The attitude of the Jewish working class toward the problem of rebuilding Palestine was a matter of discussion at conventions of two labor organizations just concluded in New York City.
The first body to consider the question was the National Workingmen’s Conference which is composed of representatives of Jewish labor unions, the Poalei Zion and the Zeire Zion. The convention, which was called on the iniative of the Unted Gewerkscnaften for the purpose of renewing the campaign to help Palestine labor institutions, decided to raise the sum of $250,000 during this year.
Three hundred and fifty delegates from various parts of the country attended the convention, which was held in the Hias Building under the chairmanship of Mr. Abraham Schipliakoff. Col. Josiah Wedgwood, former member of the British labor government, addressed the convention. Max Pine was elected chairman of the campaign and Max Zucherman treasurer.
The annual convention of the Jewish trade unions organized under the auspices of the Jewish Socialist Federation, the “Forward” group, also discussed the question of Palestine. With regard to this matter the convention adopted a resolution in which it was declared that “Zionism cannot solve the Jewish question and Palestine cannot solve the Jewish emigration problem,” that, “Zionism only weakens the fight of the. Socialists in the various countries” and therefore, “the convention expresses itself against Zionism and against Palestine.”
The resolution, however, expressed warm sympathy for the Jewish workingmen in Palestine who “are sacrificing themselves for an ideal and it is therefore the duty of the Jewish workingmen to help them in the same measure that help is to be extended to Jewish workers in other lands.”
The resolution expressed opposition to special drives for Palestine unless a special situation demands it. In such a case the national executive of the Federation is instructed to deal with the situation.
An amendment introduced by Alexander Kahn to the effect that “Palestine cannot solve the Jewish question and that Socialists are not Zionists” and that “Palestine, however, affords the possibility for a larger emigration, which deserves support” caused a prolonged and heated debate. Messrs. Litvak, Braginski, Dembitztr and Weinberg spoke for the resolution. Mr. Botvinik, Dr. Farber and Mr. Shapiro spoke against the resolution. The amendment of Mr. Kahn was defeated, according to a report in the “Jewish Daily Forward.”