London (Jul. 24)
American Jewry’s contribution to the Keren Hayesod and the possible support that may be expected from if for the further development of Palestine was the keynote in the oppositional speech delivered by M. H. Ussishkin, Director of the Jewish National Fund, during the general debate at the meeting of the Zionist. Actions Committee, after addresses had been delivered by Dr. Chaim Weizmann, Nahum Sokolow and Sir Herbert Samuel.
“The talk about American brains, American money and American importance discourages European Jews,” Ussishkin stated, “Killing their self-reliance and lessening the scope of Zionist activity in Europe. It would be a great mistake for the Zionist Organization to place all hope for the rebuilding of Palestine in America.
“In spite of the tremendous amount of work,” Ussishkin argued, “that Dr. Weizmann has done in America, nothing has been practically achieved, when we consider the material prosperity of American Jewry.
“In spite of its redoubled efforts, the collections of the Keren Hayesod in America, in teh last year, increased only 20%.
“In one regard Dr. Weizmann has been successful: in the matter of the Jewish Agency. But here again, his success was due to the fact that he asked for nothing and yielded all along the line. Dr. Weizmann agreed to deliver the control to others who accepted no responsibilities, and who received all rights, including even control over the Keren Hayesod.
“The Zionist Organization has lived through, in recent years, a moral crisis. Now, as a result of Dr. Weizmann’s plans for
the Jewish Agency, it is approaching the great danger of an internal crisis.
Dr. Robert Stricker of Vienna and Deputy Isaac Gruenbaum of Warsaw also strongly opposed Dr. Weizmann’s plan for the formation of the Jewish Agency.
Jean Fisher of Belgium subjected the political report of Dr. Weizmann to severe criticism. In his opinion the situation is not as good as Dr. Weizmann has pictured it. He asked for facts which would confirm the favorable attitude of the British Government to the future of the Jewish National Homeland in Palestine.
Deputy Farbstein of Warsaw, representing the Hizrachi, criticized the activities of the Zionist Executive in Palestine, and particularly deplored the fact that some Zionist officials in Palestine have publicly violated the Sahbath. He asked that the Actions Committee take steps to prevent a re-occurrence of such offenses against the Jewish religion in Palestine.
Mr. Neriminsky, representing the Zeire Zion, complained that the minor British officials were putting obstacles in the path of immigration. He also claimed that the Zionist Executive in Palestine is hindering the independent economic activity of the workers groups. This, he stated, was not likely to win the Jewish workers, especially the Jewish workers of America, for the Zionist idea.
Nehemiah deLima, Joseph Cowen, Dr. Reich and Dr. Gottlieb supported the policy of Dr. Weizmann and defended the American proposals for the formation of the Jewish Agency. Dr. Gottlieb even likened the position of M. H. Ussishkin to that of the American separationists.
A special feature of the discussion was the problem of the Jewish workers communes in Palestine, called the “Kvoutzos.” Van Friesland of Palestine demanded that these “Kvoutzos” be abolished because they represent a bad system of colonization. The representatives of the workers’ groups strongly protested against Van Friesland’s proposal.
The discussion then turned to the financial and economic council for Palestine. Dr. Van Friesland and Dr. Hantke demanded the dissolution of this Council.