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Gandhi, the Jews & Zionism: Extracts from Letters by Gandhi to Hermann Kallenbach

(July 20, August 16 & August 28, 1937)

Letter of July 20, 1937 from Segaon:

“I have read the Palestine Report. It makes sad reading but the Commission could not do anything more. It almost admits the critical blunder a promise to the Arabs and a contrary one to the Jews. Breach of promise became inevitable. I am more than ever convince that the only proper and dignified solution is the one I have suggested now more so than before. My solution admits of no ... If the Jews will rely wholly on the Arab goodwill, they must once for all renounce British protection. I wonder if they will adopt the heroic remedy. More when we meet.”

Letter of August 16, 1937 from Wardha:

“What you have done is all right. I had a long talk with Andrews. I do not know what we will be able to do. The more I observe the events happening the more convinced I feel of the correctness of my advice.

“It is likely to be a voice in the wilderness. Nevertheless if you feel as strongly as I do, you will take up the firm & only stand that is likely to do good... in the end. Without that, there will be no happy home for the Jews in Palestine.”

Letter of August 28, 1937 from Segaon:

“... I have just read the monograph sent to me at your instance on Zionism. The sender’s name is not given. The statement is very impressive, deeply interesting. And if it is true a settlement between the Jews & the Arabs might not be difficult. I quite clearly see that if you are to play any part in bringing about an honourable settlement, your place is in India. It might be that you might have to go at times to South Africa. You might have to go frequently to Palestine, but much of the work lies in India as I visualise the development of the settlement talks. All this I say irrespective of the domestic arrangement between us as to your coming in December...

“I am conferring with Andrews also as to what he should do in Palestine. But I have not the time to tell you all these things. ... the need to know them. It is enough for you to know that I am redeeming my promise to interest myself in the movement.”

Sources: GandhiServe Foundation - Mahatma Gandhi Research and Media Service (reprinted with permission)