Zurich Sessions Brought Unity on 3 Fundamental Questions Says Ussishkin
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Zurich Sessions Brought Unity on 3 Fundamental Questions Says Ussishkin

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“The three fundamental questions settled at Zurich,” stated M. M. Ussishkin, head of the Jewish National Fund, in an interview granted to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency representative following the conclusion of the Zurich sessions, “were firstly, the relations between the Zionists and the new partners in connection with the object and form of future work; secondly, the land question generally and the Jewish National Fund function in solving it in particular; and thirdly, Hebrew culture and language. All three are of first-rate importance for our future, because, firstly, disharmony between the partners after the creation of the Jewish Agency might have resulted in the destruction of the already completed work, instead of the expansion of the upbuilding work; secondly, the assurance of the land redemption against the abuse of speculation forms the basis for the upbuilding work; thirdly, without a spiritual revival through the original Hebrew culture and language, our rebuilding work is futureless.” Mr. Ussishkin believes that all three problems were very favorably settled.

“Before the Congress, the Zionists consisted of three groups; the hopeful enthusiasts, the Zionists who were favorably inclined but unenthusiastic and the Zionists who assented only after an inner struggle and those who opposed to the last. The first days of contact between the old and the new parties have already passed and every hope is now held that the spirit prevailing between the parties will be harmonious, without clashing but rather drawing closer to one another. It is difficult to state the size and form of the works of the enlarged Agency because the Council meeting has thus far been more formal than practical. Nevertheless the first sessions evidenced the good will and the desire of both sides to collaborate upon common ground.

“It is usual in public affairs that a union of ideals results in a union of labor,” Mr. Ussishkin continued. “In our case, the reverse has happened. Let us hope that the union of work will result in a union of ideals.

“The land question formed the most burning issue of the Jewish National Fund conference and also of the Zionist Congress and Jewish Agency meetings. Finally, the misunderstanding that prevailed in the Zionist world dissipated and the Zionists and non-Zionists were convinced that if the land problem was not quickly settled, our entire labor would be in vain. Without the land, we cannot have Eretz-Israel. All of the speakers at the Zionist Congress and Jewish Agency sessions stressed the necessity for more land, and not only showed a deep understanding of the need for land but all recognized that the land must belong to the Jew- (Continued on Page 4)

ish people, through the Jewish National Fund. Professor Jacob G. Lippman particularly emphasized that even those favoring colonization on private land were not opposed to the Jewish National Fund, regarding the former as only supplementary.

“The Jewish National Fund emerged from the Sixteenth Zionist Congress with brilliant success. The general attitude towards it was a tribute to its past accomplishments and a great hope for the future. In this spirit, the Congress appealed in a special resolution to every Zionist to participate in the activities of the Jewish National Fund. The fear that friction might occur between the Keren Kayemeth and the Keren Hayesod, owing to the former’s need to extend the sphere of its collections happily proved to be unfounded. It was universally recognized that in order to allow the Keren Kayemeth to expand it was necessary to utilize not only the existing methods but also, without injury to the Keren Hayesod, to organize large campaigns.

“Dr. Chaim Weizmann declared from the platform that the first facility for the expansion of the Jewish National Fund will be offered in the United States.

“I am glad to state that South Africa has also undertaken to raise £75,000 for the Keren Kayemeth within three years. The Keren Hayesod also agreed that the Keren Kayemeth resume the popular self-taxation in Eretz Israel. These efforts, coupled with the absolute conviction of all members of the Zionist Congress and Jewish Agency concerning the pre-eminent function of our Fund, gives me the assurance that we will be able to raise the £1,000,000 that are needed within two years, to enable us to carry out the minimum land program which we submitted to the Congress.

“With regard to Hebrew culture and language, we devoted in this Congress a special session to the subject, delivering most of the speeches in Hebrew. A resolution was adopted obliging the new Executive to deal with this problem immediately, and to create a special department. This has two aspects, the ideological and the practical. Our people’s renaissance must not only be material but also cultural. On the other hand, we must end the conflict of languages in the Diaspora. Even at the Congress we realized that the differences of languages created differences of feeling and sentiment. Now after new friends have joined, the chaos is liable to grow. The knowledge of Hebrew is growing in many countries and it is necessary to encourage it in order to reunite not only in common work but also in common language. That will not be achieved by our generation, but by the growing generation whose education is in our hands. The beginning has now been made which will be registered as one of the greatest deeds of the Zionist Congress,” Mr. Ussishkin declared.

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