Berlin (Sep. 3)
With the election of a new Jewish Agency Executive, the adoption of a budget of $3,325,000, and the passage of four resolutions making clear the attitude of the Jewish Agency towards the British government, the Palestine Arabs and the Mandates Commission, the Administrative Committee of the Jewish Agency, in session since last Friday, closed its sessions here. All of the resolutions were adopted without much discussion.
The closing address was made by Dr. Chaim Weizmann, president of the Jewish Agency. He thanked Felix M. Warburg, chairman of the Administrative Committee, in the name of the gathering, and pointed out that throughout the sessions no split front had existed between Zionists and non-Zionists, but rather mixed voting regarding a number of questions on which some Zionists voted with non-Zionists against a similarly combined opposition. He closed his address with an appeal for a larger organization, the purchase of more land and the doing of more work for Palestine.
The first of the four resolutions points out that in view of the British government’s announcement that it would formulate its policy regarding the future development of Palestine after receiving Sir John Simpson’s report, “the Jewish Agency expects Great Britain to consider the memorandum submitted to it by the Executive of the Jewish Agency, and also to recommend such a constructive program as will be calculated in accordance with the Mandate to secure the establishment of the Jewish National Home. The Administrative Committee announces that the Jewish Agency is prepared to cooperate fully with the British government in working out such a program”.
WELCOMES MANDATES BODY’S FINDINGS
In its second resolution the Administrative Committee welcomes the conclusions of the Mandates Commission which “confirm the necessity for an active and dynamic policy by Great Britain to develop in Palestine such economic, political and administrative conditions as will secure the establishment of the Jewish National Home.”
The Administrative Committee also confirms the statement of the political situation as adopted by the Jewish Agency’s political commission on June 27. In this statement the political commission pointed out that while it did not cast any doubt on the competence or impartiality of Sir John Simpson, who has completed a survey into problems of land settlement, immigration and development in Palestine, it could not accept an expert’s report as the verdict on the future of the Jewish National Home.
The political commission also announced at that time that the Jewish National Home is the central purpose of the Palestine Mandate and the only policy which can be pursued by the Mandatory power is already fixed, namely, at all times to encourage the maximum Jewish immigration compatible with the absorptive capacity of Palestine. The Administrative Committee also endorsed the political commission’s statement that it “will not spare any honorable effort to secure cooperation with the Arabs in developing the country and we call upon them to make such cooperation possible. Of the British government we ask that it look once more upon its task in Palestine in the spirit of those by whom the Balfour Declaration was conceived”.
SEEKS UNDERSTANDING WITH ARABS
In connection with relations with the Arabs the Administrative Committee announced its intention to intensify efforts to reach an understanding with them and recommend the establishment of a special department for this work in the Palestine Executive of the Jewish Agency.
The Committee also recommended that supervision of the Jewish educational system in Palestine be transferred to a committee composed of representatives of the Jewish Agency and of the Palestine Jewish community the committee to take control with the beginning of the Jewish year 5692. Another resolution urged the coordination and cooperation of the various Jewish economic enterprises in Palestine and the establishment of coordination between them and the Jewish Agency. The Executive of the Jewish Agency is instructed by this resolution to prepare the necessary plans for coordinating these undertakings.
A concluding resolution advocates that Zionists and non-Zionists should work together for the Keren Hayesod, the chief financial instrument of the Jewish Agency, in central and local organizations. The Administrative Committee also called attention to the need for strengthening the Jewish Agency by means of increasing the interests in the work of the Jewish Agency among wider non-Zionist circles. At the same time the need for the Zionists to strengthen their basis was noted.
CHOOSES NEW EXECUTIVE
The closing session lasted longer than was expected because no unity could be reached on the appointment of the Jewish Agency’s Executive. This question was finally solved by the appointment of Nahum Sokolow, veteran Zionist leader, as honorary vice-president of the Jewish Agency and the election of Professor Selig Brodetsky, Rabbi Meyer Berlin, Dr. Arthur Ruppin and Col. Frederick Kisch as Zionist members of the Executive, and Dr. Maurice Hexter, Dr. Bernard Kahn, Julius Simon and Dr. Werner Senator as non-Zionist members.
Of the budget of $3,325,000 adopted $725,000 was allocated for the payment of debts, $600,000 additional for land and colonization, $380,000 for education, $430,000 for medical work, $105,000 for the expenses of the Palestine Executive, and $90,000 for the expenses of the London Executive. After the labor members of the Committee had put up a fight the budget was amended to include an appropriation of $50,000 for immigration and other matters in which they were particularly interested. Nevertheless the labor group refrained from voting for the budget because their financial demands were rejected by a vote of 10 to 9.
The question of whether a new drive for funds should be conducted in the United States was settled by a decision that Dr. Weizmann and Mr. Warburg should give the matter their immediate attention by coming into close contact with interested groups in America.