Fifteenth Zionist Congress in Basle Expresses Confidence in Weizmann Administration
Menu JTA Search

Fifteenth Zionist Congress in Basle Expresses Confidence in Weizmann Administration

Download PDF for this date

(Jewish Telegraphic Agency)

Confidence in the policy of the Weizmann administration of the international Zionist movement and in the good-will of the British government as the mandatory power in Palestine under the provisions of the Mandate of the League of Nations was expressed by the Fifteenth Zionist Congress at its session Friday morning in a resolution adopted by a majority vote following a heated debate.

While expressing appreciation for the work of the Palestine government the resolution contains, nevertheless, a censure of the policy of the government which it charges is not in full accordance either with the spirit or the letter of the Palestine Mandate due to the “Palestine administration’s passive atitude toward Palestine Jewry and the achievements of the Jewish people in Palestine.”

The resolution enumerates a number of demands to the Palestine government, particularly the adjustment of its taxation system, safety, industrial development necessary to facilitate the establishment of the Jewish National Home in the country.

The Congress closed its session today at six o’clock in deference to the Sobbath. The Congress will be prolonged by one session which will take place Saturday after sunset. At this session it is ## a new Executive will be chosen and the Congress will be adjourned.

The resolution submitted by the political committee of which Dr.Stephen S. Wise was the chairman and as adopted by the Fifteenth Zionist Congress read as follows:

“The upbuilding work done in Palestine under Zionist auspices for decades, especially since the issuance of the Balfour Declaration, has created the foundation for the Jewish National Home and thereby the Mandatory Power as well as public opinion of the world have been shown that the Jewish people are capable of performing the task and are determined to justify the grave responsibility imposed upon it by the Mandate.

“The Mandatory Power during this commencement period has restricted itself to establishing order and a working administration, safeguarding security and thereby creating two fundamental conditions for the sound development of Palestine.

“The Fifteenth Zionist Congress in session assembled at Basle regards it, nevertheless, as necessary to emphasize that the Palestine administration’s passive attitude toward the Yishub (Palestine Jewry) and the achievements of the Jewish people is in accordance neither with the spirit nor with the letter of the Mandate. The great value of the Jewish up building work in Palestine, which is serving the whole country economically and culturally is no wise sufficiently acted up to by this attitude. The Mandatory Power has not given sufficient aid either to the settlement work or to the cultural work of the Jews. The elementary citizenship requirements in the fields of education, health, etc. of Palestine Jewry have not been satisfied by the Palestine administration to the same extent as it has been for the other parts of the population.

“With appreciation the Fifteenth Zionist Congress declares that the Palestine government has lately been interesting itself more strongly in the affairs of the Yishub. It gave assistance in more cases recently. The Congress. nevertheless. finds itself compeiled to estsblish regretfully that no basic change in the Mandatory’s system is yet observable regarding active essistance in the upubilding of the Jewish National Home. This is shown by vsrious measure and ordinarves Istely promulgated which are designed to hinder the development of the Jewish settlement.

“With deep regret the Fifteenth Zionist Congress points to cases where the recent practice of the administraion vio?ted the basic rights and the vital interests and even the respece for the Yishab. such as the question of the frontier defence force, and the ### fo the Mandstory Power toward the Jewish Holy Flaces.

“The derelopment of the Jewish people’s upbullding work in Palestine demands active support and the participation of the Palestine government in the spirit of the Mandste by creating special conditions and fac### for the settlers during the early perted fo their work. The economic development of the Yishub (Jewish sentlement) demands espectally the following reforms.

(b) “A reduction of the Werke, the oceupation ### paysble by the purchaset.

(b) “A reduetion of the costs of the Kushsns (land deeds) and that this should not be based on the purchase ###.(e) “To release the new seulements during the first pear from the payment of the Osher (tithe).

(d) “To replace the ### by a definte annual payment until the ### system is reformed.

(e) “To exempt the new ##cries from the oceupation tax for ten to ## ?>/

(?) “To speedfly earty out the provisions of A## 6 of the Mardate concerning the granting of state lands for Jewish colonization. In cases where the borderlines between state and private property are doubtful, those parts of state lands which are beyond dispute should be allocated and the remainder held over forlater decision.

(g) “More active support by the government for trade and industry, especially through the creation of better opportunities to develop new industrial undertakings.

(h) “To effect labor legislation in order that the rights of the workers be legally secured, especially a standard of wages, an eight hour day, and the protection of women and children workers. The government should also participate in the costs of an approved method of social insurance in favor of the economically weaker sections of the population.

(i) “A more proportionate engagement of Jewish workers at the proper wage rates on government undertakings. including the rallways and government public works. A fair wage clause should be made a part of all government contracts.

(j) “Proper appropriations to be made from public funds for the medical and sanitary requirements in the discricts inhabited by Jews.

“The Fifteenth Zionist Congress expresses its confidence in the Execntive and urges it to present these demands and to defend our vital isterests and our guaranteed rights. The Executive is further instrueted to demand and to defend our vital isterests and our guarnteed rights. The Executive is further instucted to demand that the government in effecting current programs for public works. take into consideration the state of the labor market and give the Zionist Organization every support in securing credits for upbuilding purposes. especially for amelioration works in the undeveloped agrkuhutal sreas.

“The Congress recognizes the value for public opimion in the Executive’s information and enlishtsnment works done in the cinders of the establishment of the Pro-Palestine Committees in varius countries. The Fifteenth Zionist Congress hopes that the Ex## will counties and extead this work in Ex## and American and in the Arab and Mcslem world.

“The Fifteenth ##cuist Congress re## that the Palestine government has formed a f## force withod working into accoant the urgant reprce### and just demands made by the Jewish settlement. thember viclating the ## of the Yish? The Co## demands that the Jewish ## be ### ac## to ## demands and requdnements for the ## of ? naticnaland ## intersts. The Congress demands the participation of Jews according to their strength in all police, security and defence formantions in the country.

“Palestine citizenship is a fundamental national duty and the Congress demands that every Jew living in Palestine accept this duty.”

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