The White Paper was received with great displeasure by the Jewish community of the British Mandate. Their spokespeople accused the British authorities of “betrayal” and “disloyalty”, and to side with Nazi persecution by forbidding its victims to find refuge. The Yishuv (the Jewish community) went on a general strike and protests were held throughout the country. In defiance of the White Paper, the Jews established 12 new settlements in the Land of Israel during that May. The Jews considered that the British were canceling the Balfour Declaration, although they denied it by affirming that a “national home” did not mean a Jewish State but an autonomy. However, when World War II began (Sep/1/1939), the underground Jewish movements Hagana and Etzel (Irgun) decided to stop their sabotage operations against the British and focused on the Jewish settlement and illegal immigration to Israel. David Ben-Gurion, the main Zionist leader, affirmed: “We must help the British as if there were no White Paper, and fight the White Paper as if there were no war”. The Arab residents were opposed as well, demanding a total cease in the Jewish immigration, the cancellation of the Balfour Declaration and the San Remo Conference. The Mufti Amin Al-Husseini opposed because it did not provide them with a state of their own. This maximalist attitude (all-or-nothing) has characterized, since the 1920s, the Arab-Palestinian leadership.
In June 1939, the Mandate Committee of the League of Nations discussed the issue in Geneva and agreed that the policy of the White Paper was incompatible with the interpretation of the Mandate of the League. The Committee recommended that the issue be discussed in the plenary of the League of Nations; the war began and the meeting was never held.