Cleveland (Oct. 31)
Zionists at Cleveland Conference Renew Faith in Palestine Work; Old Guard Rallies; Raise $300,000 in Cash for Immediate Needs of Palestine Executive; Dr. Wise Stirs Conference with Severe Critcism of Zionist Leadership and British Government; Breakdown of Zionist Machinery Must be Averted; Wise’s Break with Weizmann Policy Seen; Conference Embodies Sentiment in Appeal to British Government; Lipsky, Szold, Magnes, Mack, Rothenberg State Views: Judge Lewis Relected National Chairman. (Jewish Daily Bulletin)
The Old Guard of the Zionist movement rallied to the support of the Palestine cause, undertook to raise an amount of $7,500,000, the equivalent of last year’s quota, as American Jewry’s contribution this year for the Palestine funds, and reintroduced a spirit of confidence in the future of the work in a series of spontaneous actions and resolutions at the National Conference on Palestine held at the Hotel Statler here.
The renewed confidence was backed up by raising an amount exceeding $300,000 from among the delegates on account of unpaid pledges in the various regions and communities, as well as advances on contributions to this year’s campaign. The amounts will be paid in before January 1 in order to enable the new Jerusalem Executive to assume its task.
Morris Weinberg of New York led the guarantors with the sum of $50,000, Dr. Joseph Krimsky with the sum of $25,000 and the Zionist leaders of Cleveland with $25,000 in the action to secure the sum of a quarter of a million dollars asked by Louis Lipsky in an impassioned plea to enable the United Palestine Appeal to remit its monthly minimum quota of $100,000 to the Jerusalem Executive.
This action was taken by the National Conference on Palestine, the third of its kind called to inaugurate and stimulate the American collections for the Palestine work. About 300 delegates mainly from Mid-Western cities were in attendance. The four sessions were presided over by Morris Rothenberg, Judge William M. Lewis, Louis Lipsky and Rabbi Solomon Goldman.
WISE’S “SELF-CRITICISM” ADDRESS
American Zionists launched this year’s campaign after listening to the lashing criticism of Dr. Stephen S. Wise who, terming it “self criticism,” was unsparing with regard to the policies and the execution of these policies by the Zionist leadership and by the British government as the mandatory power for Palestine. A break down of the machinery of the Zionist movement was the result of these policies, Dr. Wise stated.
The Zionist cause cannot fail, Judge Julian W. Mack exclaimed in urging the delegates to “right the wrongs and errors, both in the Zionist leadership and in its following.” Judge Mack, however, added that this determination should not in any way lead to a feeling of dejection but rather to a strengthened effort to continue the up-building of Palestine.
A resolution in this spirit, calling the attention of the Britsh Government to this feeling prevalent among American Zionists, was adopted at the closing session when the new national administration for the United Palestine Appeal was chosen. Dr. Stephen S. Wise was elected honorary chairman of the Appeal, Judge William M. Lewis was re-elected national chairman, Judge Mitchell May and Justice Gustave Hartman were chosen vice-chairmen.
RESOLUTION ON PALESTINE SITUATION
The resolution formulating the views of the U.P.A. contributors on the Palestine situation read: “The United Palestine Appeal conference, representing all forces of American Jewry engaged in the building of the Jewish National Home sends its greetings to the British Government, and expresses its appreciation of the efforts of that government to cooperate with the Jewish people in that historic task.
“The United Palestine Appeal, as the fund raising institution of American Jewry for the reconstruction of Palestine, is responsible to its constituency for the most effective use of the funds which are raised for the sole purpose of building the Jewish National Home.
“It is the unanimous conviction of this conference that the effective use of these funds in the sense designated depends in a decisive measure upon the interpretation which the administration of Palestine, under the instructions of the British Government, gives to the contents of the Balfour Declaration as incorporated in the mandate for Palestine and in particular to that section of it in which the British government is pledged to facilitate the creation in Palestine of a Jewish National Home.
“It is further the unanimous opinion of this conference that the administration of Palestine has not answered to this purpose in the full sense implied by the Balfour Declaration and in particular this conference draws the attention of the British Government to the systems of land taxation and tariff regulation now obtaining in Palestine. This conference declares that these systems constitute a severe and unwarranted burden upon the creative agricultural colonizing elements of the country and a direct discouragement to industrial enterprise.
“This conference invites the attention of the British government to the manifest contradiction which, in the opinion of this conference, exists between this state of affairs and the intention of the British government to facilitate the creation in Palestine of a Jewish Natonal Home. This conference further expresses its earnest conviction that the British government, desirous of giving full play to those creative forces which are engaged in the reconstruction of the Jewish homeland, will take immediate steps to remove these obstacles which now tend to obstruct their advance,” the resolution concludes.
City Manager Hopkins welcomed the delegates in behalf of the City of Cleveland. Major Chisholm, British Consul General here, greeted the gathering in behalf of Sir Esme Howard, British Ambassador in Washington.
Zionist workers and contributors to the United Palestine Appeal were acquainted with present-day realities in the Zionist movement and the Palestine situation in a stirring address delivered by Dr. Stephen S. Wise at the Sunday morning session.
DR. WISE’S CONTENTIONS
Great Britain has failed to “facilitate,” as it pledged itself in the Balfour Declaration the creation of a Jewish National Home in Palestine: the former Zionist Executive in Jerusalem, turn by groups and factions, was guilty of mismanagement, leading to loss of Zionist credit: the Zionist Executive in London failed to present the just demands for the Zionist movement and a breakdown of the machinery of the Zionist movement has resulted. These were the outstanding contentions made by Dr. Wise in his address which raised the temperature of the conference to a high pitch of political excitement. Being an echo of the Weizmann Wise controversy at Basle, the speech was regarded as a declaration of Dr. Wise’s break with the Weizmann policy.
“I do not threaten to leave, but I do threaten to stay in the Zionist movement and to fight,” Dr. Wise declared. He added that the acknowledgment of Zionist realities cannot in any way permit the Zionists to throw up their hands but must continue raising funds for the Palestine work. “We know the worst; we confess to the worst, but will continue to go ahead not under a new leadership but under leadership; we will not permit a default of the responsibility. Dabber El B’nai Israel Wissaoa–Speak to the children of Israel and let them go forward,” Dr. Wise exclaimed.
Dr. Wise declared that even if he knew he stands alone he would say the things he must say today. Comparing the large number of delegates attending the first U.P.A. conference in Baltimore two years ago with the smaller number in Cleveland, he stated that instead of multitudes he now observes fewer numbers. Although he speaks for himself he is of the belief that the opinions he expresses are the opinions of the vast majority of American Zionists and also many thousand Zionists in Europe. Self-criticism is no defeatism, he stated.
Dr. Wise said he had the right to take this attitude since he has always been a supporter and friend of the British Government.
He related the content of his conversation with Lord Balfour in December American Jewish Congress of the resolution urging Great Britain to assume the protectorate over Palestine. Balfour had tears in his eyes when he heard of this resolution. “What a taken of confidence,” Balfour exclaimed to Dr. Wise.
TELLS OF CLASH WITH WEIZMANN
The speaker then related the details of the incident between him and Dr. Weizmann in Basle concerning the resolution introduced into the political commission of the Zionist Congress asking for the appointment of a committee under Weizmann’s chairmanship to negotiate with the British government concerning political questions. “We can be stifled, suppressed and exiled in Basle, but we can speak our mind in America,” Dr. Wise declared.
It is unthinkable to leave the presentation of the just demands of the Zionist movement to one man who is a British subject and whose attitude must naturally be different from the attitude of a committee, including representatives from