Zionist Convention Urges England to Active Cooperation in Rebuilding Palestine Homeland
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Zionist Convention Urges England to Active Cooperation in Rebuilding Palestine Homeland

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(Jewish Daily Bulletin)

The official attitude of the Zionist Organization of America toward Great Britain as the Mandatory Power for Palestine, was expressed by the twenty-ninth annual convention of the Organization at its third session held Monday night at the Hotel Statler here.

The resolution which was adopted by a vote of all the delegates with the exception of ten dissenting voters, endorses the stand taken by the World Zionist executive in its memorandum submitted to the Permanent Mandates Commission of the League of Nations and in the letter of Dr. Chaim Weizmann to Lord Plumer, High Commissioner of Palestine, accompanying the memorandum.

The resolution, while expressing “appreciation of the high spirit of disinterestedness which animates the Mandatory Power in its administration of Palestine and of its effective contribution to the development of the country in the establishment and maintenance of law and order,” stresses the point that it is the duty of Great Britain not only to maintain in Palestine the role of a passive arbiter but to assume active co-operation in the establishment of the Jewish National Home. The resolution also emphasizes the fact that this principle was laid down by the convention of American Zionists in Washington a year ago.

The representatives of the districts of the Zionist Organization of America, following a discussion of the report of the Political Committee submitted by the Hon. Carl Sherman of New York City, in endorsing the attitude of the World Zionist Executive, voted by a majority of all the delegates present, with the exception of ten, to table an amendment introduced by Elias Ginsburg representing the Revisionist Group to include in the resolution a demand for creating in Palestine such conditions of security which would accord complete protection to Palestine Jewry, and an amendment introduced by Israel Goldberg, urging the specific co-operation of the Palestine Government in the matter of colonization by applying Article Six of the Mandate to open state lands for Jewish Colonization and to see, through proper legislation, that arable land not now cultivated be placed under cultivation. The resolution as adopted reads:


“The Zionists of America in convention assembled take official note of the memorandum submitted by Dr. Chaim Weizmann, as president of the World Zionist Organization, to the Mandates Commission of the League of Nations.

“We are in full accord with the expression of our deep appreciation of the high spirit of distinterestedness which animates the Mandatory Power in its administration of Palestine and of its effective contribution to the development of the country in the establishment and maintenance of law and order.

“But as pointed out in the memorandum. the establishment and maintenance of law and order forms only a part of the duties of the Mandatory Power; and that power is thus called upon to take the steps necessary to creat the conditions which will facilitate the bulding of the Jewish National Home in Palestine and the early settlement of Jews there. The memorandum rightly sets forth that this work is yet to be accomplished; that in accordance with the provision of Article VI. of the Mandate, Jews should be settled on the crown lands; that the educational budget should be adequately distributed between the Jewish and non-Jewish population; that projects concededly of primary importance in the development of Palestine, such as the building of a harbor at Haifa and changes in the railroad routes, should be undertaken immediately, and that the burdensome immigration regulations promulgated by the Mandatory Power should be repealed.


“This memorandum carries out the spirit of the resolution adopted last year by the Zionist Organization of America at its convention in Washington, demanding in active rather than a quiescent attitude by the Mandatory Power in the task of upbuilding the Jewish National Home.

“Fulfillment of these demands to which we, the Zionists of America, who have assumed increasing burdens and obligations in the building of the Jewish National Home give full support, is consonant with the spirit and purpose of the mandate.

“We declare that these are but the initial steps in the realization of the Homeland. With Jewish immigration barred by almost all of the nations of the world, and the suffering Jewry of Eastern Europe looking toward Palestine, as the only hope of securing a haven of refuge, justice to the Jews demands that the Mandatory Power take as speedily as practicable those steps necessary to make the country available to the Jews desiring to settle there.

“We affirm that it is the duty of the Mandatory Power in co-operation with the World Zionist Organization as the Jewish Agency under the Mandate, to aid the Jews in their efforts of colonization, in the promotion of industry in Palestine and in the development of commerce; to the end that Palestine, woefully neglected for centuries, may become the land of promise that it was in the days of its glory.

“We are confident that with the formulation by the Mandatory Power of an adequate and comprehensive plan thus to carry out the mandate, even greater and fuller co-operation of the Jews of the world and particularly of America, and their support in money and effort in the task of upbuilding the Jewish National Home, will be insured.”


