore, in an attempt to find a State which would be Jewish to such an extent that the population would at present be a majority of Jews, they cut down the original Peel scheme, which they called scheme A, and worked out scheme B and scheme C, gradually decreasing the area until scheme would A such a small area that it would not permit increased immigration — in any case not such immigration as is desired by us. So, while the largest desired area would only be in name a Jewish State, the smallest area which could be a Jewish State would not be desirable because it would defeat the purpose of immigration.
I come now to communications. There are certain difficulties with regard to railways and roads, but they can be overcome. They are minor technical difficulties, For example, the workshops of the railways of the country are concentrated in Haifa; so workshops would have to be put up in the Arab State one some of the railway lines would have to be diverted. For instance, the line from Egypt to Haifa passes through Tul-Karm — Tul-Karm would certainly be in the Arab State, and so the railway would pass through the Jewish State to Tul-Karm, and again to the Jewish State, and that would have to be changed. But these are minor difficulties and they only find expression in expenditure. As a whole, the railways will be less efficient and more costly, and the same will apply to the roads. Personal freedom of movement between the States will, of course, have to be very much restricted, and there will be special difficulty with regard to the Jews in Tel-Aviv. I am always assuming the Peel scheme, where Jerusalem is not in the Jewish State. There are a large number of Jews living in Jerusalem but working in Tel-Aviv, and even commuting at weekends. That, of course, will have its difficulty.
Then there will be the difficulty of the corridors, as I have mentioned before. It is difficult to imagine how the traffic through the corridors will be organized, for example, especially that long corridor between the southern part of the Jewish state and the Negeb. That corridor would be about 80 kilometers long and it would mean transport in closed vehicles to prevent smuggling, and perhaps under guard. It is of course assumed that the Jewish and Arab States will have different customs tariffs because that is one of the main purposes of putting up a different State — to have an industrial customs policy in order to develop Jewish industry. These traffic problems are really very great, and you know of course that the traffic through the Danzig Corridor was by means of locked and guarded vehicles, and the question is whether it is contemplated that the traffic would be through these corridors. Of course one will remember that the Danzig Corridor was one of the points where the last war started.
The next is customs. What different customs tariffs would mean in both States, what difficulties this would bring, is perhaps nowhere better shown than in the description of the boundary between Jaffa and Tel-Aviv as contemplated by the Woodhead Commission. Permit me to read this description because it is fantastic and gives an idea of the difficulties which will be encountered generally. The Woodhead Report said:
“In our opinion one would have a road as a boundary between the two towns; down the middle of it a high iron railing must be constructed which would form the actual boundary and be the joint property of the two States. At intervals where the boundary would cut important roads there would be gates to allow of the passage of traffic between the two towns. Such railing would enable the police of each State to patrol the boundary and would provide a reasonably effective barrier between two possibly hostile towns. This arrangement is not perfect. In the event of disturbances no one could prevent shots from being fired. The substitution of a wall would prevent shots from being fired from streets, but would not prevent the throwing of bombs. It would doubtless also be possible for small articles to be smuggled through the railing, but again, provision of a wall instead of a railing would not wholly prevent the smuggling of such articles.”
While the Woodhead Commission foresaw that such railing or wall would be necessary between Tel-Aviv and Jaffa, customs barriers, to be ensured, would actually be necessary nearly the whole length of the boundary. During the disturbances about ten years ago the Palestine Government had to erect a barbed wire fence along the whole of the northern boundary. There is therefore a precedent for this, but that barbed wire fence proved entirely ineffective. It was easily breached and crossed, and therefore if an actual customs barrier is to be erected it would have to be a concrete wall along nearly the whole length. Such wall would cost at least LP 2,000,000 and even the upkeep would be nearly LP 20,000 to 25,000, and the effect would be very doubtful.
