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International Conciliation

Published monthly by the
American Association for International Conciliation.
Entered as second class matter at New York, N. Y.,
Postoffice, February 23, 1909, under act of July 16, 1894.

I. Palestine, by Richard Gottheil

II. The New Armenia: Claims at the Peace Conference. Reprinted from the London Times

III. The Albanian Question, by Mehmed Bey Konitza

IV. Memorandum submitted by the Albanian Dele

gation to the Peace Conference

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AMERICAN ASSOCIATION FOR INTERNATIONAL CONCILIATION
SUB-STATION 84 (407 WEST 117TH STREET)
NEW YORK CITY

I

PALESTINE
By Richard Gottheil

In consideration of its size Palestine has certainly played an ample part in the great movements that have swayed and influenced the world. From the people that have grown up and flourished there have come forth the Old and the New Testaments. Yet, in the inverse ratio of the increase of influence acquired through these works, the people themselves have suffered and bled. The unfortunate situation of the country is largely to blame for this. It is a part of the connecting link between three continents: it is hemmed in on one side by the Mediterranean Sea; on another side it is rendered inaccessible by the Desert; and upon a third side it is cut off by a great mass of rocky and inhospitable land. In the days during which warfare has accomplished the policy of ambitious peoples, and has played the game of unscrupulous rulers—from the earliest times down to 1919—Palestine has been crossed and re-crossed by those whom ideas of conquest have led through its valleys and over its hills. In the course of such events, various peoples have occupied its ground and then have been lost to view and almost forgotten of history. One among them, however, has succeeded in preserving its identity. Within the geographic limits of that country it felt the first throes of nationhood. Under its spell it grew and conceived its mission to be "unto the peoples a covenant, and for a light unto the nations." But no matter how high its ideal might be pitched it needed corporate existence from which to work out its inspiring vision.

This existence the Jews found in Palestine. Settling there in the earliest days which their history records, their ancestors were driven by famine, to take refuge for a time in the neighboring land of Egypt; but informed as they were by the desire and the purpose to win political as well as religious independence, they returned into Palestine by way of the Wilderness, exhibiting a tenacity and a robust confidence in themselves which every people needs that cuts its own swath in the world. For some 1500 years they were engaged in building up their state, suffering many chastening considerations, a small commonwealth, naturally tossed hither and thither by those mightier empires to whose physical greatness they could not aspire had they ever willed it. They were torn by internal dissensions; they suffered the loss of many of their best by deportation and captivity; but, withal, the Jews never forewent their corporate consciousness, nor slipped the principle which had upheld them during the long years of toil and turmoil. They recovered their foothold in Palestine whenever it had been lost or threatened, through Babylonian, Assyrian, Persian or Greek influences. Around Jerusalem their memories commenced to cluster in a proud and spacious habit. In speech and in song, in thought and in hope the very ground acquired a sacred meaning; and the whole conscience of the Jewish people became fixed in a Palestine setting.

All the old imperialistic plans for world mastery have been unsuccessful in downing the tenacity with which the Jews clung to the nationhood as they had evolved it; all, excepting one, and that only in part and without finality. Rome spoiled the countries of the ancient world in her plans of conquest. She, indeed, captured Palestine, after having supplanted its civilization with that of the Greco-Roman culture that paved the way for her armies. In the year 70 A. D., her soldiers marched into Jerusalem; and for the nonce the Jewish commonwealth ceased to be.

The long procession through the centuries began; the continued adventures in all climes and under varied heavens that have carried bands of Jews into nearly every corner of the world's continents. Even prior to the forced abandonment of their chosen home on the Mediterranean, Jews had not scrupled to go forth in search of life and adventure into the various quarters of the world then known; but it was felt and it was recognized that this was merely a going forth to which there was always attached a sentimental, if not an actual, return. This was as true of the involuntary as it was of the voluntary exiles. They traveled westward; but their heart was turned toward the East- Rome had conquered their incorporated existence as a state. It had left untouched and unconfounded their sense of mutual relationship and, above all, undimmed the hope of regaining once more the prestige of their former nationhood in the land endeared to them by the sufferings of their ancestors. Down to the very latest date their liturgy has been full to repletion of the return to Zion; their postBiblical Hebrew literature is a singular expression of the unique hope that has upheld its readers and that by its persuasive enthusiasm has fanned their courage to persist through tortures and troubles without

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