The debate on this resolution was the first political action taken by the Convention on a series of resolutions proposed by the Political Committee on the external and internal problems of the Zionist movement. The vote on this resolution followed an encounter between the Zionist body which is in accord with the administration, and the small group of Zionist Revisionists recruited largely from the delegation of the Order Sons of Zion which at its recent convention voted to endorse the program of the League of Zionist Revisionists. The encounter which occurred under the rules of free discussion, which were fairly applied by the chair, seemed to show that the majority of the delegates adhere to the policy formulated by the administration.

The heat of interest in the present political and economic situation in Palestine was discharged during the debate in which Elias Ginsburg, Dr. Abba Hillel Silver, Boris Gordon, Israel Goldberg and Ab. Goldberg participated.

“I wish to congratulate you to a certain extent for having neared one of the principles of the Revisionists. Hitherto, criticism of the Mandatory Power was not permissible at a Zionist convention,” Mr. Ginsburg declared.

At this point Mr. Lipsky rose to object to the statement of Mr. Ginsburg, pointing out that several Zionist congresses adopted resolutions of criticism and that criticism of the Mandatory Power was also voiced at the convention of the Zionist Organization of America last year.


Mr. Ginsburg. then criticized the annual message of the Chairman of the Zionist Organization of America. “In his message, Mr. Lipsky declared that American Zionists ought not be committed or pledged to any definite program. Mr. Lipsky believes in opportunism. However, we cannot reach any goal if we do not set a goal, if we have no program in front of us. If opportunities are favorable, Mr. Lipsky may succeed. If no favorable opportunities come, he will not succeed.

“I do not believe that thanks ought to be extended to the Mandatory Power as expressed in the resolution,” said Mr. Ginsburg. He then recalled the events in Palestine under the first British Administration, when the riots in Jerusalem occurred and the arrest and sentence of the Jewish self-defense body headed by Jabotinsky took place.

“We want to be on friendly terms with the Arabs, but we must not forget that inherent differences between the Arabs and the Jews exist and will continue to exist for a long time. We are the minority in Palestine and will be the minority for a very long time. As long as we are the minority, it is we who are in danger and not the Arab majority. Instead of giving us a possibility to be protected in case of danger arising against us and all the fruits of our blood, our labor and our millions, the Arabs, the majority who have never been attacked and can never be attacked, are granted a legion under the name of the Palestine Gendarmerie.”


Mr. Lipsky drew the attention of the speaker to the fact that the Palestine Gendarmerie is not an Arab legion and that one hundred Jews will be entitled to serve in the frontier force which is now being recruited.

Mr. Ginsburg replied that only twenty-eight Jewish technicians are now serving in the force. “The official language of the Gendarerie is Arabic. The official language of the Jews is Hebrew.

“The Jews in Palestine have no security and as long as they have no security all the millions that you are giving and all the Jewish people who are being sent to Palestine are endangered. Therefore, I propose that into this resolution be introduced a point whereby the Mandatory Power is requested to introduce in Palestine such a defense system, under which the Jews would be in a position to protect their lives and their property,” Mr. Ginsburg stated.


Rabbi Abba Hillel Silver, of Cleveland, took the floor to speak for the resolution of the committee. “I believe that the resolution holds within it all that loyal Zionists at this time ought to express,” Rabbi Silver stated. “The resolution is two-fold in purpose; it first reiterates that which our organization has reiterated at other conventions, our abiding confidence in the Mandatory Power. We have no reason to think that Great Britain means to go back on its pledge or whittle it down. Conditions in the last two years have altered the situation, necessitating the acceleration of the tempo in the upbuilding of Palestine. The increased immigration makes necessary at once creation of those economic and cultural possibilities which will absorb the new settlers, or Palestine will suffer as it has to some extent already suffered economic distress. In this resolution we call attention to the Mandatory Power to making possible the absorption into the country of those people who have no place to go and turn to Palestine, where they can go and where they are welcomed. We ask for the settlement of Jews upon such crown lands as may exist. We ask alleviation of taxation in order to make possible the development of trade. We ask for a fair share of the educational budget. We ask for legitimate things to which we are entitled on the basis of international agreement. We do not say when we come into Palestine that we are in danger of our lives. We say that we come to Palestine under the protection of the League of Nations and the British Empire. We say to Great Britain that the Jews of the world have done and will continue to do their share. Perhaps in that regard we make greater pretentions than we are justly entitled to. I am not convinced that we have done our full share.


“We formally ask and we have no hesitancy in asking the active co-operation of the Mandatory Power to make real the Jewish National Home, to join us in the ‘common job’ of upbuilding Palestine.

“Revisionism is not anathema to me at all. From my point of view Revisionism has a legitimate place in the Zionist Organization of the world. The Revisionist Zionist is a loyal Zionist. I may question the reality of his technique but I do not question his motives. But the work in Palestine will be done not by dramatic gestures, not by heroics, not by voicing loud sentiments threatening the mandatory Power with the dire consequences of a dissatisfied Jewry.

