Berlin (Jul. 28)
(Jewish Telegraphic Agency)
The Jewish movement for the upbuilding of Palesine as Jewish National Home, which has assumed considerable significance as practical upbuilding work after the issuance of the Balfour Declaration and the formation of the Palestine Mandate by the League of Nations following the close of the World War, has turned a corner on the road to enlisting the cooperation of all Jews, Zionists and non-Zionists, in the effort to rebuild the country of Jewry’s origin.
It is in this light that Zionists and non-Zionists in Europe view the decision adopted yesterday late in the afternoon by the General Council of the Zionist World Organization to accept the recommendations of the Joint Palestine Survey Commission in which American, British and German non-Zionists and Zionists cooperated for the formulation of the five-year program of Palestine work with a minimum, budget of one million pounds sterling annually. The recommendations which were drafted with a view of serving “as a guidance for the enlarged Jewish Agency” were the center of stormy discussions during the sessions of the Zionist General Council which lasted here all week. The acceptance or the rejection of these recommendations was considered as essential in the decision as to whether the enlarged Jewish Agency, including Zionists and non-Zionists, and contemplated in Article 4 of the Palestine Mandate, is to be consummated in accordance with an agreement concluded between Dr. Chaim Weizmann, president, of the World Zionist Organzation, and Mr. Louis Marshall, president of the American Jewish Committee, representing American non-Zionists.
The recommendations formulated at the recent London conference by Felix M. Warburg and Dr. Lee K. Frankel representing the non-Zionists in the United States; Lord Melchett (Sir Alfred Mond) of London and Oscar Wassermann, director of the Deutsche Bank of Berlin with suggestions for slight modifications, were accepted by the Zionist General. Council by a majority of 41 against 4 votes.
The climax came late Friday afternoon following a prolonged deadlock during which the resignation of the Weizmann Executiv was considered as imminent. At the plenary session of the General Council which was engrossed in discussion of organization questions, the Political Commission appeared in the hall declaring that it is ready to report, the resolution on the Jewish Agency Forty-eight members of the Council were in attendance. Kurt Blumenfeld of Berlin, German Zionist leader, read the text of the resolution. Minority reports were also submitted.
A resolution expressing lack of confidence in the Weizmann Executive and asking the General Council to reject the recommendations of the Joint Palestine Survey Commission, introduced by Deputy Isaac Gruenbaum of Warsaw and Dr. Soloveitschick in behalf of the radical Zionists, was defeated by an overwhelming majority. The representatives of the labor party Poale Zion abstained from voting. This resolution received only the four votes of the two redical Zionists and two Zionist Revisionists.
Richard Lichtheim of Berlin then introduced in behalf of the League of Zionist Revisionists a similar resolution of lack of confidence, which was defeated by a similar overwhelming majority. A resolution introduced by the representatives of the Poale Zion labor party, expressing the Laborites’ objections to the Commissioners’ recommendations against the communal form of settlement, was rejected by a majority of 26 against 13. M. M. Ussishkin, head of the Jewish National Fund, voted for the resolution of the Poale Zion. A resolution introduced by M. Kaplan in behalf of the Jewish Socialist party Hitachduth, asking that the Jewish National Fund be considered the only exclusive instrument for the purchase of Palestine land was rejected by a majority of 24 against 16. Barl Locker, speaking in behalf of the Poale Zion stated that they considered the resolution of the majority of the Committee as a minimum, and after their resolution had failed they would vote for the majority resolution. The vote was then taken on the text of the resolution proposed by the majority of the Political Commission, which was passed by 41 against 4, the four being the votes of the two radical Zionists and two Zionist Revisionists Members of the Council then gave a long-lasting ovation to Dr. Weizmann, many in the hall approaching to congratulate him.
The final text of the resolution, which declares the recommendations of the Joint Palestine Survey Commission to be a document which “can essentially serve for the creation of a program of work for the extended Jewish Agency” is not entirely identical with the text transmitted by cable yesterday by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. Several important changes were made. One change affects the function of the Jewish National Fund, the land purchasing agency of the Zionist Organization. In the final text the Zionist General Council declares that the Jewish National Fund is to be the only public instrument for land policy but the Jewish Agency is authorized to lend its support by a one-time investment to a special institution whose purpose it would be to aid settlers who wish to acquire the land as their private property.
The second change in the text of the resolution concerns the instructions to the Zionist Executive with regard to the formation of the extended Jewish Agency. The final text of the resolution instructs the Executive to continue the negotiations. “in accordance with the resolutions of the Zionist Congress.” The sentence syecifying that the extended Jewish Agency is to be created on a democratic basis and that representatives of organized Jewish labor and of Jewish religious organizations are to be drawn in, is taken out. Similarly, the final text does not contain the paragraph directing the attention of the Zionist Executive to the decision of the Zionist Congress that the extended Jewish Agency is to be created only for a period of three years.
The general feeling here is that the large majority for the acceptance of the Jewish Agency Commission’s report is an expression of the power of the Zionist movement and that Dr. Weizmann has the support of the bulk of the Zionists in a program which is based on a plan to extend and strengthen the Palestine upbuilding work.