English Zionists Discuss Political Issues at Annual Conference
Menu JTA Search

English Zionists Discuss Political Issues at Annual Conference

Download PDF for this date

(Jewish Telegraphic Agency Mail Service)

Resolutions on the political situation in Palestine were adopted by the conference of the English Zionist Federation held in Leeds.

The conference adopted a resolution expressing satisfaction with Dr. Weizmann’s statement expressing the view that His Majesty’s Government “desires faithfully to discharge its obligations in the spirit of the Mandate.”

“The conference, appreciating the endeavour of His Majesty’s Government,” the resolution states, “to give effect to the spirit as well as the letter of the Palestine Mandate, expresses the earnest hope that His Excellency the High Commissioner for Palestine will take the necessary steps as speedily as possible to accede to the representations of the Jewish Agncy in regard to the allocation of State and waste lands for dose settlement by Jews, as provided in Article 6 of the Mandate and for adequate grants in aid of the maintenance of Jewish schools in the country.

“The Conference further begs to urge upon the High Commissioner the desirability of putting into effect the Communities Ordinance 1926, in so far as the Jewish population of Palestine is concerned, and to accord to the Vaad Leumi the legal recognition due to it as the elected National Council of Palestine Jews.

“The Conference urges also the necessity of safeguarding the status and the moral prestige of the Jewish people giving them the opportunity to share in defence of the Jewish national home.

“This Conference places upon record its strong disapproval of the action taken by the Agudath Israel in its action against the unity of the Jewish people in relation to Palestine,” the resolution read.

During the debate Mr. Paul Goodman, Chairman of the Political Committee, reported on the Zionist political situation, in the course of which he said: “The mandate remains the fundamental basis not only of the Jewish claims in Palestine but of the whole position of the Mandatory Power in that country. In so far as the Samuel-Churchill White Paper has interpreted the Mandate and modified certain views held by Jews as to their place in Palestine, much will depend on our own development and on the strength of our resources how those interpretations will affect the rights and privileges of the Jews guaranteed under the Mandate. It is finally just to remember that the League of Nations, which is the final arbiter of the destinies of Palestine, only recognizes its Mandate to Great Britain as the authority on the lines of which the country is to be administered.

“Yet, it is only too painfully obvious to all who are conversant with the local administration that not all officials realize the fundamental basis on which the government of Palestine has to be carried on.”

Mr. Goodman spoke of the relations between the Jews and the Arabs of Palestine, saying that Zionists can recognize the essential need for economic as well as cultural co-operation with the Arab population if the Jewish national home is to be built upon secure foundations.

Mr. Goodman also spoke of the demands of the Zionist Revisionists pointing out that the Zionist Revisionists are only different from the average Zionists in the emphasis and the tone in which certain Zionist aspirations are put forward. He did not think under the given circumstances, that they could expect that the political theses of the Zionist Revisionists would be accepted by the Mandatory Power. They, too, did not regard with favour the present division between the mandated territory of Palestine and Transjordania, but did not think that the Mandatory would for the present consent to a reversion to the original administrative unity of the whole of Palestine. East as well as West of the Jordan.

It was also not likely that they would be able to form a Jewish Legion for the protection of the Jewish national home, as was advocted not only by the Revisionists but also, in view of recent events in Palestine by a part of the Jews in Palestine.

“We must admit,” Mr. Goodman declared. “that there is good ground for the contention of the Revisionists that the Land Problem in Palestine calls for urgent representation. There are moral as well as political reasons why Zionists are not in favour of displauing Arabs from the lands cultivated by them. and the complaints of Arab agitators to the contrary have been recognized to be without foundation. But it is altogether a different matter when Article 6 of the Mandate which provides that the British Administration shall facilitate the close settlement by Jews on the land, including State lands and waste lands not required for public purposes-has, for political purposes, so far remained a dead letter.”

Mr. Sol. Goldberg criticised Sir Herbert Samuel for his policy of yielding to the Arabs during his period of office in Palestine, and the Zionist Executive for not pressing their demands more strongly.

Mr. Morris Myer, editor of the London Yiddish Daily. “Der Zeit,” said that he thought Mr. Goodman had given too much attention to the Zionist Revisionists. He was opposed to the Revisionists because their program was impracticable. It was built on Illusions and therefore could only lead to difficulties in the attempt to carry it into effect, he said. The Zionists in drawing up their political program had to take into consideration not only what they wanted but also what it was possible to get.

Dr. Eder said that it was not true that the Zionist Executive had neglected to press the demand for the allocation of the State lands. Unfortunately they had not obtained the lands, but that was not the fault of the Zionist Executive. he said.

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund