Berlin (Aug. 29)
The sessions of the Zionist Actions Committee closed this morning after a budget of $2,640,000 had been adopted and the offer of Dr. Chaim Weizmann to resign as president of the World Zionist Organization following a crisis in the Actions Committee that resulted from Dr. Weizmann’s statement that Palestine must become a bi-national state and that the aim of the Zionists is not a Jewish State but the creation of an autonomous constructive commonwealth had been rejected.
Following Dr. Weizmann’s sensational remarks, the Mizrachi, Orthodox Zionist Organization, adopted a resolution officially stating that it could no longer share in the responsibility of or remain in the Zionist Executive which shares such a policy and hence intends to withdraw its members from the Executive. It announced, however, its further support of the present Zionist Executive from outside of its ranks.
The severe criticism against Dr. Weizmann was voiced not only by the regular opposition groups, the Radicals and the Revisionists, but even by Joseph Cowen, prominent British Zionist leader and a former member of the Zionist Executive, who proposed a resolution demanding that the Actions Committee “disassociate itself from Dr. Weizmann’s declaration.”
WEIZMANN SEEKS TO EXPLAIN
Following the storm that was raised over Dr. Weizmann’s statement regarding the Jewish State, the Actions Committee adjourned for a few hours. During the recess Dr. Weizmann sought to explain his declaration by saying that he did not want to go into a definition of such a term as the Jewish State which, he declared, could not generally undergo any definition. The Jewish State, he said, is a phantom but “our next aim must be to create a constructive autonomous commonwealth. Only when we will have the first half million Jews in Palestine, will we be able to further draw in the masses.”
The Radicals and the Revisionists, however, were still dissatisfied and demanded a vote on Joseph Cowen’s motion, that the Actions Committee disassociate itself from the conception of the president. The Actions Committee then again adjourned, because the Mizrachi desired to consider its attitude before Mr. Cowen’s resolution was moved.
When the meeting reconvened, Dr. Weizmann concluded a brief statement by saying, “I shall no longer be a political leader of the Zionist movement.” He asserted that he felt there was much antagonism between him and a large number of the members of the Actions Committee. Nevertheless, he declared himself ready to continue political negotiations, if the Actions Committee so desired, but he left the Committee free to elect a provisional committee.
NOT VIEWED AS RESIGNATION
Dr. Weizmann’s brief statement aroused great agitation. This last sequel to the events that followed since his remarks about the Jewish State and a bi-national state is not considered by many as Dr. Weizmann’s resignation, since many are inclined to assume that it will be possible to prevail upon him to continue his leadership. Dr. Weizmann’s statement was made immediately after the Mizrachi’s statement reaffirming the Mizrachi point of view in connection with Dr. Weizmann’s speech.
According to a resolution of the Actions Committee’s political commission, a Zionist Congress will not take place this year. The Zionist Executive is, however, empowered to call an extraordinary Congress in case of any decision of the British government which may vitally affect the Zionist movement.