Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

If You Use a Screen Reader

This content is available through Read Online (Free) program, which relies on page scans. Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.

The Diplomatic Negotiations of the Jewish Territorial Association (JTA) and the Reasons for their Failure / המשא ומתן הדיפלומאטי של ההסתדרות הטריטוריאליסטית היהודית (יט"או) ומסיבות כשלונו

דוד יצחק מרמור and D. I. Marmor
Zion / ציון
Vol. יא‎, חוברת א/ג‎ (תשרי - ניסן תש"ו), pp. 109-140
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23546240
Page Count: 32
  • Read Online (Free)
  • Cite this Item
Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
The Diplomatic Negotiations of the Jewish Territorial Association (JTA) and the Reasons for their Failure / המשא ומתן הדיפלומאטי של ההסתדרות הטריטוריאליסטית היהודית (יט"או) ומסיבות כשלונו
Preview not available

Abstract

Introduction the Formation of the Jta and its Organisation For a hundred and fifty years now, the Zionist awakening has been accompanied by various proposals and plans, from Jewish and non-Jewish sources, for the concentration of the Jewish dispersion in some free territory out side Palestine. The proposals put forward by the British Government (August 1903) in regard to autonomous Jewish settlement in British East Africa (Uganda) brought out Jewish territorialism from the sphere of plans and proposals put forward by individuals and introduced it into a sphere of realistic statesmanship. When the Seventh Zionist Congress (of July 1905) rejected the Uganda scheme, several delegates, headed by the author Israel Zangwill, left Congress and founded at Basle the Jewish Territorial Association (JTA), wit hthe aim of securing some territory for the settlement, on an autonomous basis, of those Jews who do not wish to and who cannot, remain in the countries of their domicile. It was the aim of the Organisation to unite all Jews who were partners to the cheme, and to negotiate with Governments and with public and private institutions and to set up financial and other bodies for the effectuation of the scheme. Branches of the organisation were set up in Europe, America, Australia and South Africa, with the central Office in London, The Head Office was directed by the Council of the Organisation in Britain which in fact was the Association's Executive Body. Mr. Israel Zangwill was elected President of the Association and the political negotiations were entrusted to him. For the purpose of effectuating the JTA scheme, Zangwill wandered over the globe for a period of eight years, and knocked at the doors of statesmen and politicians in his endeavours to find an area of several thousand square kilometres to be set aside strictly for Jewish settlement. The progress of these negotiations are here described not in chronological order, because Zangwill carried on negotiations with several governments simultaneously, but according to regions where the JTA endeavoured to secure the desired territory. I. British East Africa. True, some members of the British Government in proposing Uganda for Jewish settlement in the year 1903, had in mind some noble work of Jewish rescue and the solution of a very vexed world problem. Nevertheless there were several factors which brought to bear on the Uganda scheme, which were principally of imperialistic and internal import. The first concern for the British protectorate of Uganda was the safeguarding of the Anglo-Egyptian sovereignty over the Nile. In order that Uganda might be able to withstand the crisis that threatened to break out in the regions of the Upper Nile, in view of the very serious competition of Germany and particularly of France in that region, there arose the necessity of a large increase in a white population that would be faithful to England. Propaganda in England for emigration to Uganda proved unsuccessful, Jewish settlement in Uganda was, therefore, regarded as useful, especially under British aegis and protection. This imperialistic factor was supported also by a financial motive. The maintenance of Uganda cost the British Exchequer large sums, and Jewish settlement would have saved the Government the drain on its resources and possibly may also have brought returns. In addition the Uganda scheme was regarded also as in some measure contributing to the solution of an internal British problem, which occupied the minds of the public at the time, namely the immigration of large numbers of Jews to England from Eastern Europe, as part and parcel of the large migration movement which began in the eighties of the last century. Many Englishman found themselves hit by this stream of immigration and opposed it, so that the Balfour Ministry of the time considered introducing the Aliens Act, which was intended to limit the entry of Jews to England. However, despite the fact that the Balfour Government realised the necessity of limiting the immigration of Jews, it nevertheless found it undesirable to be dubbed as anti-Semitic on account of that measure. The Uganda scheme, therefore, could serve as tangible proof of its good intentions towards the Jews, as well as lessen the number of Jewish arrivals to England by diverting the stream of immigration elsewhere. In the course of the two years that elapsed since the proposal of the Uganda scheme (August 1903) until its rejection by the Seventh Zionist Congress (July 1905) several events happened that had considerable sway over the negotiations initiated by Zangwill on behalf of the JTA. In the first instance there was voiced opposition to the scheme on the part of the white settlers and the Colonial Administration in Uganda. Neither was Government's proposal received favourably in the House of Commons. Uganda came in for considerable popularity in view of the proposal to set up therein a Jewish settlement and private concerns and well as syndicates began applying for concessions in the territory, so