“The real interpretation of the Balfour Declaration rests not with the Jews of America, nor with Great Britain or the League of Nations but with the Jews of Palestine, who will underscore the things we want to emphasize, if we can puor into Palestine a Jewish majority.

“However, we must speak the language which is embodied in international relationships. We have confidence that Great Britain means to make real that which it declared in the Balfour Declaration. We call to the attention of Great Britain that unless something of real and vital moment is done now the task of establishing the Jewish Homeland will become progressively more difficult. There is need of a vaster program now.”

Mr. Boris Gordon of New York City urged that a resolution express the demand for free Jewish immigration to Palestine. He also declared it is the moral duty of the United States, which has shut its door to Jewish immigration. to lend moral if not financial assistance to the upbuilding of Palestine as the Jewish National Home.

Mr. Israel Goldberg, of the Zionist Organization, expressed regret that “the most capable exponents of Revisionism are not here tonight.” The resolution. he stated, contains a weakness in that it makes no mention of the vital question of land. “We loss sight of the fact that the immigrants who are coming into Palestine are either not going to be enabled to remain there at all, or that they will not be settled properly,” he said. “According to the best estimates there are now in Palestine 165,000 Jews and according to the highest estimates 25,000 are settled on the land. This is an unhealthy proportion.”


The view that in negotiating with the Mandatory Power the important thing is not the enumeration of the various demands and needs which are pressing for solution and the satisfaction of which is no doubt highly necessary and desirable, but the establishment of a principle and the gaining of its recognition, was expressed by Ab. Goldberg. “If one were to ask me to formulate in one sentence the quintessence of the demand to be made by the Jewish Agency of the Mandatory Power, I would follow the example of Hillel and say: the formula is that the Mandatory Power has to proceed from its attitude of neutrality to an attitude of active co-operation and assistance. The rest is merely a commentary and the methods as to how it is to be done is a question that must be left to our leadership and to those who are experts in the various fields.”

The Committee on Political Relations, of which Mr. Carl Sherman was Chairman. consisted of: Secretary. Mrs. H. B. Ullian. Detroit: Samuel J. Rosensohn, New York: Jacob Fishman. New York: Ab. Goldberg. New York; Morris Rothenberg. New York: Hon. Wm. E. Lewis. Philadelphia; Rabbi Abba Hillel Silver, Cleveland; Maurice Samuel. New York; Dr. Arthur Wolison, Flushing; Louis A. Sable, New York; Miss Rachael Natelson. Brooklyn: Mrs. J. E. Herlich. Detroit; Harry Grayer. New York; S. Gallis, Lynn; Meyer Abrams, Chicago; S. J. Cohen, Philadelphia; Rev. Stamm. Norwich; Aaron Garber, Cleveland: Mr. Robinson, Pawtucket; Herman Bernstein, New York; I. Hassin. Brooklyn; Samuel M. Rosenthal, Oil City.


The relations between the Zionist Organization of America and the Order Sons of Zion were not severed at the convention. contrary to the predictions expressed prior to the convention. Following the decision of the Order Sons of Zion to approve the action of its Executive Committee endorsing the program of the League of Zionist Revisionists. The Order, which is affiliated with the Zionist Organization of America, will be given a chance to reconsider its decision.

This is the sense of a resolution adopted by the convention as the outcome of the debate which ensued following the presentation of a resolution by Professor Gustave Klausner of St. Louis, Chairman of the Committee on Organization.

The resolution of the committee expressed the view that the Order Sons of Zion by virtue of the decision of its last convention endorsing the program of the Zionist Revisionists, has invalidated the existing understandings and agreements, and urged the incoming Administrative Committee to take whatever action necessary under the changed circumstances.

Although the debate revolved around the question of the attitude toward Revisionism, the matter was not discussed from the viewpoint of the merits of the program, but from the standpoint of the relationship between the two bodies.

A substitute motion, which was adopted, was presented by Leo Wolfson of New York, a member of the group in the Order Sons of Zion which opposed the adoption of the Zionist Revisionist program. The resolution as adopted read:


“Whereas, the Order Sons of Zion is affiliated with the Zionist Organization of America under a special agreement which was ratified by the conventions of both organizations, and

“Whereas, the Order Sons of Zion, through its Executive Committee and convention, has recently adopted a party program without informing, consulting and conferring with the Zionist organization and its officers.

