Berlin (Jul. 27)
The crisis in world Zionist leadership, already giving rise to rumors that a new Executive, composed of representatives of the Laborites and radical Zionists, would be proposed. assumed a definite acute form Friday morning when the various committees of the Zionist General Council in session here prepared for submitting their reports to the general session of the Council, following a recess in deference to Tishah B’Ab.
Aside from the Laborites and the die-hards who consistently opposed the acceptance of the recommendations of the Joint Palestine Survey Commission “for the guidance of the Jewish Agency,” a conflict arose between Dr. Weizmann’s Executive and the majority of the Political Commission which has hitherto in the main supported the Weizmann policy. Following lengthy and thoroughgoing deliberations, the committees on the political affairs and on the Jewish Agency formulated a text of a resolution concerning the Survey Commission’s recommendations, it having been understood late Thursday evening that the resolution would have the consent of Dr. Weizmann. Friday morning Dr. Weizmann declared that this opinion was based on an erroneous impression which was caused by a confusion of texts submitted to him late Thursday evening. The President of the World Zionist Organization insisted that several of the points of the proposed resolution be amended, otherwise the resolution will not be acceptable to him. In addition. a deadlock developed with regard to the Palestine Zionist Executive when the representatives of the Poale Zion labor party insisted on the resignation of Mr. Harry Sacher, British lawyer who was elected to the post of the 15th Zionist Congress in Basle, under the efficiency program. Instead of opening the plenary session Friday as scheduled. the Political Commission went into permanent session to seek a way out of the difficulty.
A session of the General Council was scheduled for Thursday, at 10 p.m. Prior to that a joint conference of the Zionist Executive and the Political Commission took place where Dr. Weizmann appeared for the first time and declared that not wishing to go into details of the disagreement, he desired to ascertain as to whether his Executive has the confidence and backing of the majority. He has to be assured on this point in order to be able to determine whether he will be in a position to continue the negotiations. If the Executive cannot count on this backing, then Dr. Weizmann stated, “elect a new Executive; I will continue to support the movement.”
Confronted with the declared possibility of Dr. Weizmann’s withdrawal, caucuses of the various groups were called and the night session scheduled to begin at 10 p.m. was called off and the Commission on Political Affairs went into session instead. The meeting of the Political Committee lasted all night. in the presence of the members of the Zionist Executive and many of the members of the General Council. An atmosphere of depression prevailed and as the spokesme for the various groups addressed themselves to the created situation, it was obvious that all were anxious to avoid a crisis. This note was heard in the remarks of all groups, including the majority and the opposition. Here Dr. Weizmann assured the members of the General Council that his previous declaration was not motivated in any way by a feeling of being tired of his office but. on the contrary. he was driven by a desire to continue the work and to overcome the stagnation into which the movement has fallen. Before deciding however. he has to be assured of the confidence and backing of the majority.
The Political Commission then formulated a text of a resolution which it would present to the General Council in behalf of the majority of the Committee. It was understood that Dr. Weizmann had consented to this resolution which would be taken up at the Friday morning session.
The resolution. divided into five sections. was to the effect:
First. the General Council of the Zionist World Organization expresses to the members of the Joint Palestine Survey Commission its special thanks and appreciation for the valuable work, and welcomes the wish expressed in the report for the cooperation of all sections of the Jewish people in the upbuilding of the Jewish National Home in Palestine. in the expectation that it will hasten and strengthen. the Palestine upbuilding work: the General Council of the Zionist World Organization notes with satisfaction that the Joint Palestine Survey Commission has in accordance with the attitude of the Zionist Organization, formulated the political demands concerning the obligation of the Palestine Government as the Mandatory Power to create in the country such administrative and economic conditions as would secure the National Home.
Second. in regard to the economic recommendations of the Joint Palestine Survey Commission. the General Council dechres that the report in several material point is not sufficient The General Council is of the opinion that there exists a necessity for harmonizing the economic methods with the specific tasks of the Palestine upbuilding work. The Zionist Organization recognizes the Jewish National Fund as the only instrument for the American policy. in accordance with the principle. adopted by the Zionist Corgress. that the Palestine land be redeemed as the inalienable property of the Jewish people. In accordance with this principle all land purchased by the Jewish Agency should be viewed as the property of the Jewish people. In order to safeguard the integrity of this principle it is impossible to concede the existence of two different public funds for land purchase. It is essential however, to create by a onetime investment a financial institute for the purpose of aiding well-to-do settlers to purchase land The General Council points to the Zionist principle that the settlers have the freedom to detemine for themselves the form of colonization they prefer. individual or communal. such as the Moshav or the Kvuzah. it being understood that the aim be the placing of the settlements on a self supporting basis. The General Council holds that the Jewish Agency. in cooperation with the Palestine Government, in accordance with the decision of the Zionist Congress, should strive to increase the immigration to Palestine of Jewish workers and persons of means. All enterprises conducted under the auspices of the Jewish Agency must recognize the principle of Jewish labor.
The General Council declares that the recognition of the five principles-that is-Jewish labor.. Hebrew language, the land as national property. immigration and freedom of colonization form, is the main condition for the creation of an extended Jewish Agency. On this assumption, the General Council declares that the report of the Joint Palestine Survey Commission can essentially serve for the creation of a program of work for the extended Jewish Agency.
Third. the establishment of a bank with a capital of from Â£750,000 to Â£1,000.000, to further the development of industry and plantations, is urged.
Fourth, the General Council instructs the Zionist Executive to continue the negotiations concerning the creation of the extended Agency in accordance with the decision of the 15th Zionist Congress. and urges that the Executive take steps immediately with the Jewish Agency to include representatives of the Jewish communities throughout the world. on a democratic basis. and in particular, that representatives of Palestine Jewry as well as of organtzed Jewish labor and Jewish religious organizations, be included in the Jewish Agency.
Fifth. The General Council directs the attention of the Zionist Executive to the decision of the Zionist Congress that the constitution of the enlarged Jewish Agency is to be carried out on the basis of a three-year period. following which the decision is to be open for continuing the Agency by an agreement between the Zionist Organization and the other participating bodies.