17th Zionist Congress to Meet February 5 at Place As Yet Undecided; Actions Committee Names Politica
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17th Zionist Congress to Meet February 5 at Place As Yet Undecided; Actions Committee Names Politica

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February 5th was set as the opening day for the forthcoming 17th World Zionist Congress by the Zionist Actions Committee at the conclusion of its emergency meeting called to consider the future policy of the Zionist Organization and its leadership in view of the crisis created by the British White Paper. The Actions Committee, which has been in session for five days, did not decide on the place where the Congress, which bids fair to be the most important in a generation, will be held.

The Actions Committee also decided upon the creation of a special political committee of five which is to have full voting powers with the members of the World Zionist Executive. The five members of this new committee will be Leo Motzkin, chairman of the Actions Committee, Nahum Goldmann, leader of the German Radical Zionists, a representative of the Jewish National Council of Palestine, an American member, who it is rumored will be Prof. Felix Frankfurter of the Harvard Law School, and Dr. M. D. Eder of Palestine.


In view of the indefiniteness of the political situation and the absence of the American members of the Committee, who were in constant touch with the sessions by telephone and cable, no radical changes of any kind were adopted. The political commission appointed to collaborate with the Zionist Executive was opposed by the Revisionists who voted against it as an expression of non-confidence in the Weizmann regime. The moderates supporting the commission explained that it was created in order to unite with the opposition to the Weizmann regime to enable the campaign of the Keren Hayesod, the chief financial instrument of the Jewish Agency, to be conducted this winter with as little friction as possible.

It is understood that Dr. Chaim Weizmann, who resigned the presidency of the Zionist Organization and the Jewish Agency more than a fortnight ago as a protest against the new British policy, is somewhat dissatisfied with the political commission because he considered the present Zionist Executive of 12 persons sufficiently large to deal with the situation.


Before the decision to establish the commission was taken Dr. Weizmann announced that he was willing to con-

tinue at the head of the Zionist movement, despite his resignation, in cooperation with the present Executive. This had been interpreted as meaning that he is determined not to accept the political committee on which the opposition to the Weizmann regime insisted. Throughout the sessions of the Actions Committee, Dr. Weizmann and his administration had been subjected to bitter verbal attacks.

On the other hand, defenders of the Weizmann regime had appealed to the opposition not to accept Dr. Weizmann’s resignation as that would be interpreted as the failure of his administration. Defenders of his administration, including Judge Julian W. Mack, honorary chairman of the Zionist Organization of America, who said he also voiced the opinion of Judge Louis D. Brandeis, urged that Dr. Weizmann’s resignation be not accepted because such action would result in the loss to Zionism of many influential friends outside of the movement.

While the resolutions of the Actions Committee have not yet been made public it is understood that they condemn the Passfield White Paper and endorse the decision of the Jewish National Council of Palestine not to participate in the proposed legislative council.


The closing session heard cables read from Dr. Werner Senator, treasurer of the Jewish Agency, and Dr. Arthur Ruppin, a member of the Palestine Zionist Executive, outlining a scheme for the settlement of 5,000 middle class families in Palestine on land owned by the Jewish National Fund with the assistance of the Keren Hayesod. This, together with another proposal for the settlement of 1,000 families of the middle class within a year, was referred to the consideration, particularly as to ways and means, of a special committee which is remaining in London for that purpose.

The Actions Committee, however, approved in principle the encouragement of middle class settlement in Palestine and asked the Zionist Executive to devise ways and means of drawing in private capital to Palestine and to submit a plan on this to the Zionist Congress. The Committee also appealed to the friends of Zionism in America not to postpone the Keren Hayesod campaign later than the first part of January.

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