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Letter to an Arab
March 15, 1930
Your letter has given me great pleasure. It shows me that there is good will available on your side too for solving the present difficulties in a manner worthy of both our nations. I believe that these difficulties are more psychological than real, and that they can be got over if both sides bring honesty and good will to the task.
What makes the present position so bad is the fact that Jews and Arabs confront each other as opponents before the mandatory power. This state of affairs is unworthy of both nations and can only be altered by our finding a via media on which both sides agree.
I will now tell you how I think that the present difficulties might be remedied; at the same time I must add that this is only my personal opinion, which I have discussed with n.o.body. I am writing this letter in German because I am not capable of writing it in English myself and because I want myself to bear the entire responsibility for it. You will, I am sure, be able to get some Jewish friend of conciliation to translate it.
A Privy Council is to be formed to which the Jews and Arabs shall each send four representatives, who must be independent of all political parties.
Each group to be composed as follows:--
A doctor, elected by the Medical a.s.sociation; A lawyer, elected by the lawyers; A working men's representative, elected by the trade unions; An ecclesiastic, elected by the ecclesiastics.
These eight people are to meet once a week. They undertake not to espouse the sectional interests of their profession or nation but conscientiously and to the best of their power to aim at the welfare of the whole population of the country. Their deliberations shall be secret and they are strictly forbidden to give any information about them, even in private. When a decision has been reached on any subject in which not less than three members on each side concur, it may be published, but only in the name of the whole Council. If a member dissents he may retire from the Council, but he is not thereby released from the obligation to secrecy. If one of the elective bodies above specified is dissatisfied with a resolution of the Council, it may repiace its representative by another.
Even if this "Privy Council" has no definite powers it may nevertheless bring about the gradual composition of differences, and secure as united representation of the common interests of the country before the mandatory power, clear of the dust of ephemeral politics.
Christianity and Judaism
If one purges the Judaism of the Prophets and Christianity as Jesus Christ taught it of all subsequent additions, especially those of the priests, one is left with a teaching which is capable of curing all the social ills of humanity.
It is the duty of every man of good will to strive steadfastly in his own little world to make this teaching of pure humanity a living force, so far as he can. If he makes an honest attempt in this direction without being crushed and trampled under foot by his contemporaries, he may consider himself and the community to which he belongs lucky.