In connection with this, while I do not want to deal with defence, I may mention that the military authorities informed the Woodhead Commission that no boundary can be found west of the Jordan which affords a satisfactory strategic line. Therefore all such boundaries would be entirely artificial and would have to be secured as natural barriers do not exist, by some wall. While there are formidable objections, these are all minor things in comparison with any development scheme and water economy, because all proposals for increased immigration and for a large Jewish immigration must be based, not on the present economic condition of the country, but on a development scheme which will manifoldly increase the absorptive capacity. You have heard of such schemes, gentlemen, and I understand that you will get details of such schemes.
If you will examine them, then you will see there are many such schemes, but all have certain things in common. They have four features in common which are absolutely necessary for such a development scheme. The first is the utilization of the Jordan waters. The Jordan enters the northern boundary of Palestine and comes from Syria. Not the actual waters of the Jordan but the Jordan Valley. The storm waters coming down from the Lebanon pass through there, .come to Palestine from Syria. New, every development scheme assumes the utilization of these storm waters which now run to waste. This storm water now runs into the Dead Sea. There it evaporates. If it could be put on to land which can be developed for agriculture, it would be very useful: At present it serves no useful purpose at all.
But I agree — there is not a partition scheme which does not foresee that the lower part of the Jordan and the Dead Sea will be in Arab territory. Then, in accordance with usual international practice, only such water as is at present taken off the Jordan up to the northern boundary of that future Arab State belongs to the northern part. All the rest must enter the Arab State, as at present, even if the Arabs do not use that water from the Dead Sea but let it evaporate. They may legally object, and they will probably be given the right to do as they like with that water. For instance, they may say that while they do not use it at present they may perhaps use it at some future date. Therefore, the surplus water of the Jordan cannot be diverted into the Jewish State — only such a small part of it as is at present used in the northern part of Palestine, which will belong to the Jewish State. That is the first difficulty.
The second is this: that Palestine is divided by a ridge of hills and has a catchment area to the east going down to the Jordan and to the west into the Mediterranean Sea.
There is a tremendous amount of rain water. I do not want to bother you with the figures. But there is a tremendous amount of rain water falling down on the western catchment area. This flows out into the Dead Sea and is not used. All development schemes foresee that there should be an intercepting channel, a channel going from north to south along the foot of the hills and intercepting these waters in the valleys, as they are called, so that it will not flow to waste into the sea. It will be intercepted and used for irrigation of the plains.
Now, the plains will belong to the Jewish State, but the hills will belong to the Arab state. The Arab state will nave no interest in putting up works in the hills, which would not be of immediate service to them, but would serve the Jewish State and the plains. Also, according to all schemes, the intercepting channel will be just to the east of the boundary of the Jewish State. It will actually be in the Arab State. But even if you extend the boundary so that this intercepting channel should be in the Jewish State, it would be just at the boundary and could easily be sabotaged. It would be nearly impossible to prevent sabotage. Its maintenance would be extremely difficult. Therefore, that intercepting channel would hardly be possible.
The third source of water is the development scheme for forcing surface water, which cannot be stored in reservoirs and put into the intercepting channel, underground to enrich the ground water. This would have to be done also in the hills by wells and by small dams and by draining the water. In the hills, the water would have to be forced down underground, and it would enrich the ground water in the plains where it could be pumped and put into an irrigation net. But the work would also have to be done in the hills and the plains. That means the work will have to be done in the Arab States, but the gain will be in the Jewish State.
Of course, this is only to give you a rough idea. But it could be supported by detailed calculations. If you examine the schemes, you will find that these development schemes can only be carried out for the common interest of the whole country. It can only be a development of the whole country. Then, if the Arabs profit by it, they will be interested in it. Such Arabs as would draw from the intercepting channel water for the irrigation of their lands would have an interest in watching for the upkeep and maintenance and watching that it is not being disturbed and sabotaged.
Also, all the details of this scheme would have to be worked out so that part of it could be of immediate interest for one or the other community. If it is of ultimate interest, say, for the Jews, it should be of immediate interest for Arabs. If it is of ultimate interest for Arabs, it should be of immediate interest for the Jews. One such thing is erosion. For instance, erosion is a very great problem in this country. Its danger is two-fold. First, it lets the water run off without being utilized, and secondly, it takes the soil from the hills down into the plains. Now, the Arabs would be against erosion because their soil is taken away. The Jews would not be interested directly in what is happening to the soil of the hills but they would not want the water to run to waste but would want to use it in the plains. So, all this work could only be installed for the common interest of both communities.
