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May 23, 1939 The Shame of Winston Churchill

Joint Planning Staff Committee of the British War CabinetMay 23, 1939 The Shame of Winston Churchill

“To whom was the pledge of the Balfour Declaration made? It was not made to the Jews of Palestine, it was not made to those who were actually living in Palestine. It was made to world Jewry and in particular to the Zionist associations. It was in consequence of and on the basis of this pledge that we received important help in the War, and that after the War we received from the Allied and Associated Powers the Mandate for Palestine. The pledge of a home of refuge, of an asylum, was not made to the Jews in Palestine but to the Jews outside Palestine, to that vast, unhappy mass of scattered, persecuted, wandering Jews whose intense, unchanging, unconquer­able desire has been for a National Home-to quote the words to which my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister (e.g. Neville Chamberlin) subscribed in the Memorial which he and others sent to us:

‘the Jewish people who have through centuries of dispersion and persecution patiently awaited the hour of its restoration to its ancestral home:’

Those are the words. They were the people outside, not the people in. It is not with the Jews in Palestine that we have now or at any future time to deal, but with world Jewry, with Jews all over the world. THAT IS THE PLEDGE WHICH WAS GIVEN, AND THAT IS THE PLEDGE WHICH WE ARE ASKED TO BREAK, FOR HOW CAN THIS PLEDGE BE KEPT, I WANT TO KNOW IF IN FIVE YEARS’ TIME THE NATIONAL HOME IS TO BE BARRED AND NO MORE JEWS ARE TO BE ALLOWED IN WITHOUTH PERMISSION OF THE ARABS? “

Source: Winston Churchill in his address in the House of Commons on the White Paper Cmd.6019, on May 23,1939 (Parliamentary Debates, Vol. 347, No. 108, Columns 2181-2182)

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