Basle (Sep. 3)
(Jewish Telegraphic Agency)
The adoption of a new policy and the employment of new methods to check the present crisis in Palestine and to pave the way for the beginning of a new period of reconstruction and expansion of Zionist work in Palestine was advocated by Vladimir Jabotinsky, leader of the League of Zionist Revisionists, the extreme oppositional group within the Zionist movement.
Jabotinsky, the founder of the Jewish Legion which fought with the Allies during th World War to liberate Palestine from Turkish rule, delivered a stirring address at the sixth session of the Zionist Congress held Friday afternoon in the Messe Hail here.
The center of his attack was his criticism of the external and internal policies pursued by the international Zionist movement under the present Executive.
Most pointed was his attack on the Jewish Agency, the plan sponsored by Dr. Chaim Weizmann and the American Zionists to enlist the support of non-Zionist Jews in the upbuilding work in Palestine giving them a fifty per cent, representation in the Jewish Agency which, under the provisions of the Palestine Mandate is recognized as a public body to act in an advisory capacity to the British and Palestine government on questions pertaining to the upbuilding of Palestine.
“Dr. Weizmann’s plan to deprive the Zionist movement of its instrument recognized by the League of Nations by admitting non-Zionists on an equsl basis with the Zionists to supervise the work and devrmine the policy is an unpardonable course which will work to the detriment of the Zionist movement. How can we expect people who have avowed their non-interest in the ideal of Zionism by designating themselves non-Zionists to assume the responsibility for the carrying out of the actual work aiming at the realization of this ideal? This does not mean that the participation of the non-Zionists in the economic field of the upbuilding of Zion is not desirable” Mr. Jabotinsky said. “It is more, it is necessary and is to be welcomed heartily. But let there be no confusion between the economic and the political tasks facing Zionist endeavors in Palestine. A more honest proposal which would be more easily acceptable to the non-Zionists would be to seperate the economic task from the political so that the political worof the Jewish Agency is left to those who believe in the underlying principle of the movement, the Zionists, and the economic work be shared with the non-Zionists. Only such a solution will secure internal peace in the Zionist movement,” he asserted.
“Where is Zionism today sailing, when even a minimum of 10,000 Jewish immigration annually to Palestine is declared impossible, when 8,000 workers battle against unemployment, when the Palestine hunger of millions of Jews throughout the world cannot be satisfied?” he demanded.
Jabotinsky, in describing the program offered by his League, disavowed the contention that this program involves an anti-British attitude. “This is not the truth,” he stated. “It is not necessary for the Zionist Executive to pursue an aggressive anti-British policy but it is equally dangerous and paralyzing to the work of Zionists throughout the world when, in the present state of affairs, the Zionist Executive does nothing but issue statements declaring it is ‘satisfied’ with the attitude of the British government
“Mass immigration and mass colonization are problems that can be coped with successfully only by the state; such is the task of furthering the development of industries in Palestine and speedy removal of the present crisis in the country,” he stated.
“The fact of the matter is, as the report of Mr. Sokolow has partly indicated and as the memorandum submitted to the Congress by the Palestine Jewish manufacturers, and as further indicated by the provisions of the Palestine-Syria Commercial Treaty, that the Palestine government pursues a policy which hampers the development of industry in the country. If this policy is not abandoned and if no active steps are taken to further and promote the growth of industry and commerce and to extend colonization to a large scale, the Jewish people, who long for a revival of Palestine, will be placed in the pathetic position of the man who undertakes to fill a bottomless barrel with gold.
“The view of the Zionist Revisionists is based on confidence in the British people, but this does not necessarily mean that we have to agree to the present methods employed in Palestine.
“It is true that the Jewish people have still a great duty to fulfill to make the upbuilding of Palestine on a large scale possible, but it is equally true that in nine years since the close of the war, the Jewish people throughout the world have raised large amounts for the Palestine work and have given an immigration of 72,000 of the best sons of the race, who went to Palestine able and willing to make the rebuilding a successful reality, provided they were properly aided and directed.”
The leader of the Zionist Revisionists, whose program includes a plank for the creation in Palestine of a Jewish military unit which would be equal in strength to the existing Arab legion severely criticised the Palestine government and the Zionist Executive, claiming that they have failed to safeguard the Jewish settlements in Palestine through military protection.
“When the British government withdrew its troops from the country and a new force was created to protect the country, this new force was recruited almost in its entirety from among the Arabs. Only an insignificant number of Jewish legionaires were admitted to the force. Even the Palestine police and gendarmerie are manned mainly by Arabs and those Jewish officers who were admitted to the police were placed under the command of Arabs. To what this system leads was demonstrated in a few instances where Jewish policemen committed suicide because of the hostile attitude of the Arab command,” he charged.
The spokesman for the Zionist Revisionists charged the Zionst Executive with responsibility for bringing the Zionist movement to its present small activity and to reducing the volume of Jewish immigration. He concluded his criticism by saying that the state of affairs in the international Zionist movement is not hope-less. “Conditions can be improved if a new policy and new methods are adopted. What the generally dissatisfied Congress can do is to change the policy and some of the personnel of the Executive so that a great new period of work in all fields will begin.”
Although the Zionist Revisionists are represented at the Congress by only nine delegates, the address of their leader called forth wide applause.
The Weizmann policy, however found many supporters during the general debate. Deputy Meyer Ebner of Czernowitz, Bukowina, member of the Roumanian parliament; Delegate Ismusik of Palestine, Philip Guedalla, well known English novelist, Dr. Osias Thon, Chief Rabbi of Cracow, Poland; Dr. M. Hindes of Warsaw. Mr. Bilesky. and Mr. Gesundheit of South Africa, defended the Weizmann regime.
Strong exception to the arguments of Dr. Stephen S. Wise of New York, who criticised the British government for its Palestine policy, was-taken by Philip Guedalla, who is president of the Federation of English Zionists. Mr. Guedalla warned the Zionist delegates against expressing lack of confidence in the British government’s policy. “It would be a dangerous step,” he stated. “Our small complaints would be misunderstood by the English taxpayer. Do not believe or try to make others believe that Great Britain will ever break her pledge given to the Jewish people in the Balfour Declaration.”
The speaker was interrupted by Dr. Stephen S. Wise who stated that Mr. Guedalla is not in earnest.
Delegate Gesundheit of South Africa expressed the dissatisfaction of the Zionist societies in South Africa with the British policy in Palestine. He blamed particularly the attitude of the British officials in Palestine. He cited a number of what he termed “crass cases” where Jewish interests in Palestine were ignored, charging also that the Palestine administration compels its Jewish officials to violate the Sabbath.
Speaking of the proposals of the American delegation to curtail the influence of the labor group. the speaker made a strong attack on the policy pursued by the labor organizations in Palestine. This called forth the strenuous protests of the labor delegates.