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Statement Issued by the Executive of the Jewish Agency in Jerusalem on the Suspension of Jewish Immigration, July 14, 1939.

Jewish Agency building in JerusalemSECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE COLONIES ANNOUNCED TODAY IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS THAT THE GOVERNMENT OF PALESTINE WOULD STOP FURTHER JEWISH IMMIGRATION INTO THE COUNTRY AS FROM NEXT OCTOBER. This decision is attributed to the fact that in the last few months numbers of Jews found refuge in Palestine in contravention of immigration regulations. The statement that these refugees emanate from Poland and Rumania is misleading. In fact it is common knowledge that the greater part of them came from Germany, Austria, Czecho-Slovakia and Danzig.

THE JEWISH PEOPLE AS A WHOLE IS BY THIS DECISION TO BE PENALISED BECAUSE THESE REFUGEES SOUGHT AN ESCAPE FROM PERSECUTION BY FLEEING TO THEIR NATIONAL HOME. THE PENALTY AMOUNTS TO NOTHING LESS THAN THE CLOSING TO THE JEWISH PEOPLE OF THEIR HOMELAND AND THE DENIAL OF THE ONLY SALVATION OPEN TO JEWS WHO ARE DOOMED TO EXTERMINATION IN THE ANTI-SEMITIC INFERNO OF CENTRAL EUROPE.

For three years Palestine was a prey to the terrorism of Arab bands and the Government failed to enforce law and order. Now that the Mandatory Government has surrendered to Arab terrorism and violated its obligations to the Jewish people, it makes a display of firmness in enforcing the new immigration restrictions.

THE JEWISH PEOPLE REGARDS THE NEW POLICY WHICH, UNDER THE PRESSURE OF TERRORISM, HAS PLACED A STRANGLE-HOLD ON JEWISH IMMIGRATION, AS DEVOID OF ANY MORAL JUSTIFICATION AND BASED ONLY ON THE USE OF FORCE.

The Jewish people has not acquiesced, nor will it acquiesce, in this rule of force proclaimed in the White Paper. Its right to its homeland cannot be invalidated by the White Paper. Its right to its homeland cannot be invalidated by the breach of faith perpetrated by the Mandatory Government. The right of the Jews to return to their country is their natural and historic right.

IT IS NOT THE JEWISH REFUGEES RETURNING TO THEIR HOMELAND WHO ARE VIOLATING THE LAW BUT THOSE WHO ARE ENDEAVOURING TO DEPRIVE THEM OF THE SUPREME RIGHT OF EVERY HUMAN BEING – THE RIGHT TO LIVE.

Political Report of the Executive of the Jewish Agency submitted to the Twenty First Zionist Congress and the Sixth Session of the Council of the Jewish Agency at Geneva August 1939. Jerusalem, 1939, p.114.

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