Opposition Demand for Extraordinary Congress on Jewish Agency Defeated
Menu JTA Search

Opposition Demand for Extraordinary Congress on Jewish Agency Defeated

Download PDF for this date

(Jewish Telegraphic Agency)

All the recommendations submitted by the political committee in the form of resolutions were adopted by the Fifteenth Zionist Congress at the Thursday night session which lasted until three o’clock in the morning. The resolutions were adopted over the objections of the Zionist Revisionists and Radical Zionists, the oppositional groups in the Zionist movement.

The opposition raised a strong protest particularly against the resolution endorsing the action of Dr. Chaim Weizmann in the agreement he concluded with Louis Marshall, president of the American Jewish Committee, concerning the formation of the Jewish Agency.

Dr. Nahum Goldman, a representative of the group known as Radical Zionists, offered an amendment to the resolution concerning the Jewish Agency, providing for the calling of an extraordinary congress to be held next year for the final decision on the organization of the Jewish Agency. This amendment was defeated by a majority vote.

Stormy scenes were enacted during the vote when Deputy Isaac Gruenbaum of Warsaw and Robert Stricker of Vienna shouted to the Zionist leaders: “You may rejoice that you have obtained a majority at the Zionist Congress against the principle of Palestine priority.” These exclamations had reference to the correspondence between Louis Marshall and Dr. Weizmann last winter, in which Mr. Marshall took issue with the principle of the priority of Palestine in Jewish communal affairs, advocated by Zionists.

Jabotinsky, leader of the Zionist Revisionists, joined in the protest when he interrupted Louis Lipsky, president of the Zionist Organization of America, who stated that in view of the fact that the negotiations concerning the Jewish Agency pertain directly to the situation in America, American Zionists would prefer “European Zionists not to interfere.” Jabotinsky reminded Lipsky of the fact that it was Dr. Weizmann, a European Zionist, who interfered in the American situation when he ousted Brandeis.

The Zionist Revisionists voted against the resolution of the Jewish Agency. After the amendment of Dr. Goldman was lost, Jabotinsky took the floor to declare that he had hoped until the last moment that the Jewish Agency agreement would be decided upon by the sovereign Zionist Congress. He now realizes that the constitutional fight against the Agency is lost. He declared, however, in behalf of the League of Zionist Revisionists, that “it retains its absolute opposition to sharing the political functions of the Jewish Agency with the non-Zionists.”

Mr. Berrl Locker speaking on behalf of the Poale Zion declared that his party voted for the Jewish Agency resolution although their doubts on to subject have not been removed. “Our fight will now be for democratizing the institutions of the Jewish Agency,” he stated.

During the vote on the resolutions of the political committee, there was no stable majority apparent. The Left groups, in particular the Poale Zion, continually changed their tactics and often voted with the opposition. Dr. Weizmann was absent during the vote, having been busy with the negotiations concerning the composition of the Jerusalem Executive.

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund