Basle (Sep. 2)
(Jewish Telegraphic Agency)
The likelihood of the Fifteenth Zionist Congress adopting strong resolutions criticising the British Government for its Palestine policy and its inactivity in furthering the creation of the Jewish National Home in Palestine was evident when it was announced that Dr. Stephen S. Wise, one of the leaders of the American Zionist Delegation, was appointed chairman of the political committee.
This appointment is of particular significance in view of the sharp criticism expressed by Dr. Wise during the general debate against Great Britain as the mandatory power.
The chairmanship of the Committee on Committees, held at recent Congresses by Americans, was awarded this time to a representative of the German Zionists. Kurt Blumenfeld, leader of the German Zionists, was chosen chairman of the committee. Dr. A. Coralnik of New York, Deputy H. Farbenstein of Warsahn, and Dr. Chaim Arlasaroff were elected vice-chairmen.
Another significant appointment was that of Samuel J. Rosensohn, New York attorney, to head the finance committee. This appointment was viewed as an indication of the willingness of the Congress to yield in part to the American proposals for a revision of the Zionist budget system.
As the week-end approaches, a slackening in the activities of the Congress is apparent. No general sessions will take place on Saturday in deference to the Sabbath and on Sunday. A single session was called for Saturday evening after sunset. This session was scheduled to accomplish the election of a new executive. This became less likely, however, in view of the fact that the Committee on Committees, which is charged with the preparation of the list of proposed Executive members, could not reach a decision and declared that it will postpone its deliberations until the beginning of the new week. The Committee was unable to formulate its proposals in view of the divergent views held by the several parties and groups represented on it.
The attitude of Dr. Weizmann, whose re-election is considered most likely, was not clearly defined and thus room was left for much speculation as to the forces which will be marshalled around the new Executive.
The time given the delegates before next week’s sessions is being utilized feverishly by party leaders to secure alliances and attempt to create voting blocs for the various proposals which are being advocated. Most active of the groups is the American delegation which forms the mainstay of the Weizmann policy and was responsible for his re-election at the Fourteenth Zionist Congress, when it succeeded in creating a center bloc.
The likelihood of the revival of this bloc at the present congress was still remote this morning as the American proposals for (a) electing a non-partisan Executive composed of experts to direct the various branches of the Zionist activity in Palestine; (b) curtailing the budget and (c) transferring the right of allottment from the Congress to the Executive or the General Council, meet with strong opposition from the Right and Left wings. The consummation of the American delegates’ plans received a set-back in the fact that the delegation’s number was reduced to forty, thus lesseming the strength of the probable majority which they could marshall.
Those well versed in the procedure of Zionist Congresses and intimately familiar with the forces had no hesitation in predicting that once the Americans, who contribute the largest amount toward the Palestine budget, will have made up their minds to re-elect Weizmann, they will succeed in securing his re-election, notwithstanding all the political pitfalls and obstacles they may encounter.