Berlin (Sep. 2)
The cutting of the budget for general work adopted by the Zionist Actions Committee to $2,000,000 and a separate budget of $750,000 for colonization work was considered by the budget committee of the Jewish Agency which was in session here all day yesterday. The Administrative Committee of the Jewish Agency held no sessions yesterday, the day’s business being entirely devoted to committee meetings. While the representatives of labor are severely opposing a cut in the budget, it is likely that the cut will be adopted by the Administrative Committee.
It is understood here that Dr. Bernard Kahn, European director of the Joint Distribution Committee, and Joseph Hyman, secretary of the Joint Distribution Committee, will probably be the two new non-Zionist members on the Jewish Agency’s Executive. Speaking at the luncheon tendered to the members of the Administrative Committee by the Berlin Kultusgemeinde (Jewish religious community) Felix M. Warburg, chairman of the Committee, termed Kahn “an outstanding Berlin Jew whose heart aches for world Jewry.”
While Mr. Warburg, Nahum Sokolow and Dr. Alfred Klee and other speakers all emphasized that the Jewish Agency was a symbol of Israel’s unity, the luncheon was marked by an open demonstration of the anti-Palestine feeling of the Liberal German Jews none of whom were present despite the fact that the affair was given by the Kultusgemeinde on the council of which the Liberals constitute almost 50 percent.
LIBERALS AVOID LUNCHEON
Their absence created a sensational impression since the luncheon was attended by Mr. Warburg and the most outstanding leaders of the Jewish communities of various countries, and also since the Zionists had attended the last all-world congress of the Jewish Liberals in Berlin. The boycott attitude of the Liberals towards the luncheon was discussed with considerable irritation in Administrative Committee circles.
HARMONY FEATURES POLITICAL DEBATE
A harmonious compact between the Zionist and non-Zionist members of the Jewish Agency was the main feature noticeable throughout the political debate at the meeting of the Administrative Committee Saturday. While the Zionists were the critics they sought to eliminate from their criticism strong expressions, limiting themselves to pointing out positive recommendations as to what the Jewish Agency should do and what it has not done in Palestine.
Even the severest critics emphasized that the first year of the Jewish Agency should not be taken as any criterion for a definite verdict regarding the work of the Jewish Agency. They warned, however, that if the non-Zionists in the Jewish Agency did not develop greater impetus the entire Jewish community in Palestine would be in danger of stagnation.
The debate was opened by Oscar Wasserman, chairman of the board of directors of the Keren Hayesod, with Felix M. Warburg presiding. Mr. Wasserman expressed the belief that in the coming year the Jewish Agency will do more work in Palestine than it has in the last year. Palestine, he said, is a temple and a temple cannot be built in one day.
URGES REESTABLISHMENT OF HEBRON
He was followed by M. M. Ussishkin, head of the Jewish National Fund, who sharply criticized the Palestine Emergency Fund for neglecting to reestablish Hebron which as a result of the massacre of Jews in last year’s riots has been completely abandoned by the Jews. The destruction of Hebron, Mr. Ussishkin pointed out, means the destruction of a position which is 600 years older than Jerusalem. He urged the creation of a special committee that would collect its own funds for the reestablishment of Hebron.
Mr. Ussishkin’s speech met with definite opposition from Dr. Cyrus Adler, president of the American Jewish Committee and of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. He openly approved of the idea of not rebuilding Hebron and agreed with the directors of the Hebron rabbinical seminary who have refused to return to Hebron with the seminary. Dr. Adler also spoke against speeding up the work in Palestine, declaring it to be a better policy to go slowly and surely than to build hysterically.
Others participating in the debate were Dr. Leo Baeck, non-Zionist from Germany; Herschel Farbstein, Polish Zionist leader; Kurt Blumenfeld, president of the German Zionist Federation, and Abraham Harzfield, Salman Rubashov and Nahum Twersky, all of Palestine.
HEXTER REPORTS ON EMERGENCY FUND
A complete and picturesque report of what world Jewry did for the Jewish sufferers from last year’s Palestine disturbances was presented to the Committee by Dr. Maurice Hexter, American member of the Agency’s Executive in Palestine and one of the triumvirate charged with the distribution of the Palestine Emergency Fund.
Dr. Hexter reported that of the $2,850,000 contributed by world Jewry, $1,610,000 had been spent up to and including August 1. Two million of the total sum raised came from the United States. Over $100,000 of the fund was spent for simple relief, including aid to widows and orphans. Loans to the extent of $225,000 were made and $80,000 was expended for the emergency security of the Jewish population such as the hiring of watch men during the trying months immediately following the riots, and $50,000 was spent on the legal needs arising from the arrest of Jews, for the adequate representation of the Jews at trials of the Arabs and for the protection of Jewish civil rights.