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The American War Congress and Zionism Statements by Members of the American War Congress on the Jewish National Movement ZIONIST ORGANIZATION OF AMERICA 55 FIFTH AVENUE, NEW YORK 1919 The Zionist Organization of America gratefully acknowl- edges its indebtedness to Mr. Reuben Fink, of Washington, for his services in the compilation of this material. February, 1919 The American War Congress and Zionism Introductory Note In 1897, after seventeen centuries of exile, the Jewish people, through an International Congress assembled at Basle, Switzerland, formulated its demand for a “publicly secured and legally assured homeland in Palestine.” In 1917, only twenty years later, Great Britain indorsed the Jewish position and pledged, upon her strength and her prestige, the realiza- tion of the Basle Platform. Thus, this project, from its in- ception, by a people which, however prodigal of effort and sacrifice, nevertheless lacked the political and military power to effect its design, has developed into one of the war aims of the nation possessing the best equipment, political and military, to secure these terms of peace to which it is com- mitted. The Declaration to support the Jewish National enterprise followed the military penetration of Palestine during the successful campaign inaugurated by Great Britain in the late summer and the autumn of 1917. This pledge was published on behalf of the British Government by the Honorable Arthur J. Balfour, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, in his letter to Lord Rothschild, on November second of that year. Since that time, Great Britain has proceeded with the consummation of her purpose by effecting the complete military occupation of Palestine and by the installation of the Zionist Commis- sion, which administers, under British protection, the affairs of Jewish Palestine. The Zionist Organization of America, in order to ascertain the sentiment of the members of the Legislature towards the British Declaration particularly, and towards the Zionist move- ment in general, and to inform itself of what action, execu- tive or legislative, the War-Congress would be inclined to recommend or approve, sent to each member of both Houses, on June 11, 1918, a copy of the following letter: 5