I think this is enough. It does not go into details. I am prepared to answer questions of detail.
CHAIRMAN: What you have said is laid down in a memorandum?
Mr. MAGNES: We are going to present a memorandum on this.
CHAIRMAN: We will have copies of it?
Mr. MAGNES: Yes.
CHAIRMAN: Do you have any questions, Mr. Blom?
Mr. BLOM (Netherlands): No. if we get the memorandum, then I think the views on the situation will be clear.
CHAIRMAN: You have spoken of a special partition scheme.
Mr. RAINER: Yes, sir.
CHAIRMAN: Of course, there are many with regard to partition.
Mr. RAINER: Yes. I have taken the maximum and have stated what its disadvantages are. I have said that one of the disadvantages of the maximum area with regard to Arab and Jewish population is so and so. There is also a very large minority, while by reduction of the area this disadvantage could be overcome. On the other hand, the area would be so small that it would not permit future or very little future Jewish immigration. So one is between the devil and the deep sea.
CHAIRMAN: Does anybody else wish to ask any questions?
Mr. RAND (Canada): You think it would be impossible to segregate these essential features which you have mentioned under a joint control bearing an analogy to your bi-national administration?
MR. RAINER: Yes, in a bi-national administration.
Mr. RAND (Canada): No, I mean assuming a physical partition of the land and general administrative control over those features where the necessity for legislative and executive powers, which would be nullified by a straight partition, could be met.
Mr. RAINER: That would be possible with regard to the last mentioned feature, development and water economy. It would, of course, not go away with the proportion of Jews and Arabs in the Jewish State, nor do away with the difficulties of communications and customs.
Mr. RAND (Canada): Why couldn't the customs be brought —
Mr. RAINER: One could also have a customs union.
Mr. RAND (Canada): Not a customs union. Well, that would be the effect of it, but could you not have a central administrative power with limited jurisdiction, and all other powers a state residing in the partitioned sectors?
Mr. RAINER: Yes. That would make the partition not really a partition into two sovereign states but into a sort of federation of two areas.
Mr. RAND (Canada): That is really a question of names, is it not? Is not the essence of it the question of distribution of power?
Mr. RAINER: Well, I will leave that to Dr. Magnes, since that is a political question.
Mr. MAGNES: It would appear from everything that one gathers in conversation and in reading that when partition is proposed there is in the background the idea that on certain basic features there would be a kind of joint control or joint administration. One of these features is water. Not only would the Jewish State and the Arab State have to come to some understanding on that, but that would include also the State of Transjordan which is on the other side of the Jordan River.
Mr. RAND (Canada): Yes, necessarily.
Mr. MAGNES: Because they are also concerned with the uses of the water from the Jordan.
Mr. RAND (Canada): Yes, but that could be by agreement with any central authority.
Mr. MAGNES: That could be by agreement with the joint authority or with each state separately. The question is just this: whether in setting up two partitioned states the joint authority or joint authorities are also to be included. If they are to be included, it would make the setting up of these partitioned states that much more reasonable. In view, however, of the opposition, which is very strong, both among the Arabs and among the Jews, to this division, the question remains whether these joint controls are going to be agreed to. It may be that the force of life in the course of years would compel that. In any event, the establishment of joint controls, particularly if there be many of them, would be a point in favor of the idea of partition. Without these joint controls, some of these consequences that have been outlined by Dr. Rainer would undoubtedly ensue. Very great care would therefore have to be taken as to how these partitioned states were going to be setup.
Mr. RAND (Canada): Of course, it raises the question of whether or not what you might call a physical local habitation is a more or less essential element of the conception of nationality. You say no. I mean an exclusive area where you can stand upon it, or kneel upon it, or kiss it, as you like. It becomes a sort of sacred national soil. You exclude that feature. I was wondering whether you do not consider or whether you do consider that as one of the fundamental components of the feeling, the spirit, the totality of what we call the national conception.
