Paris, March 3, 1919.
DEAR MR. FRANKFURTER: I want to take
this opportunity of my first contact with American Zionists to tell you
what I have often been able to say to Dr. Weizmann in Arabia and Europe.
We feel that the Arabs and Jews are
cousins in having suffered similar oppressions at the hands of powers stronger
than themselves, and by a happy coincidence have been able to take the
first step towards the attainment of their national ideals together.
We Arabs, especially the educated among
us look with the deepest sympathy on the Zionist movement. Our deputation
here in Paris is fully acquainted with the proposals submitted yesterday
by the Zionist Organisation to Peace Conference, and we regard them as
moderate proper. We will do our best, in so far as we are concerned, to
help them through: we will wish the Jews a most hearty welcome home.
With the chiefs of your movement, especially
with Dr. Weizmann, we have had and continue to have the closest relations.
He has been a great helper of our cause, and I hope the Arabs may soon
be in a position to make the Jews some return for their kindness. We are
working together for a reformed and revived Near East, and our two movements
complete one another. The Jewish movement is national and not imperialist.
Our movement is national and not imperialist, and there is room in Syria
for us both. Indeed I think that neither can be a real success without
People less informed and less responsible
than our leaders and yours, ignoring the need for co-operation of the Arabs
and Zionists have been trying to exploit the local difficulties that must
necessarily arise in Palestine in the early stages of our movements. Some
of them have, I am afraid, misrepresented your aims to the Arab peasantry,
and our aims to the Jewish peasantry, with the result that interested parties
have been able to make capital out of what they call our differences.
I wish to give you my firm conviction
that these differences are not on questions of principle, but on matters
detail such as must inevitably occur in every contact of neighbouring peoples,
and as are easily adjusted by mutual good will. Indeed nearly all of them
will disappear with fuller knowledge.
I look forward, and my people with
me look forward, to a future in which we will help you and you will help
us, so that the countries in which we are mutually interested may once
again take their places in the community of civilised peoples of the world.
(Sgd.) Feisal. 5th MARCH,
Allow me, on behalf of the Zionist
Organisation, to acknowledge your recent letter with deep appreciation.
Those of us who come from the United
States have already been gratified by the friendly relations and the active
co-operation maintained between you and the Zionist leaders, particularly
Dr. Weizmann. We knew it could not be otherwise; we knew that the aspirations
of the Arab and the Jewish peoples were parallel, that each aspired to
re-establish its nationality in its own homeland, each making its own distinctive
contribution to civilisation, each seeking its own peaceful mode of life.
The Zionist leaders and the Jewish
people for whom they speak have watched with satisfaction the spiritual
vigour of the Arab movement. Themselves seeking justice, they are anxious
that the just national aims of the Arab people be confirmed and safeguarded
by the Peace Conference.
We knew from your acts and your past
utterances that the Zionist movement-in other words the national aim of
the Jewish people-had your support and the support of the Arab people for
whom you speak. These aims are now before the Peace Conference as definite
proposals by the Zionist Organisation. We are happy indeed that you consider
these proposals "moderate and proper," and that we have in you a staunch
supporter for their realisation. For both the Arab and the Jewish peoples
there are difficulties ahead-difficulties that challenge the united statesmanship
of Arab and Jewish leaders. For it is no easy task to rebuild two great
civilisations that have been suffering oppression and misrule for centuries.
We each have our difficulties we shall work out as friends, friends who
are animated by similar purposes, seeking a free and full development for
the two neighbouring peoples. The Arabs and Jews are neighbours in territory;
we cannot but live side by side as friends.
(Sgd.) Felix Frankfurter.