“Whereas, such actions of the Executive Committee and of the convention of the Order Sons of Zion, tend to vitiate the terms of the agreement,

“Therefore, be it resolved, that the agreement between the Zionist Organization and the Order Sons of Zion, and all question of the continuance thereof, hereby are referred to the incoming Executive and Administrative Committee of the Zionist Organization of America with full power to act in any manner they may deem advisable in order to promote unity in the ranks of American Zionists, and at the same time protect the interests and dignity of the Z. O. A. and to maintain discipline in its ranks.”

The debate on the question, which occupied the main part of the Monday afternoon session, presented an issue which was eagerly awaited by the delegates, the arguments pro and con offered by the delegates held the attention of the convention.

The first speaker on the question was I. Posnansky, a Revisionist delegate, who urged the convention to reject both resolutions. He argued that the Order Sons of Zion had not broken the agreement with the Zionist Organization. “When Mr. Jabotinsky arrived in the United States,” the speaker declared, “members of the Zionist Administration, in private conversations with him, advised him to “capture the districts.” One of the districts, District No. 8, has voted to adopt the Revisionist program and there has been no action taken against this district. Why should there be an exception made with regard to the Order Sons of Zion?” he asked.


In presenting the substitute resolution, Mr. Wolfson declared: “As a member of the Order, as its counsel, as a former member of its Executive, on behalf of a group of fifty of the foremost members of the Order, I apologize to the convention for the action of the Order B’nai Zion. We disassociate ourselves from anything they did, from their program, and the manner in which they carried through the transactions.

“While I deprecate everything that they did, I come to plead for the Order Sons of Zion. I ask you to use generosity in conjunction with the situation,” Mr. Wolfson stated.

Maurice Samuel, who urged the adoption of the resolution in a heated argument, strongly criticized the action of the Order, declaring:

“When the Order Sons of Zion was admitted into partnership with the Zionist Organization, it was understood on both sides that the particular purpose of the Order did not impinge in any way upon the political activities of the Zionist Organization. If the Order Sons of Zion had a separate political program or had reserved the right to create a separate political program, then the Order would be treated as a fraction and not as another organization.

“Whether Revisionism is a program or not has nothing to do with the situation. Shall any part of the Zionist Organization of America, to which we have given a certain recognition in view of non-political work, make use of or abuse this privilege in order to constitute itself a disruptive factor in the reorganization?


“Shall we allow a group, under cover of doing special work for Palestine to ally itself with a power which is bent on destroying the unity in our ranks and is engaged in criticism along the most scandalous and ignominious lines?” the speaker asked. “When such a group allies itself with a group which refers to the World Zionist Executive as a collective zero which could be replaced by the charwoman at 77 Great Russell Street, it has forfeited the right to our cooperation.

“The plea is made that if we sever relations with the Order 5,000 members will be set adrift. We will not set Zionists adrift,” Mr. Samuel declared.

Elias Ginsburg spoke for the substitute resolution with certain amendments. He opposed the committee’s resolution, challenging it to specify the particular point of the agreement which was said to be broken. “There is no such point in the agreement.” Mr. Ginsburg stated. “The Order had the right to adopt the Revisionist program, there is and there ought to be freedom of thought and discussion in the Zionist movement,” he stated.

“I wish to call the attention of this convention that Mr. Samuel himself not only negotiated with Mr. Jabotinsky but assisted him in writing the pamphlet on Revisionism and the word ‘League’ is the word Mr. Samuel inserted. He should be the last man after the negotiations he conducted with Mr. Jabotinsky to denounce Revisionism now.”

Mr. Samuel rose on the point of personal privilege to state: “I conducted for negotiations with Mr. Jabotinsky. There were no negotiations in the sense in which that word is generally used. The only negotiations, if they may be called such, was that I was prepared as every other Zionist was and is prepared, to hear whatever Mr. Jabotinsky had to say with regard to Revisionism. He was invited frequently to discuss his views. During those negotiations, J and my colleagues stated that some of his views were not new and those which were new were harmful. It was made clear to him by myself that we did not countenance the formation of the League of Zionist Revisionists as we already have too many disruptive fractions within the organization.

“With regard to my assisting in the writing of the pamphlet, I might say I rendered the same assistance when Mr. Jabotinsky’s article was published in the “New Palestine.” Mr. Jabotinsky asked that I correct the English. I would do no less even for a member of the Agudath Israel,” he stated.

Dr. Johan J. Smertenko spoke against the substitute resolution. He urged the convention to decide upon the matter.