Mr. MAGNES: May I just speak for myself for a moment. I have the feeling that every point in this country, every square foot of it is something that I am in touch with, through my history, through my tradition, I cannot exclude Jenin which was at one time in the Bible called Elin Ganin and which is going to be, under all calculations, in the Arab State.
Mr. RAND (Canada): But would it be a necessary result of all arrangement in which there would be a central administering body that you would be excluded from Jenin.
Mr. MAGNES: If you are going to have a central administering body, then you have almost a federation. If you have a central administering body, you have the Jewish State here and the Arab State there. It does not matter much what you call them, province or state, or whatever else, and the central administering body is then to be the important thing.
Mr. RAND (Canada): Well, necessarily? I am dealing purely hypothetically now. Suppose the fundamental administrative departments were land and immigration. Suppose those were committed to the States.
Mr. MAGNES: You mean that each State could deal with its own immigration and each State could deal with its own land?
Mr. RAND (Canada): Yes.
Mr. MAGNES: What would then be the part of the central administering authority?
Mr. RAND (Canada): Well, those features that have been mentioned, the customs, foreign trade, inter-communications of all sorts, works that affect both States.
Mr. MAGNES: Well, that is practically what the Morrison-Grady Plan proposed. The Morrison-Grady Plan said that in the Jewish province we will be in immigration; we will be in control of land. In the Arab province, the Arabs will be in control of immigration and of land. It may be that you have in mind some modification of the Morrison-Grady Plan.
Mr. RAND (Canada): Well, I am suggesting a modification of the field of central power, a lessening of it, a minimum. What is the fundamental objection to that?
Mr. MAGNES: Well, the fundamental objection, to my mind, is that it segregates Arabs and Jews.
Mr. RAND (Canada): In a federal state, of course, the whole of the land is yours. I am a Canadian living in one of the provinces, but my Canadianism extends from the Atlantic to the Pacific.
Mr. MAGNES: There you have a strong central government, have you not?
Mr. RAND (Canada): In that instance, yes. But the interest, the spread of the individuals conception over the total commonwealth, you might call it, is not affected by the fact that you have two states in which the residue of power may be committed to the state rather than to the central government.
Mr. MAGNES: Well, if I understand your point, it is this: That you would set up a joint commonwealth, an Arab or Jewish commonwealth with a central —
Mr. RAND (Canada): I am suggesting that as a possibility.
Mr. MAGNES: I understand. I would like to try to understand it and to meet it. You are setting up a joint commonwealth, Arab-Jewish, and you are giving to the Arab state or province certain functions and powers and the same practically to the Jewish. That is one way of doing it. There is no question about that. That is the essence of the Morrison-Grady Plan, except that you would whittle down the central powers that are so obtrusive in the Morrison-Grady Plan, all of them remaining in the hands of the British there. You would make the central powers limited in extent and confine them probably to water and to other matters of common interest. The objection I have to that is this: You nevertheless set up boundaries. And, as I tried to indicate this morning, boundaries are not only difficult to draw up but they are dangerous to maintain. You set up boundaries on either side of which the Jewish youth and the Arab youth are going to be trained in chauvinism and you make the creation of irredentism on either side of these boundaries a very simple thing. In one of the Hebrew papers yesterday I saw an abstract of a speech that was delivered by one of the foremost advocates of partition, in which he said, trying to persuade his audience that partition was all right, boundaries are not eternal things. One example of Piedmont and Sardinia has been cited by some of our people. We know that in the unification of Italy that took place at the end of the fifties and the beginning of the sixties, it was Piedmont and Sardinia, far-separated Italian provinces, that were used as the springboards, as the jumping-off places for the unification of all of Italy. That history is most fascinating and illuminating when one reads it in the light of our present problem here.
The main objection that I have to what I gather to be your tentative suggestion is these boundaries. These boundaries that keep me here and keep him there, and those boundaries over which we are going to fight. What I would like to see is that there be a united Palestine without these boundaries. Set up the central administration, as you propose it, for the control of these waters. Why must you have the boundaries?
