The charges made by the opposition to the present Zionist administration were replied to in an article in the current issue of “The New Palestine” by Morris Rothenberg, vice-president of the Zionist Organization of America, and chairman of the national board of the United Palestine Appeal.
The contentions of the opposition were described as of “little substance” and the methods as “most unfortunate” in the article which deals with all the points raised in the addresses delivered at the Washington conference.
Of particular interest is the reply given by Mr. Rothenberg to the charge of the opposition manifesto that the present administration failed to exercise any “constructive influence” on Zionist policies. This charge is answered by Mr. Rothenberg in citing the efforts of the American administration in bringing about the approaching consummation of the Jewish Agency.
“One of the chief criticisms of the opposition conference held last week in Washington was that the present Zionist Administration in America had failed to exercise any constructive influence on the economic policy of the World Zionist Organization,” Mr. Rothenberg writes. “That charge is clearly refuted by the fact that, as part of the plan for the extension of the Agency which the present Zionist Administration has had a leading part in bringing about, an economic survey of the Zionist work of settlement in Palestine was agreed upon, and has been going on for the past year by a group of eminent experts whose reports will be considered by the commission mentioned and upon which reports a constructive program of economic work in Palestine will be based.”
Describing the composition of the experts’ commission and referring to the London meeting of the Agency commissioners, Mr. Rothenberg continues: “There can be but little doubt that this meeting will be productive, even if gradually, of a new era of economic constructive work in Palestine.
“It is no secret that most of the opposition group have been and still are hostile to the efforts for the enlargement of the Jewish Agency and it is most significant that, at the recent Washington Conference, so important an historic matter as the enlargement of the Agency, now on the order of the day, which will undoubtedly affect the future work in Palestine, was thought best not to be discussed; and the resolution which emanated from that conference failed to make any mention of the subject.
“It is also significant that the attacks both on the World and the American Zionist Organizations were coincident with the arrival of Dr. Weizmann on his mission in this country to complete the final stages of the negotiations for the enlarged Jewish Agency.
“When one sees the lack of foundation for the opposition which has developed at this time so promising in new achievements in Palestine, despite the temporary depression in Palestine, what other inference can one reasonably draw than that the action of the opposition group is animated whether consciously or subconsciously by its hostility to the completion of the plan for the enlargement of the Agency, which is about to take place?
“I feel certain that any impartial review of the basis of the opposition will show that there is little substance in it and that the methods which the opposition has adopted are most unfortunate.
Moreover, in view of the aspersions which have been broadcast by the newspapers as a result of the statements of the opposition, statements reflecting on the honesty of the Administration of the Zionist Organization, the question as to whether the present Zionist Administration shall remain in office has become secondary.
“The issue has resolved itself into a question of honor of the Zionist movement.”
“Dos Yiddishe Folk,” Yiddish organ of the Zionist Organization of America, in commenting upon the announcement of the Jewish Agency Commission meeting in London on June 9
“Let us be frank in saying that even from an organizational point of view, the London meeting of the Jewish Agency Commission comes as an act which will have a beneficial influence for the Zionist Organization. We are living through a period of internal conflicts and dissension, not only in the United States but also in Eastern Europe. From Warsaw to New York the internal Zionist front is broken. It will perhaps be the curious fact of history that just the Jewish Agency, around which so many battles have been fought, will emerge as the factor which will revitalize and reunite Zionism all along the line.
“The instinct of self-preservation and self-respect must dictate to every Zionist that in the view of this great event which is to take place soon in London, it is the elementary duty of Zionists to be united and strong. The meeting of the Jewish Agency in London will prove, as other symptoms have already proved. that the prediction of our own prophets of darkness were shortsighted. The Jewish Agency has not become a factor which destroys the Zionist movement, but rather one which revitalizes it, a factor which may perhaps lead in our own generation to a new phase of the Jewish renaissance movement,” the paper writes.