An inaccurate interpretation was placed on the remarks with reference to Dr. Stephen S. Wise’s resignation from the Executive and Administrative Committees of the Zionist Organization of America made by Senator William H. King of Utah before the national convention of the Independent Order Brith Sholom in Washington on June 3.
The representatives of Washington newspapers as well as the correspondent of the Jewish Daily Bulletin at the convention, saw in Senator King’s reference to the present controversy within American Zionism a “rebuke” for Dr. Wise’s stand.
In a letter made public by Dr. Wise, which he received from Senator King, the Senator from Utah corrects this impression and states that “from the limited information which has come to me, I have felt that you were justified in resigning and my entire sympathy was with you.” The letter read:
“I was surprised to note in one of the Washington papers a statement to the effect that I had ‘rebuked’ or criticised you because you had resigned from the Zionist organization. I do not understand the basis for the statement or who could have given any information that I entertained or expressed any such thought. In the extemporaneous address which I delivered last Sunday in this city to the members of a Jewish organization, I referred to the Zionist movement, what it had accomplished and the difficulties necessarily incident to an undertaking of such significance and far reaching effect.
“I commended the plan to establish a homeland in Palestine and stated that both Jews and Christians should give their support to the movement. Incidently I referred to the fact that there was not complete unanimity upon the part of the Jews in the United States or elsewhere; that there were Jews of the Orthodox faith and those who would be classed as modernists, but I stated that there should be no disagreement as to the propriety of developing Palestine; founding a great Jewish university there which would serve a useful purpose and be of advantage, not only to the Jews but to the world.
“I stated that there had been some disagreement among supporters of the Zionist movement and then said that I regretted that Rabbi Wise, whose name was known and honored among all people had resigned from the Zionist organization and hoped that whatever differences of opinion might exist, they would be composed and the great work involved in the establishment of a home land in Palestine would go forward. I never had a thought of criticising you or of questioning the propriety of your course. Indeed, from the limited information which has come to me, I have felt that you were justified in resigning and my entire sympathy was with you.
“We all know that differences of opinion are bound to arise in carrying forward large or small undertakings and the fact that different views are entertained is no reflection upon the differing parties. The point I was trying to make was that the Zionist movement was one which should challenge the support of all and that your separation from the committee was to be regretted because of your great infiuence and the fine service which you were capable of rendering. I feel sure that if you saw the inaccurate statement you promptly discounted it, because you know how much I respect and honor you.”