Mr. RAND (Canada): Well, even you suggested boundaries of counties.
Mr. MAGNES: Yes, but those are purely local administrative boundaries.
Mr. RAND (Canada): What do you think these suggested boundaries would do in the way of impediments or obstacles to each group?
Mr. MAGNES: The local administrative boundaries?
Mr. RAND (Canada): Yes.
Mr. MAGNES: There would be absolutely no need of a passport from one county to another.
Mr. RAND (Canada): There would not be in the case I suggested. You would be citizens, in effect, of the commonwealth.
Mr. MAGNES: Well, that is an entirely different conception from what I understand partition to be.
Mr. RAND (Canada): I quite agree.
Mr. MAGNES: I see. So we have been arguing at cross purposes, really.
Mr. RAND (Canada): No.
Mr. MAGNES: If you want to set up a commonwealth, call it bi-national. Why not?
Mr. RAND (Canada): Well, I think it is a question of names, so far as that goes.
Mr. MAGNES: Yes, all right, do or do not call it bi-national. If you want to set up this commonwealth, give freedom of access to all citizens, to all parts of this commonwealth, and freedom for land purchase in all parts of that commonwealth.
Mr. RAND (Canada): You might have to qualify that. .I was speaking of the right of any individual in the commonwealth to go where he pleased. Now that is a fundamental privilege. On the other hand, as each state would have control over its land and immigration, in fact, the geographical boundary would operate as the control of the numerical population.
Mr. MAGNES: That is one of the things I would object to, that each state should have control over its lands. I would like to see a condition under which I could have land anywhere in this country, and an Arab could have land anywhere in this country.
Mr. RAND (Canada): Of course, I agree that that might be desirable, but I am not losing sight of the fact that no matter what is suggested, there will be objections to it. I was wondering whether we could not make progress towards that which might be least objectionable.
Mr. MAGNES: You might find it less objectionable to the Arabs; but you will find it very objectionable, in the eyes of the Jews, to be excluded from lands here, there, and everywhere.
Mr. RAND (Canada): So far as they would be willing to accept, they would accept land restriction in a commonwealth?
Mr. MAGNES: That is one of the reasons why I would not want them to accept partition.
Mr. RAND (Canada): Might it not depend upon the underlying setting in which you would look upon a commonwealth, and is your analogy to Piedmont and Sardinia quite apt? Here, as you properly stressed, you have a Holy Land in which millions all through the world are interested. That sets is apart somewhat, does it .not, from the rest of the earth?
Mr. MAGNES: Yes, and would that conception play any part in the picture which you may have of administrative areas? I just do not quite gather the purport of your question.
Mr. RAND (Canada): Loyalties must cluster around ideas, or feelings; at least sentiments. Here, it seems to me that we are lacking in the framework of a conception in which loyalty in a Palestinian sense can arise. I think it was the Peel Commission that said it was nonsense to think that either the Jews or the Arabs in the present condition of things took any pride in Palestine, or even contemplated his relation to it as that of a citizen of one state. Now could you modify that by a change in setting?
Mr. MAGNES: Might I read you the last paragraph in our statement to the Anglo-American Committee? It is headed “A Palestine Solution”:
“What a boon to mankind it would be if the Jews and the Arabs of Palestine were to strive together to make their Holy Land into a thriving, peaceful Switzerland, situated at the heart of this ancient highway between East and West. A 'Palestine Solution' is required for the Palestine problem. This would have an incalculable political and spiritual influence in all the Middle East and far beyond. A bi-national Palestine could become a beacon of peace in the world.”
What I may say is that one of our problems is the creation of just those loyalties that you so rightly emphasize. A loyalty for a Palestine State and not just for a Jewish State or for an Arab State. If that be our ideal, the question is how is it to be brought about, and it seems to me that the fewer barriers set up between the Arabs and the Jews — territorial or political or economic — the better chance you have of creating common loyalties for this Palestine State.
