White Paper

White Paper
(MacDonald Paper) of 1939
   A statement of policy also known as the MacDonald Paper that was issued by the government of Great Britain on 17 May 1939. It called for one independent state in all of Palestine to be established incrementally over a 10-year period, which under the prevailing demographic conditions, would be Arab-controlled. It imposed severe restrictions on Jewish immigration (see ALIYA) to Palestine. For five years, a maximum of 15,000 Jews per year, for a total of 75,000, would be permitted to immigrate to Palestine. After that, no further Jewish immigration would be permitted without the consent of the Arab community. Moreover, the number of Jews entering Palestine illegally (see ALIYA BET) would be deducted from the 75,000 quota. Restrictions were also imposed on the purchase of land in Palestine by Jewish immigrants. The Zionist leadership rejected the White Paper; accusing Great Britain of reneging on its commitments to Zionism (articulated in the Balfour Declaration and the League of Nations mandate for Palestine) and of betraying the Jewish people in their "darkest hour," when they were in desperate need of a safe haven from Nazi oppression. From the Zionist perspective, the White Paper constituted the death knell of the British mandate.
   See also Biltmore Program.

Historical Dictionary of Israel. .

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