that there were signs of the territory being settled by the British, thus obviating the necessity of Jewish settlement there. Again the territory was already safeguarded against its greatest danger, namely France (by the Entente Cordiale of April, 1904). All these circumstances weakend the hands of the Government. Meanwhile, the initiator of the scheme, Joseph Chamberlain, having left the Cabinet, Government was pleased by the rejection of the Zionist Congress. About a month after the foundation of the JTA (September, 1905) Zangwill opened negotiations with the Colonial Secretary, Lyttelton. The Minister informed him that in view of the Congress's resolution he had informed the Commissioner for British East Africa that there was no further need to keep open the territory that had been offered the Zionist Organisation. Nevertheless the Government was prepared to consider other well thought out proposals. Meanwhile the Conservative (Unionist) Government of Balfour resigned, a Liberal Cabinet being formed under the Premiership of Sir H. Campbell-Bannerman. From their general imperialistic point of view the Liberals did not attach any importance to Uganda. Some were prepared to renounce to it altogether while the majority were opposed to the investment of money there. Some of their leaders were most sceptical of the practicability of the policy of Jewish settlement in the territory, just as they opposed generally to all bold imperialistic undertakings. The first member of the Liberal Government to express support of the Territorial Scheme, although he was not oblivious of the difficulties, was Winston S. Churchill, Under Secretary for the Colonies. The Secretary for the Colonies, Lord Elgin, was less enthusiastic and less commital in the matter. True, he expressed sympathy with Jewish suffering and evinced understanding for the desire of the Jews to settle some territory where they may be able to enjoy freedom and security, but was careful not to commit himself in any way. He did not see any room for practical negotiations on so wide a proposal as that, unless he was sure that the people concerned were fully responsible, and that the proposal had sufficient financial backing. On the other hand the JTA could not secure the necessary financial support without an undertaking on the part of the Government, so that the negotiations broke off at the beginning of 1907, without any tangible results. Nevertheless Zangwill had not laboured in vain. The negotiations in regard to Uganda, begun by Herzl and continued by Zangwill, to some measure aroused the British statesmen and British public opinion to think of a solution of the Jewish problem along lines of national and territorial concentration and national independence. And these statesmen — Balfour, Churchill and Lloyd George, were the same national leaders who several years later conducted the negotiations with the Zionist Organisation which resulted in the Balfour Declaratıon. Canada. When the leaders of the JTA realised how poor were the prospects of the negotiations with the Government in regard to British East Africa, they opened, in July 1906, negotiations for the effectuaction of their plans in Canada. However, both the Dominion Government and the Provincial Government of Ontario refused to acquiesce in autonomous and concentrated Jewish settlement. In the creation of a separate Jewish national political group they saw an additional impediment in the road of the national and political consolidation of their country. Australia. From the point of view of security, Australia was interested in additional white immigration. In the year 1905 there was founded the "Australian League for Immigration", and in June 1906, the President of the League published an article in which he broached the question of founding a Jewish Colony on Australian soil. Several months later the JTA was asked by the Government of Southern Australia whether it was possible to divert part of Jewish migration to the northern part of Southern Australia, a most backward territory in view of its tropical climate. JTA's reply was favourable, subject to certain conditions. Meanwhile, however, there arose opposition among Australian public opinion, for national, social and economic reasons and the scheme was dropped. Simultaneously with the negotiations with Southern Australia, negotiations were conducted by the JTA with the Government of Western Australia. Here too, the scheme met with opposition on the part of local population, particularly on the part of the workers whose policy in regard to immigration was to limit it as far as possible, in order to obviate competition on the labour market. The article as a whole is based on the archives of the Head Office of the JTA in London, housed in the Zionist Central Archives of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, Jerusalem.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
[109]
    [109]
  • Thumbnail: Page 
110
    110
  • Thumbnail: Page 
111
    111
  • Thumbnail: Page 
112
    112
  • Thumbnail: Page 
113
    113
  • Thumbnail: Page 
114
    114
  • Thumbnail: Page 
115
    115
  • Thumbnail: Page 
116
    116
  • Thumbnail: Page 
117
    117
  • Thumbnail: Page 
118
    118
  • Thumbnail: Page 
119
    119
  • Thumbnail: Page 
120
    120
  • Thumbnail: Page 
121
    121
  • Thumbnail: Page 
122
    122
  • Thumbnail: Page 
123
    123
  • Thumbnail: Page 
124
    124
  • Thumbnail: Page 
125
    125
  • Thumbnail: Page 
126
    126
  • Thumbnail: Page 
127
    127
  • Thumbnail: Page 
128
    128
  • Thumbnail: Page 
129
    129
  • Thumbnail: Page 
130
    130
  • Thumbnail: Page 
131
    131
  • Thumbnail: Page 
132
    132
  • Thumbnail: Page 
133
    133
  • Thumbnail: Page 
134
    134
  • Thumbnail: Page 
135
    135
  • Thumbnail: Page 
136
    136
  • Thumbnail: Page 
137
    137
  • Thumbnail: Page 
138
    138
  • Thumbnail: Page 
139
    139
  • Thumbnail: Page 
140
    140