The outcome of the Non-Zionist Conference concerning Palestine, last Sunday, was welcomed as a “partnership of Zionists and non-Zionists in a sacred task,” in a leading editorial by Louis Lipsky published in the current issue of “The New Palestine,” official organ of the Zionist Organization of America.
The editorial declared that credit for the results of the conference is due to Mr. Marshall, Mr. Warburg and Dr, Weizmann; some credit is also due to the Zionist Organization of America which has supported the policy of extending the Jewish Agency “with anutter disregard of sectional interests,” and has maintained “a fairly even course in the midst of great difficulties.” Credit is also due to the large group of American Jews, not members of the Zionist Organization, who have, during the past seven years, given their support to the Keren Hayesod and the United Palestine Appeal. They have contributed “a great deal to the making of the peace which was sealed on Sunday last.”
“There was something in the air which made every person feel as if he were involved in a sacred act,” the editorial states. “Utterances usual at public meeting here stirred deep-rooted Jewish emotions. The makings of understanding and peace were vocal in the warm phrases of Mr. Warburg; in the cold words with which Dr. Frankel began and which were warmed into an unusual enthusiasm by the heat of his emotion; and in the brusque manner of Mr. Marshall, which could not hide the spiritual exaltation that made itself felt through his dispassionate parliamentary behavior. You felt that spirit in Lord Melchett’s inspiring address. and in the words uttered by rabbi and layman in the course of the proceedings. Reconciliation had been prepared for, and therefore peace was made at the Conference. There was no great need of speaking of it at length.
“Leaving the larger comment for some future occasion, it is quite in order to speak of things personal. There is no doubt that credit is due for this splendid demonstration of Jewish solidarity to the efforts and devotion and tact of three men. First, to Mr. Marshall and Mr. Warburg. They have supported the endeavor with an unflagging confidence. As they became more familiar with the realities of Palestine, regardless of previous expressions of opinion, they did not hesitate to give their full personal support to the Palestine appeal, and to urge upon the entire House of Israel the discharge of duties to the future of the Jewish race. Their advice and cooperation and their effective leadership have contributed greatly to the spirit of reconciliation which, seeping down into the far corners of Jewish communal life, made converts to a new orientation with regard to Jewish duty. to which may be traced the beginnings of the new solidarity created. However chosen, they represent in the best sense leadership animated by high Jewish ideals.
“Second, to Dr. Weizmann, President of the World Zionist Organization. Credit and congratulations are due to him more especially for the realization of an ambition which has animated him from the first days of the Palestine Mandate. He is a marvel of endurance. He has carried a double burden upon his shoulders all these years.”
The editorial continues: “Of what value is theory or ideology when life speaks? What is the use of controversy and argument when the forces of life intrude and sweep argument off the agenda? Why batter each other with words that are intended to create life, when life is created regardless of the words? The things that come out of Zion have created a language of their own. The details are buried beneath the Temple that is being erected. The strong lines of the picture obscure the supporting blurs. It is Palestine that breaks down the barriers and paves the way to understanding and peace. It is Palestine that has brought their authentic language back to the Jewish people. It is Palestine that has produced the pioneer who wades in the swamps, gives his life for the soil, and is willing to build a future for his people upon his dead body. It is Palestine that gives Jewish life the possibility of looking out upon the world. undisturbed by alien influences. It is Palestine that raises Jewish life upon a platform from which he may reach out a hand to the brotherhood of the human race. It is Palestine that creates an authentic civilization which touches at the very roots of Jewish memory. It is the things that Palestine produces, and the spirit in which these things are enveloped, that has made it possible for those who are Zionists to speak to those who are not Zionists without acrimony and without the proselyting zeal that often violates the rights of others. Those who have labored in the vineyards of Zion simply ask other Jews to come in, to labor with them, to give reinforcement to a situation which requires all the strength that the Jewish people possess.”
In an editorial in “The S. A. J. Review,” by Dr. Mordecai M. Kaplan, chairman of the Administrative Committee of the Zionist Organization of America, it is declared;
“We believe we are justified in attaching this significance to the non-partisan Conference on Palestine held in New York the other day, and it is to be hoped that the practical results following from the Conference will justify this interpretation of it beyond a question. If the outcome of the Conference is significant of the enlistment in the cause of Palestine of that portion of Jewry which commands influence with the world at large, Jewry as a whole may be confident that the new recruits will carry out their task with the thoroughness they have made familiar to us in their various walks of life, and the addition of this strength and this method to the cause is occasion for rejoicing.
“The Conference makes it clear that Jews are unanimously dissatisfied with that least common denominator of Jewish life, (to wit: Anti-Semitism), which has hitherto prevailed, and are, now anxious to accept the hightest common denominator-the cause of Palestine, That men of such diversity as represented at the Conference could have discovered a common purpose springing out of Jewish hope rather than out of Jewish distress implies, furthermore, that a new conception of Judaism is beginning to characterize the thought of Jews.
“The Conference is on the whole one of the most hopeful events in Jewish life of the last decade. It is, in a sense, as significant as the Balfour Declaration itself. The Declaration was no more than a challenge to world Jewry, and for the first time the Jews have united to give an appropriate answer, The answer was long delayed, but its coming is nonetheless welcome, Palestine may take comfort from the answer, and all those interested in Jewish unity will also find in this occasion good reason for taking heart.”