London (May. 3)
During the last two years the National Home seems to have been a National Home where Jews may not enter or own land, the Chief Rabbi, Dr. J.H. Hertz, said when he addressed the annual conference of the Mizrachi Organisation of Great Britain and Ireland, held to-day at Jews College.
After a great deal of unhappiness and a great many promises, more often broken than kept, he went on, we have the present position. Putting the most favourable interpretation on the Prime Minister’s letter, the Chief Rabbi said, it does seem to me that the temper of the officials on the spot has not changed in the least. They are as anti-Jewish National Home as ever. They tried to sabotage the Jewish National Home twelve years ago, in the first, in the second and in the third pogroms, and as far as I can see they are still continuing to do so. As long as the officials on the spot are hostile all the after-dinner speeches of Labour, Liberal and Conservative worthies are of no value. As long as the leopards on the spot do not change, very little will be accomplished. According to the interpretation of those officials it seems that a National Home is one in which Jews must not be admitted to public office, and if they hold public office, however, eminent and exalted, they must be eliminated.
The ordinary Zionist may be discouraged by these pinpricks, the Chief Rabbi continued, but Mizrachists cannot be discouraged. My first utterance in this country was “Only a religious Israel it is invincible. Only the religious element in Zionism can have the courage to survive setbacks”. Only the religious contingent in Zionism will remain invincible, because these things are temporary set-backs, and if we continue our work and faith we are invincible.
At no time, the Chief Rabbi said, was there a greater need for the Mizrachi group in Zionism. It is only those Zionists who have Judaism in them and who love the Torah who survive the disappointments.
I do hope, he concluded, that in the near future we shall have a little more light from the Government. A little downright honesty would be heartening. Though the outlook is far from satisfactory, I am eagerly looking forward to the new negotiations to disperse the uncertainty. I should like a little less zemiroth on the part of the Government and some actual food.
PROTEST AGAINST ATTEMPT OF ZIONIST EDUCATION BOARD IN PALESTINE TO CURTAIL MIZRACHI EDUCATION: BENT ON BREATING IN PALESTINE A JEWISH EDUCATION ANTAGONISTIC TO TRADITIONAL JUDAISM SAYS SPEAKER: SUCH ATTEMPTS WILL PREJUDICE RAISING FUNDS FOR ZIONIST PURPOSES FROM TRADITIONAL JEWRY.
Mr. M. Levine, at one time Secretary of the American Mizrachists, complained that the Zionist Education Board in Palestine was proposing to close down the Mizrachi Teachers’ Training College because it had become a danger to the general educational policy of the Zionists, who were bent in creating in Palestine a Jewish education antagonistic to traditional Judaism.
This Conference, says a resolution which was then adopted, protests most emphatically against attempts to curtail the existence and expansion of Mizrachi education in Eretz Israel, and records its view that such attempts will gravely prejudice the raising of funds from traditional Jewry for Zionist purposes. The Conference especially condemns the endeavour to close down the Teachers’ Seminary in Jerusalem and instructs the Executive of the Mizrachi World Organisation to take all possible steps to frustrate such endeavours.
Another resolution condemned the alleged Chillul Shabbat on the part of the Jewish National Fund in respect of the Jewish National Fund Bazaar in East London. An official protest in to be sent to the Chief Rabbi and the Jewish National Fund.
CONFERENCE DECLINES TO ACCEPT MR. MACDONALD’S LETTER TO DR. WEIZMANN AS ADEQUATE WITHDRAVAL OF ALL OBJECTIONABLE FEATURES OF WHITE PAPER; DEMANDS ACTIVE POLICY FROM MANDATORY POWER FOR EXPANSION OF JEWISH NATIONAL HOME.
This Conference, while recognising that the Prime Minister’s letter modifies the anti-Jewish bias of the White Paper of October 1930, declines to accept the Prime Minister’s letter to Dr. Weizmann on February 13th. as an adequate withdrawal of all the objectionable features of the White Paper, says another resolution adopted by the Conference.
This Conference, the resolution proceeds, recommends to the delegates to be appointed to the forthcoming Zionist Congress to press for a complete reversal of all statements of policy inimical to the reconstitution of the Jewish National Home and for an active policy on the part of the Mandatory Power with a view to the legitimate expansion of the Jewish National Home in Eretz Israel.
Other resolutions reaffirm adherence to the aims and activities of the Jewish National Fund in raising sums for the purchase and amelioration of land in Eretz Israel to be the inalienable property of the Jewish people; express fullest support of the aims and activities of the Keren Hayesod and records its desire to be adequately represented on the Central Keren Hayesod Committee for England; and pledge support to the Mizrachi Eretz Israel Fund for the purpose of improving the religious educational facilities in Eretz Israel, providing religious institutions in its towns and settlements, paying or augmenting the salaries of Rabbis and Shochtim in towns and settlements, and assisting and encouraging religious Haluzim in agricultural and industrial work in Eretz Israel.