Mr. RAND (Canada): Yes, the only question would be whether the one or the other practically is realizable. Which would be the more likely to attract that new conception of loyalty which is a necessary condition, but which seems today to be absent?
Mr. MAGNES: Undoubtedly if you have a Jewish State or if you have an Arab State, a bi-national state creates national loyalties much more quickly than a bi-national state could. On the other hand, as you know and as you have said about Canada, your loyalty extends to all parts of it, from east to west, and to all sections, whatever language be spoken there. Now it has not been so easy in Canada, because I read only a year ago, I should say in the American Foreign Affairs” an article by someone from Canada who talked about fundamental difficulties that are still to come, because of the basic differences in language and in customs and in European connections, and so forth. But the fact that it has not been entirely simple in Canada does not mean that it has not been possible. It has not been simple in South Africa — more difficult there than it has been in Canada. On the other hand, you have there a kind of bi-national state where very deep loyalties have been engendered in the hearts of many Englishman and .many Afrikaans towards a South African unified state. The Premier of Africa at the present time is not an Englishman, the Vice-Premier is not an Englishman. You have these loyalties on the part of the dominant political parties, and on the other hand you have the Nationalist Party in South Africa to remain as it is under this present-day bi-national conception.
The question is what is one going to strive for? What is the higher ideal and what is the more likely ideal to be carried out? That is the question you ask. Now I would like to answer that. It may be that any answer that is given will have more or less to be imposed by the United Nations. The question is what can be imposed with least difficulty? That is the way I should like to formulate I think partition can not be imposed. It is going to create war. The great majority of the Arabs are against it. Large numbers of Jews, both extremists and moderates, and among the religious groups of the Jews, are against it. It is going to create these irredenta and these outbursts. The bi-national state, however, is here. We are a bi-national state. We do not have to draw any new boundaries. We do not have to .persuade anybody that that part of the country is land for the Arabs and this part of the country is land for the Jews. It would hardly have to be imposed. It will come into being. If you begin with the appointment, for example, of a Jew and an Arab — take the most modest of all requirements — as members of the Executive Council, sitting with the High Commissioner of this country during the period of the Mandate, that is nothing that you will have to go to war for, or all these other things that I tried to outline in the government of the country. Those things arise almost naturally. They are organic. You do not have to segregate people in any sense of the term, physically or spiritually, so that I have not the slightest doubt myself that if anything is to be imposed, the one thing that can be imposed is the bi-national state, because using the word imposed about that is a very strong term. We are here already a bi-national state, and any attempt to make these divisions is going to be something that will stir up animosity, that does not at the present time exist.
CHAIRMAN: Are there any other questions?
Mr. RAND (Canada): I was thinking of the more or less universal objective or dream or, you might say, spiritual aim of the Jewish people to have some part of this earth's surface which it might say was its own exclusively.
Mr. MAGNES: Well, if it were all left to me and we had a free hand, I would create a Jewish State. I am not among those who have objections in principle to a Jewish State. There are many Jews throughout the world in America and elsewhere who object to a Jewish State in principle. I am not one of those. I would like to see the Jewish people burdened with the task of conducting a state. They might, perhaps, add to the spiritual treasures or mankind if they were given that burden. But it has not been left to me. There is no tabula rasa. We are here in this country with two peonies. One of the ways of trying to evade that has been to try to find some other territory. The British Government at one time offered the Jews a settlement in Uganda. The Jewish people refused that settlement. Why? Because it was not Palestine. There may be other countries in the world which would offer space for Jewish homeless people. The Jewish people are not interested in that. I must say I am surprised some of the great countries of the world have not opened their gates to some of the Jewish displaced persons, but all constantly concentrated only and exclusively on Palestine for the reception of these unhappy languishing victims of this terrible holocaust. But the Jewish people would turn it all down. When I say Jewish people, I mean Jewish history, I mean the Jewish future, would turn it down as it has turned it down thus far. So that we find ourselves in this peculiar position, a peculiar people, that is what we are called in our Bible — and we are a peculiar people, sometimes in the good sense and sometimes, perhaps, not in so good a sense — and this is a peculiar land, with, as we have agreed, millions of people interested in it, and it is here we want to set up our National Home for good and true purposes and where we are setting up our Notional Home.
