Weizmann Reviews Palestine Situation in Message to Buffalo Zionist Convention

(Jewish Daily Bulletin)

The present situation in Palestine was reviewed and the plans of the Zionist World Executive for the near future were outlined in a message from Dr. Chaim Weizmann, read at the opening session here today of the twenty-ninth annual convention of the Zionist Organization of America.

The message, which was addressed to Mr. Louis Lipsky, chairman of the Zionist Organization of America, read:

“My dear Lipsky:

“I greatly regret that I cannot have the pleasure of being present at the Twenty-Ninth Annual Convention of the Zionist Organization of America. I need not say how happy I should have been to be among you and how sorry I am that circumstances compelme to postpone my next visit to America till later in the year.

“I should have been particularly glad to have had an opportunity of personally thanking the delegates, and those whom they represent, for their tireless and self-sacrificing exertions in the common cause during the past twelve months. Under your leadership and that of your colleagues, the Zionist Organization of America has once more distinguished itself by its unparalleled efforts in the interests of the Jewish National Home. Those efforts have culminated in the United Palestine Appeal which has evoked so encouraging a response from all sections of the American Jewish Community: and in this connection I should like to pay tribute to the invaluable services rendered by Dr. Stephen S. Wise and Mr. Emanuel Neumann, and to the stirring examples of generous giving which have been offered by men like Benjamin Winter. Max Blumberg. Herman Conheim. Philip Wattenberg and I. Morrison.

“To them, to you, and to every man and woman in that great army of devoted workers who have contributed to the success of the Appeal. I should like to take this opportunity of conveying. on my own behalf, and on behalf of my colleagues of the World Zionist Executive, an assurance of our deep appreciation. The Appeal has necessarily, and rightly, absorbed a great part of your energies during the past few months, but in other fields also the Zionist Organization of America has shown that it is alive and active. The lyar Campaign, and the organized effort which has been initiated in the cause of Jewish education are further evidence, if evidence be needed, of the spirit in which the Zionist Organization of America is shouldering its responsibilities.

“A high standard has been set, and it is imperative that that standard should be maintained, as I feel sure that it will be. There was never a time when we could less afford to relax our efforts. We have reached a stage in the establishment of the Jewish National Home at which to stagnate would be to go backwards. As a result of years of patient pioneering, in which American Zionism has played a distinguished part, our work in Palestine has acquired a momentum which it is essential that it should on no account be allowed to lose.

“Of this I am more than ever convinced by the opportunity I have recently had of closely examining the situation in Palestine on the spot. I am glad to say that in many respects we have ample ground for satisfaction. In spite of the disturbed conditions which unhappily exist in some of the neigh-boring territories, Palestine has never been more peaceful, and shows every sign of settling down to a period of steady and orderly development in the interests of all sections of the population.

“As regards our relations with the Government I had the pleasure of having several interviews with His Excellency and High Commissioner, and I feel sure that the Government desires faithfully to discharge its obligations in the spirit of the Mandate. On some points we have still to obtain the satisfaction to which we feel we are entitled; I refer in particular to the question of State Lands, and to the question of the Government grant to the Hebrew schools. On both these points we are making representations which we hope will prove effective. Broadly speaking, however, the political situation may be regarded as satisfactory, and the Jews are going about their work with a confidence in themselves and in their neighbors which increases year by year.

“In the economic field also material progress continues to be made. In 1925, as I need hardly remind the Convention, the number of Jewish immigrants reached much the highest figure ever recorded. Both in industry and in agriculture there has been steady development as will be seen from the detailed report which we have had the honor of laying before the Permanent Mandates Commission of the League of Nations.

“On the other hand, the situation in Palestine is and must be closely affected by the situation in other parts of the world, and more especially in Eastern Europe. Poland in particular, from which so many of our best immigrants are drawn, has been passing through an economic and political crisis from which it has not yet fully emerged. For this and similar reasons, as well as to some extent on account of certain features of the existing Immigration Regulations, the influx of private capital into Palestine has recently shown a tendency to shrink, while at the same time, the receipts of the Keren Hayesod, taken as a whole, do not compare as favorably as might be desired with those of a year ago. The larger the scale of our activities in Palestine, and the more substantial our achievement, the greater become our responsibilities. It cannot be too clearly realized that at this stage in the establishment of the Jewish National Home it is of vital importance that our efforts, and especially our efforts on behalf of the Keren Hayesod, far from being relaxed, should be more vigorous than ever. I say this in the conviction, and indeed with the certain knowledge, that the Zionist Organization of America remains firmly resolved to play its part in the rebuilding of Palestine to the full extent of its resources and not to rest until we have successfully completed the sacred task to which we have set our hands. We were all particularly happy to have had the opportunity of discussing with you, Mr. Lipsky, the present situation in the movement. We are aware that you have made this hurried journey to London at considerable sacrifice and inconvenience and we are heartily grateful to you for having done so.

“I look forward to renewing my personal contact with American Zionism in the Fall, when it is my intention to revisit the United States in the hope of carrying through to a final and satisfactory conclusion the negotiations which have for some time been in progress with a view to broadening the basis of the Jewish Agency. In that task I know I shall not appeal in vain for the whole-hearted cooperation of the whole of that great body of American Jews who realize that the establishment of the Jewish National Home in Palestine is the common privilege and the common responsibility of the entire Jewish people. In the meantime I send the Convention my most cordial greetings, and my sincere good wishes for the success of its deliberations.”

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