Wide Sentiment Against Holding Zionist Congress in February Among U.S. Leaders

Arguing that it would be unreasonable to hold a Zionist Congress at the present time, since the Congress would only be a battle-ground for Jewish factions at a moment when they should show themselves united, many Zionist leaders, and important instruments of the Jewish press, are urging a postponement of the Congress announced for February 24.

Rabbi Barnett R. Brickner, of the Euclid Temple of Cleveland, made public through the Jewish Telegraphic Agency a letter which he wrote to Jacob de Hass, who invited him to become a candidate for the delegate list to the Congress.

Rabbi Brickner, in declining to be a candidate, said that a Congress at this time “might serve to depose Dr. Weizmann from leadership at a time when he has been carrying on vis-a-vis with the British government, a political manoeuver which is both dignified and powerful. It is true that Dr. Weizmann’s leadership has not always been of the strongest character, but just now he happens to be doing the only thing that can be done. To replace him by one of the leaders of the minority groups, the Revisionists or the Radicals, would be harmful and unwise to say the least.

“A conference in February,” says Rabbi Brickner, “can only serve to reveal to the world and especially to the Arabs and the British Government, how very disunited we are; this, at a time when we should be bound up as one powerful unit.

“Are we really prepared for a Congress? What new program do we bring to this Congress? Is it the bare desire to depose Dr. Weizmann? Are we ready to accept Jabotinsky in his place?

“Of course, if Justice Brandeis would and could make the supreme sacrifice and leave the United States Supreme Court Bench to assume the helm of leadership, then the entire picture would assume different proportions. I feel certain the whole Zionist world would praise the Lord for the appearance of a Deliverer in Israel. It seems, however, that those in authority in the present administration in the Zionist Organization of America feel that this is neither possible nor desirable.”

Rabbi Brickner suggests, “Would it not be far better to convene the Congress after an election has taken place in Great Britain, which may yield a new government, and after the vexed Indian situation is cleared up?

“Every indication points to the conviction that the Yishub in Palestine, the Labor Groups, and the Mizrachi do not favor the immediate calling of a Congress. These, to be sure, constitute most important elements to be considered.”

The Jewish Day, in a long editorial, stresses many of the reasons given by Rabbi Brickner, emphasizing the fact that there is no program for the Congress. “Those who come to the Congress with arms raised to depose Dr. Weizmann may find their arms waving in the air,” says the Day, “as it is possible that Dr. Weizmann may not be a candidate to succeed himself as president.” The Day also declares that “this is not the time to change leadership.”

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