Judah Magnes

Zionist and Pacifist

US-born Reform rabbi Judah Magnes (1877-1948), a WWI-era pacifist, made these remarks in 1929. He had served as the first chancellor of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (1925) and as its president (1935–1948).

The Balfour Declaration having been confirmed so often and with such solemnity must in my opinion remain and should become the basis of an agreement between Jews and Arabs instead of a cause of quarrel. In addition, the interpretation given the Balfour Declaration, as contained in the Churchill-Samuel White paper of 1922, which was accepted by the Zionist Organization, should serve as a basis for an active, constructive policy looking toward the rendering of Palestine not as a Jewish State, not as an Arab State, but as a bi-national country. According to this policy, Jewish immigration and settlement of land, as well as the use of the Hebrew language, would be recognized as of right and not as of sufferance.

Other reactions