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United States Department of State / Papers relating to the foreign relations of the United States, The Paris Peace Conference, 1919
(1919)

The Council of Ten: minutes of meetings February 15 to June 17, 1919,   pp. [unnumbered]-512 PDF (183.8 MB)


Page 164

164    THE PARIS PEACE CONFERENCE, 1919, VOLUME IN
(1) Palestine shall be placed under such political, administrative
and economic conditions as will secure the establishment there of
the Jewish National Home and ultimately render possible the creation
of an autonomous Commonwealth, it being clearly understood that
nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious
rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine or the rights
and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country."
In conclusion, he would be ready to answer any questions that
might be put to him, but he would, in the first place, ask the Confer-
ence to hear his colleague, Dr. C. Weizmann, the President of the
Enquiry Committee sent to Palestine on behalf of the Zionist Execu-
tive Committee, who would give practical information on the subject
of the realisation of the Zionist programme.
DR. WEIZMANN pointed out that the war had left the Jewish people
weaker comparatively than any other people in the world. Before
(b) Statement by the war, six to seven million Jews in Russia had been
Dr. Weizmann,  systematically oppressed but that oppression had
Member of the sybthahd
Zionist Organ-  possessed the grandeur of a great tragedy, which had
acted as a source of inspiration to all Jews. Now,
even the grandeur had disappeared, and the community was being
ground down by the political machinery which had been set up in
Russia. It was impossible for him to make any forecasts, but even
the most sanguine would agree that those parts could not settle down
for many years to come. Meanwhile the Jews, as the most feeble
element, would suffer most, and as a result Jewish emigration, which
before the war had reached the figure of 250,000 a year, would in-
crease enormously, whilst at the same time the power of absorption
in the countries of Western Europe and of America would consid-
erably decrease. The Great Powers would naturally scrutinise every
alien who claimed to enter their countries, and the Jew would be
regarded as a typical wandering alien. As a result the Jews would
find themselves knocking around the world, seeking a refuge and
unable to find one. The problem, therefore, was a very serious one,
and no statesman could contemplate it without being impelled to
find an equitable solution.
In his opinion, the solution proposed by the Zionist organisation
was the only one which would in the long run bring peace, and at
the same time transform Jewish energy into a constructive force,
instead of its being dissipated into destructive tendencies or bitterness.
Palestine possessed great possibilities. The country was not very
densely populated: There were some 600,000 to 700,000 people oc-
cupying 40,000 square kilometres, which gave a population of 10 to
15 per square kilometre. On the other hand, in Lebanon, which re-
sembled it in many aspects, the density of the population was 160


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