The Home Land Claim
Statement made by M. Van Rees, Vice-Chairman of the Permanent Mandates Commission, in Geneva, June 5, 1930
*** THE BALFOUR DECLARATION OF NOVEMBER 2ND, 1917, AS RECORDED IN THE PREAMBLE AND DEVELOPED IN ARTICLES 2, 4, 6, 7 AND 11 OF THE PALESTINE MANDATE, HAD A VERY DEFINITE MEANING.
It was not, as several persons had seen fit to interpret it, a mere gracious gesture, a mere public manifestation of indulgent pity toward the Jewish people.
It would be altogether too naïve to believe that this had been the only feeling inspiring Great Britain in her Declaration of November 2nd, 1917.
It would be also equally naïve to believed that that declaration had been approved by all the Great Powers merely in order to please Great Britain or in order to show their sympathy for the Jews.
Interpreted in its own words and with the aid of the text of the mandate based upon it, the Balfour Declaration would be seen to be an act based on purely political considerations and designed to secure an eminently practical object.
That object had certainly not been the oppression of a people established in the country by another people, as the adversaries of the Declaration wished it to be believed, despite the reservations contained in the Declaration.
ON THE CONTRARY, ITS OBJECT WAS THE RESURRECTION OF THE PEOPLE ESTABLISHED IN PALESTINE.
… All these provisions were closely interconnected. They formed a single whole and clearly expressed the fundamental idea that to the work of civilization to be carried out in Palestine the Jewish element would contribute its moral and above all its material support, not in virtue of holding any kind of concession of an economic nature, but in virtue of its right to collaborate with the Administration.
In this the Jewish activity formed an integral part of the economic evolution of Palestine …
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