London (Jul. 24)
“The Zionist movement is now at a critical turning point,” declared Dr. Chaim Weizmann, answering the criticism of his plan for the formation of the Jewish Agency, at the meeting of the Zionist Actions Committee today.
“The rebuilding of Palestine,” Dr. Weizmann continued, “must be carried on now with newer and more extensive methods and with more money. The methods of the old Chovevei Zion movement will not produce great results. The Zionist Organization at present is not pledged to any plan concerning the Jewish Agency, and the Actions Committee is at Liberty to decide freely what course it will take. I am determined, however, not to agree to any other program, because without this plan, there is no possibility of carrying on the work in a proper way.”
The opponenents of the plan sounded high tones, he said, but they were unable to produce a plan of their own. The Actions Committee meeting was called for the purpose of assuming responsibility and making a decision in the matter.
The number of non-Zionists in the Jewish Agency is to be limited to a minimum, but the new elements must be drawn into the work, declared Dr. Weizmann. It was not his plan, he stated, to turn the Jewish Agency into an assembly of “notables.” In fact this term was invented by the opposition, he stated, as a weapon against the plan. No “notables,” but large Jewish organizations and representative Jews will be invited to participate in the Agency. The members of the Agency will, at any rate, remain in office not longer than two or three years.
Urging the Actions Committee to accept, in principle, the proposals concerning the Jewish Agency in the sense of the resolutions adopted by the American Zionist Convention, Dr. Weizmann stated, replying to the criticism of M.M. Ussiahkin,
that he was not putting America on the banner of the Zionist movement and was not opposed to European Zionism. In fact, the Zionist Organization, he stated, carries on its activities in Europe, in Africa and many other places with not a small measure of success.
Nahum Sokolow was the next speaker. He declared himself in favor of the plan of Dr. Weizmann and the proposals of the American Zionists. He urged the Actions Committee to endorse the plan, and stated that the democratic Jewish organizations in England would also join the Agency. He expressed his regret that the Actions Committee was indulging in academic discussions instead of doing the necessary practical work.