Zionists Asked Before Campaign Started That J.D.C Make Good Any Deficit of Keren Hayesod, He Says; Prefers That His Friends Answer Lipsky’s Charges
The charge that Zionists attacked the United Jewish Campaign and himself because of a refusal by him and Mr. Felix M. Warburg, chairman of the Joint Distribution Committee, to center into a secret agreement to make good any deficit that might be caused to the Palestine Foundation Fund by the United Jewish Campaign’s appeal for $15,000,000 was made yesterday in a statement issued by David A. Brown, national chairman of the United Jewish Campaign.
Mr. Brown’s statement was issued in reply to remarks made at the Zionist convention and to the statement issued by Louis Lipsky, president of the Zionist Organization of America.
The statement issued by Mr. Brown declared:
“Under pressure from many friends throughout the country who are insistent that I make some reply to the vicious attack made upon me as national chairman of the United Jewish Campaign by Louis Lipsky and others at the Buffalo convention of the Zionists and again in Mr. Lipsky’s reply to the statement of the Joint Distribution Commitment, I feel that the following statement will cover all that I wish to say at this time:
“Following the announcement of the United Jewish Campaign in May, 1925, the Zionist Organization of America through its officers represented to me and to Mr. Felix M. Warburg. chairman of the Joint Distribution Committee that our campaign would make it impossible for the Zionist Organization to collect its funds in America in the face of a campaign the size of ours. They asked that the United Jewish Campaign guarantee to them any deficit which the Keren Hayesod (Palestine Foundation Fund) might have on the theory that our effort might compete with their. Both Mr. Warburg and I, meeting with these committees separately attempted to show them, first, the impossibility of our making any secret agreement with the Zionist Organization whereby any deficit in their then three million dollar campaign would be met with the funds raised for Eastern and Central Europe and Russian European relief and reconstruction work; and, second, that they were underestimating the giving possibilities and the generous impulses of the Jews of America. At these meetings, some of which were held in New York City and others at my Detroit office, the Zionist Organization was represented by those in authority at that time. Shortly after our refusal to meet their demands the attack on part of our program began in New York and in other sections of America. The Philadelphia Conference last September at which the United Jewish Campaign was launched is now past history, and the continuous attack on me personally after that conference in every part of the United States by leaders and paid employees of the Zionist Organization is all a matter of record in the files of the United Jewish Campaign.
“That I was practically silent during the course of these vicious attacks was due in part to the fact that I realized the source from which they sprang and their purpose, but mainly because I was anxious that there should be harmony among our people and that I should do nothing that might in any way harm either campaign and thereby cause additional suffering in Europe and in Palestine. In my work throughout the country in building up the organization for the United Jewish Campaign I continuously stressed the needs of Palestine and urged my audiences to do their duty not only by the suffering Jews of Europe but by those already in Palestine and those desirous of going there.
“That the strategy of the Zionist leaders was a great mistake and has been tragic in its consequences the history of both campaigns is the best evidence. Instead of the United Jewish Campaign hurting in any way the cause of Palestine or being responsible for the Zionists obtaining a smaller amount of money than they had obtained in previous years, the fact is that the Zionists have this year obtained more money than they ever obtained before at any time in any one year of their history. Their theory that the Jews of America would not be responsive to the two appeals is disproved by the fact that the United Jewish Campaign which was originally a fifteen million dollar campaign will before its close have totaled over twenty-five million dollars.
“Had the leaders of the American Zionist organization adopted originally an affirmative attitude towards the United Jewish Campaign there would be in America today a United Jewry with the Zionist leaders standing out not only as leaders of a great idealist cause but also as men of great vision whose hearts beat in sympathy with suffering Jews no matter whether they be in Palestine in Poland or in Russia. All of this would have accrued to the benefit of the Zionist cause in America and in other parts of the word.
“I prefer that my friends and acquaintance both Zionist and non-Zionist throughout America who have met with me, worked with me and listened to me during the past thirteen or fourteen months give answer to the outrageous charges made by Mr. Lipsky and others in his organization and shall remain content with the verdict they will render”
Mr. Brown’s is the second reply to the Zionist in the controversy between the Zionist Organization and the Joint Distribution Committee. In the statement published on July 6th, by the Executive Committee of the Joint Distribution Committee, it was charged that notwithstanding that over $1,500,000 of the funds raised by the United Jewish Campaign were to be used in Palestine, the Zionists had deliberately attempted to sabotage the United Jewish Campaign.