Now if you think that by this division, this partition, you are answering the century-long yearning of the Jewish people for a niche in the world, for a home, for their own state, I think myself that is a mistaken conception. This does not answer the Jewish need for that. It is too small. It has too large a minority of Arabs in that particular state, too many administrative, economic, social and educational difficulties. If you could give to the Jewish people Palestine, all of Palestine, as many of our Jews want — we have our parties who say that of this talk, all our talk and the partition talk and the rest of it is all rot; what the Jewish people require is Palestine en both sides of the Jordan River — and some go as far as the Euphrates River, because in our Bible the boundaries of Palestine have been set at times from the River of Egypt to the Euphrates River — (which you could not do, of course) — that, perhaps, might meet this great historical need of the Jewish people for some kind of a state that would make this the equivalent in statehood of some of the other peoples of the world. But to take this tiny country — you have seen how small it is.
Mr. RAND (Canada): It necessarily has to be symbolic, by its geographical limits, but what you say is that that yearning must remain forever unsatisfied.
Mr. MAGNES: I say this, that as long as Palestine is inhabited by two peoples and as long as we have not had one or two generations of experience and of experiment, of hit-and-miss, of working things out together, — I say that the Jewish people will have to do without that as it has done without that for many hundreds of years. I am convinced in my own heart that the Jewish people here can be creative that is what we are after, most of all. In addition, by increasing immigration up to parity in this bi-national state, even though we do not achieve our legitimate ambition to have one state in the world that we may call our own, I am sure the solution will be more easily found. I do not think the task could be accomplished otherwise.
CHAIRMAN: Are there any more questions?
Mr. SIMIC (Yugoslavia): I should like to put a question to Mr. Rainer. I see you are very well acquainted with all schemes and plans for irrigation of Palestine as a whole. I have understood the biggest source for exploitation of water is the Jordan River water. Is that so?
Mr. RAINER: Not the biggest, but one of the biggest.
CHAIRMAN: Then I think we had better make this the end of the interrogation, since no one else has any questions. I repeat my thanks to you both.
The next item on the agenda should have been the hearing of representatives of the Communist Party of Palestine. We have had to postpone that hearing till tomorrow.
The next item on the agenda will be the hearing of representatives of the Council of the Ashkenasic Jewish Community. Are they here? I understood that His Eminence, the Chief Rabbi of Orthodox Jewry of Jerusalem and the Holy Land, Rabbi J.H. Duschinsky and Rabbi Selig Reuben Bengis, President, Religious Law Courts, were going to appear before this body.
RABBI BENGIS: The Rabbi who was supposed to answer did not feel well and decided to go home. I have to ask the Chairman when he should appear again.
CHAIRMAN: We shall see when we can fit it in. It becomes very difficult now to fit in something new in the programme, but we shall see if it is possible. We will have to review the situation, and I do not think we can say anything now about the possibilities of the Ashkenasic Community being heard or the time when it can be done.
RABBI BENGIS: It is not possible to do it tomorrow after the Communist Party have spoken?
CHAIRMAN: We have fixed other hearings for tomorrow, but we shall consider the question and ask you to be ready to come here at short notice.
The public hearing is adjourned till tomorrow at 10:30 a.m.
(The meeting adjourned at 1:50 p.m.)
Document Type: Verbatim Record
Document Sources: General Assembly, Jewish Agency, United Nations Special Committee on Palestine (UNSCOP)
Subject: Access and movement, Boundaries and demarcation lines, Demographic issues, Economic issues, Electoral issues, Environmental issues, Food, History, Holy places, Jerusalem, Land, Legal issues, Living conditions, Negotiations and agreements, Palestine question, Peace proposals and efforts, Population, Refugees and displaced persons, Security issues, Social issues, Statehood-related, Water
Publication Date: 14/07/1947