A sensation has been created in Zionist circles of Berlin by Abraham Goldberg, one of the leaders of American Zionism and a member of the World Zionist Executive Committee, who is now in Germany, according to a report published in the “Day” of Nov. 22, from its Berlin correspondent, S. Lyrik. Mr. Goldberg, who has always been known as loyal to the Zionist Executive, has come out in strong opposition to it and is calling the German Zionists to revolt against the Zionist leadership. He has addressed many meetings and has written articles declaring his extreme dissatisfaction, with the Zionist Executive and the present Zionist policy in general.
Mr. Goldberg’s chief contention is that the Zionist Executive is not doing enough to bring large numbers of Jews into Palestine. He has come to the conclusion that a Jewish majority must be created in Palestine within the coming 10 years-not later. The present method of the Zionist executive, he claims is to favor the interests of the Jewish workingmen and ignoring the other elements of Jewry, and particularly private initiative, on the ground that Palestine is not suited for industry on a large scale, that the only way of acquiring control of the country is by the establishment of cooperative colonies, which, of course, precludes the possibility of a mass immigration. The Zionist leaders, says Mr. Goldberg, arrived at this conclusion not through experience, but through psychological motives; they fear that there would be created in Palestine a new Lodz or Berditchev, a golus atmosphere, whereas they wish to see the birth of a new and better Jewish life there. Hence they condemn every form of private activity, every enterprise that might lead to a speedier development of Palestine.
Mr. Goldberg asserts that Jewish capitalists and business men do not lack idealism and could be influenced to immigrate to Palestine no less than the Chalutzim. The old Zionist psychology entertained by the Zionist leaders, which fears all private enterprises in Palestine, must be discarded and the building up of the land must be conducted on the basis of private ownership and private initiative.
Mr. Goldberg’s coming out against the Zionist Executive is not in itself surprising, for such things have happened frequently in the past, as witness the case of Zhabotinsky and even Dr. Weizman who at one time opposed the Zionist leadership. But Mr. Goldberg’s present attitude is particularly surprising in view of the fact that he was one of the strongest opponents of the Brandeis faction in the Zionist Organization of America when that faction attempted to establish the principle of private enterprise in Palestine as the guiding policy of the World Zionist Organization.
Mr. Goldberg’s call to revolution is not dangerous, at least not to the German Zionists, asserts the correspondent. The days of inflated currency when the German Jews were impoverished and looked with extreme respect to the land of the Dollar, are gone. Now that the German exchange is more normal it is not so easy for an American to arouse them to revolt, for they have their own opinions.
The Jewish Daily Bulletin learns from reliable sources that serious disagreement existed between Mr. Goldberg and the other members of the Administrative Committee since his return from Palestine six months ago. The possibility of his resignation from the Administrative Committee was at that time hinted at in view of the Administrative Committee refusing to endorse Mr. Goldberg’s activities in Palestine, especially his agreement with the tobacco manufacturer, Lubliner, for the disposal of Palestine tobacco in the United States.
According to the agreement with Mr. Goldberg concluded in Palestine, the Zionist Executive of America was to receive a percentage from the sales of tobacco in the United States. The committee was of the opinion that the Zionist Organization of America should not engage in business enterprises and expressed the opinion that this should be left exclusively to private initiative.
The Zionist Executive also considered it incompatible with the duties of an officer of the Zionist Organization to engage in private enterprises in Palestine. This referred to the attempt of Mr. Goldberg, together with others, to establish in American Palestine real estate agency.
Mr. Goldberg left for Berlin some time ago in order to inform Mr. Lubliner of the new developments. He was expected to return after a four weeks stay and surprise was expressed in Zionist circles at Mr. Goldberg’s prolonged stay, which has now extended to nine weeks, without communicating with the Zionist Executive in the United States.
In view of these developments there was little surprise expressed in Zionist circles at Mr. Goldberg’s oppositional activities in Palestine, but the Jewish Daily Builetin was informed that his activities are neither endorsed nor supported by any other member of the Zionist Executive of America.
It is expected that Mr. Goldberg will resign from the administrative committee in view of this conflict.