Charset:
Quotation #200:
If Jews will have to choose between the refugees, saving Jews from concentration camps, and assisting a national museum in Palestine, mercy will have the upper hand and the whole energy of the people will be channelled into saving Jews from various countries. Zionism will be struck off the agenda not only in world public opinion, in Britain and the United States, but elsewhere in Jewish public opinion. If we allow a separation between the refugee problem and the Palestinian problem, we are risking the existence of Zionism.
By: David Ben-Gurion  
Date: 17 December 1938
Source: this book

Commentary:
In Chapter 13 of Zionism in the Age of Dictators Lenni Brenner writes:
With the abandonment of the Peel proposals, Zionism ceased to have any real relevance for the Jews of Europe. The British had cut immigration in an effort to placate the Arabs, and only 61,302 Jews were allowed entry to Palestine from 1936 to 1939; the WZO allowed entry to only 17,421 from Germany. However, not even the terrible danger to the Jews of Central Europe, nor their own abandonment by their imperial patron could shake the determination of the leaders of the WZO: under no circumstances was Zionism to be shunted aside in the now frantic scramble to find havens for the desperate Jews. When, after Kristallnacht, the British, in the hope of easing the pressure for increased immigration into Palestine, proposed that thousands of children be admitted directly into Britain, Ben-Gurion was absolutely against the plan, telling a meeting of Labour Zionist leaders on 7 December 1938:
If I knew that it would be possible to save all the children in Germany by bringing them over to England, and only half of them by transporting them to Eretz Yisrael, then I would opt for the second alternative. For we must weigh not only the life of these children, but also the history of the People of Israel. [23]
Britainís policy was firmly fixed; there was not the slightest chance of London suddenly allowing any mass immigration into Palestine, yet Ben-Gurion persisted, refusing to contemplate other sanctuaries. On 17 December 1938 he warned the Zionist Executive:
If Jews will have to choose between the refugees, saving Jews from concentration camps, and assisting a national museum in Palestine, mercy will have the upper hand and the whole energy of the people will be channelled into saving Jews from various countries. Zionism will be struck off the agenda not only in world public opinion, in Britain and the United States, but elsewhere in Jewish public opinion. If we allow a separation between the refugee problem and the Palestinian problem, we are risking the existence of Zionism. [24]
...
Notes:
23. Yoav Gelber, Zionist Policy and the Fate of European Jewry (1939-42), Yad Vashem Studies, vol.XII, p.199.
24. Ari Bober (ed.), The Other Israel, p.171.





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