Ab. Goldberg stated that there was no doubt that the Order had committed a folly. “However,” he said, “it is clear that by virtue of this commission, the Order has changed its character from that which it had at the time the agreement was consummated. It is therefore necessary to effect a new relation. This,” he urged, “should be left to the incoming Executive.”

Mr. Barondess, in urging the adoption of the substitute resolution. strongly condemned the Order, of which he was one of the founders.

“What right has the Order Sons of Zion to take money people paid in for insurance and use it for Revisionist propaganda?” Mr. Barondess asked.

Louis Wise of Newark and B. Shelvin also spoke.

The Credentials Committee reported that 282 of the delegates registered represent the Zionist Organization of America, 101, the Hadassah, 17 special delegates and 32 the Order Sons of Zion.

The Credentials Committee had objected to seating nine delegates of the Order Sons of Zion but by a ruling of the chairman, Mr. Lipsky, these delegates were recognized.

The convention which was termed the convention of self-assertion, was characterized by the fact that it was a rank and file assembly. Left to itself, the convention turned its attention to internal problems and for the first time in many years, it was emphasized, paid greater attention to organization matters.


A discussion developed following the report submitted to the convention by Samuel Blitz of the organization department. He pointed out that the Zionist Organization in America has greater difficulty in holding its members than in recruiting new members. Many delegates complained from the floor of the difficulties encountered in their membership campaigns because of organization handicaps. A resolution proposed by the committee to allow the districts where conditions permitted to enlist United Palestine Appeal contributors simultaneously with obtaining their contributions was rejected.

Jacob Fishman raised the question whether the district system should not be revised and whether it would not be advisable to institute two classes of members, active and passive. The convention also adopted a resolution urging the executive committee to appoint a committee to study the question of revising the constitution of the Zionist Organization of America and to report its findings to the next convention. A resolution was also adopted urging the establishment of new regional offices in the Southern states and on the Pacific coast.

Endorsement of the Association for Jewish Culture and Education was given by the convention when it adopted the resolution offered by Rabbi James Heiler of Cincinnati following a discussion in which Rabbi Sonderling, Rabbi Barnett Brickner and Rabbi Nachman Ebin participated. The latter objected to the elimination of religion from the resolution.

The celebrated 42-line Gutenberg Bible in the Austrian Benedictine Abbey of St. Paul in Carinthia was reported sold to an American for $200,000. This Bible has a greater value than that formerly in the Austrian Monastery at Melk, which was sold to A. W. S. Rosenbach of New York for $106,000 and is now in the Yale Library. The St. Paul copy, printed on vellum, is in an excellent state of preservation, uncut and still in its original binding.

Authorities say there are only twelve Gutenberg Bibles, printed on vellum, in existence. Austria now possesses only one, which is in the National Library at Vienna. If the report is correct that the St. Paul Bible has been sold to an American. it marks the eighth acquired for the United States.


The problem of how to prevent the delinquent child from growing into an adult criminal is being studied by the Board of Directors of the Jewish Social Service Bureau of 9 Court Square, Brooklyn, the organization announced. “The board, which is headed by Federal Judge Grover M. Moscowitz, believes that it is possible in 80 per cent. of the cases to remove the cause of delinquency.

A psychiatric clinic has been added to the equipment of the bureau to assist social workers in the diagnosis and treatment of children. Dr. William V. ### who is connected with the psychiatric department of Mount Sinai Hospital, is in charge of the clime.

More than $25,000 was pledged toward the $60,000 building fund drive for the Avenue N Jewish Center in Brooklyn, when more than 500 persons watched the laying of the cornerstone.

The cornerstones were dedicated by Rabbi Heller and the benediction was pronounced by Dr. Norman Gerstenfeld. The president, Louis Dulberg, presided.

At a luncheon of the captains and workers of the United Jewish Campaign in Seattle, Wash., at the New Washington Hotel, $34,394 was reported collected on the first day. This amount, with subscriptions totaling $75,000 collected in the pre-drive activities, makes a total of $109,394 for Seattle thus far.

The cornerstone of the West Philadelphia Jewish Community Center was laid at 63rd and Ludlow Streets, in the presence of a large crowd.

Mayor Kendrick and leaders in Jewish welfare activities were included in the list of those who spoke at the exercises. Among them were Jules E. Mastbaum, Jacob Ginsburg, Jacob Bilikopf, executive director of the Federation of Jewish Charities; Judge Leopold C. Glass, and Councilman Maurice E. Levick.

The Jewish relief fund in New Albany, Ind., for the relief of Jews in Eastern Europe and Palestine amounts to $3,715, according to William Newburger, who is in charge of the campaign in this city. Simon Haskell is treasurer of the fund and Jacob Fine is secretary.

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