Brussels (Aug. 12)
(By our Brussels Correspondent)
The purpose of the Palestine Committee formed in connection with the Labor and Socialist International is in the first place to remind the Jewish bourgeoisie and all anti-labor elements in Zionism and outside Zionism, that the Poale Zion does not stand alone in their fight, S. Kaplansky, leader of the Poale-Zion Party and its representative on the Executive Council of the International, stated in an interview with the Jewish Telegraphic Agency representative here today.
“I believe,” Mr. Kaplansky said, “that the Committee will issue a number of informative publications dealing with the Jewish labor movement in Palestine and if finances will permit, it will enable several leading members of the Committee to go out to Palestine to study our work on the spot.
“We are satisfied with the results of the Congress of the International,” Mr. Kaplansky said. “We thought of raising the Palestine question during the discussion on Colonial questions at the Congress, but we agreed that Palestine as a country of Jewish colomzation, occupies a special position and does not come into the category of colonial countries. Palestine’s international guarantee for the colonization work is provided for in the Mandate. It was in this sense that Lord Olivier, the spokesman of the Colonial Commission made his report.”
Speaking of the opposition to the formation of the Palestine Commission voiced by Dr. Friedrich Adler, the secretary of the International, Mr. Kaplansky said that he saw no reason to think that Dr. Adler’s objections were based on anything other than formal grounds. “Dr. Adler is too important and responsible a man, that we should doubt his word,” Mr. Kaplansky continued. “He declared categorically that he is in general opposed to the creation of separate international committees in favor of particular nations, and only a few weeks previously, he declared himself opposed to the formation of a committee for the Far East for which the Russian Socialists applied to the International. The Congress has adopted a resolution which says that the members of the International must not take part in the work of committees which carry on an activity which in program or in practice is not in accord with the principles of the International. It is obvious that this prohibition does not apply to the Palestine Committee, and if there had been any doubts on this point, such men as M. Vandervelde and Mr. Henderson would not take part in its work.”
With regard to the attitude of the Polish Socialists, toward the Palestine Committee, Mr. Kaplansky said that the conveners of the Palestine Conference had not invited parties or groups, but only outstanding individuals. “I can only say,” he added, “that the leaders of the Polish Socialist Party (P.P.S.) M. Daszynski, President of the Polish Parliament, and M. Niedzialkowski agreed to join the Committee, and Deputy Diamand and other representatives of the P.P.S. participated in the Palestine Conference.”
On the subject of the resolution adopted by the Congress under which the P. P. S. is called upon to line up with the Socialist parties of the national minorities in Poland, and in which the Bund is mentioned as the Jewish Party, and not the Poale Zion, Mr. Kaplansky explained that the resolution deals only with the relations of the P. P. S. with those parties of the national minorities which are still outside the International. “It is clear,” he said, “that if negotiations are started in Poland, the Poale Zion in Poland will join with the P. P. S. and other Socialist parties in the matter of creating a united front. Besides, the representative of the P. P. S. declared at the meeting of the Executive Council that his party is prepared to establish an understanding with the Poale Zion in Poland.”
A resolution in support of the work of Jewish labor in Palestine was adopted at the International Congress of Socialist Students’ Organizations which was opened here under the chairmanship of M. Emil Vandervelde, and a special committee has been elected to further the work.
The Palestine question came up during the discussion on Colonial questions. The Congress is attended by 132 delegates representing ten countries, besides the Socialist Zionist Students’ Federation. A heated debate took place when one of the delegates, a Jew, moved that the Palestine question should not be discussed at the International Congress, on the ground that it is a national and chauvinist question, and aims to drive the Arabs out of their country. A number of delegates, notably. M. Welf, a Bulgaran representative, a non-Jew, urged in reply that the Jewish workers had great achievements to their credit, and have turn non-productive elements into productive forces in Palestine, while the Arabs had for generations allowed the country to fall into neglect.
The result of the debate was that the Congress decided to declare itself in favor of the work carried on by Jewish labor in Palestine.