Monday, December 12, 2011


Jewish settlement in Transjordan?

Dr. Stephen S. Wise of New York, addressing today's session of the Eighteenth World Zionist Congress, launched a sharp attack on Dr. Chaim Weizmann, former president of the World Zionist Organization, and on the policies of the Zionist Laborite party. Shouts and exclamations from the Laborite section frequently interrupted Dr. Wise as he appealed to the congress to elect only such leaders to the organization's administration as do not oppose the idea of a Jewish state in Palestine and support the demand for a Jewish majority on both sides of the Jordan River...Rabbi Wise declared himself bewildered by Dr. Weizmann's criticism of constructive negotiations for the opening of Transjordania to Jewish settlement, especially as voiced by Dr. Weizmann in his speeches at the American Zionist convention in Chicago in July. The negotiations have been conducted by members of the Palestine Executive of the Jewish Agency with friendly Transjordan Arab leaders...Dr. Wise freely praised Emanuel Neumann, American member of the executive, and the late Dr. Chaim Arlosoroff, for their conduct of negotiations leading to the opening of the spacious Transjordan area to Jewish effort.

That was from August 29, 1933. And Wise was a Reform Rabbi.

And this: May 1937, Ben-Gurion had a meeting with some colleagues amongst whom was included Pinhas Rutenberg. Rutenberg was a Russo-Jewish electrical engineer and founder and director of the Palestine Electric Company, who had set up a hydro-electric power station in Transjordan to harness the waters of the upper Jordan and the Yarmuk rivers...At this meeting on 5 May, it was concluded that “We see pressure the British Government” on the possibility of Jewish settlement in Transjordan...

...At that time [July 1937], there were already a number of Jewish settlements on the eastern side of the River Jordan. These were situated between the Sea of Galilee and the junction between the Jordan and Yarmuk Rivers. Geographically, these settlements were in Transjordan, but in fact this small area of land was outside the boundaries of Transjordan as they had been fixed in 1922. According to the Peel Commission's recommendations the area of these settlements was to become part of the Arab State and its Jewish inhabitants transferred to the Jewish State. The Zionists made an immediate appeal for this small area to be incorporated within the boundaries of the Jewish State.(87) However, as Ben-Gurion noted in his diary, “In the event of the compulsory transfer being rejected by the Government, we will remain in Transjordan - even if the border suggested by the Commission, north of the Yarmuk-Jordan junction is not rectified.”(88)

And from this book, Nazism, the Jews, and American Zionism, 1933-1948 By Aaron Berman,

And from the book, King Abdullah, Britain and the Making of Jordan By Mary Christina Wilson:


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