BASLE (Jul. 1)
After leading the Zionist movement for thirteen years, Dr. Chaim Weizmann today formally and definitely laid down his office in concluding his report at the second session of the Zionist Congress this morning. In a two-and-a-half hour address he not only outlined the difficulties undergone by the Zionist movement since the last decade and emphasized the fact that although times have changed since 1918, Zionists remain unshaken, but outlined the program that awaits the Zionist Organization and the Jewish Agency.
The settlement of at least 50,000 Jewish families in Palestine, the raising of a Jewish loan for Palestine, the establishment of a department for Arab relations within the Palestine Zionist Executive, the development and encouragement of private enterprise in Palestine, the strengthening of the Jewish National Fund, and of the Keren Hayesod, the maintenance of Jewish rights under the Mandate, the consolidation and extension of extension of existing achievements in Palestine and the building up of the Zionist Organization and the Jewish Agency on a broader and surer basis were the chief points in the program for the future outlined by Dr. Weizmann.
Dr. Weizmann received a tremendous ovation when he arose to speak, but there was no applause during his address, which was in German and which was listened to with the greatest of attention amidst the gravest silence.
In addressing the delegates, many of whom not only have opposed his policies but are against his continuing in office even should he so desire, Dr. Weizmann noted that the Seventeenth Congress is meeting at a time of great difficulty, both internal and external. “In the course of the last two years we have suffered many disappointments,” he said, “and the organization has been subjected to a severe strain, financial as well as political.
KEHILLAHS GRAVELY AFFECTED
“The position of the Jewish communities in all parts of the world has undergone a change for the worse, and we have been more gravely affected than anyone else by the world-wide economic depression. Our work of reconstruction in Palestine has been slowed down to a dangerous degree, and the Congress will be faced with the serious problem of deciding what ways and means to adopt in order to safeguard the existing structure of the Jewish National Home and to establish it on a broader basis.”
He then went into a detailed analysis of the past history of the Zionist movement. Dr. Weizmann examined the motives underlying the Balfour Declaration and the contemporary interpretations of that declaration, and dwelt at some length on the implementing of the Declaration and the Mandate, the factors operating against the Declaration and the official interpretations of the Declaration: the Mandate itself, the White Paper of 1930 and Premier Macdonald’s letter of 1931.
LETTER RIGHTED WRONG
After referring to the White Paper of 1930 and the Simpson Report, the issuance of which resulted in his resignation as president of the Zionist Organization and of the Jewish Agency, Dr. Weizmann declared that Premier MacDonald’s letter to him interpreted the White Paper, righted the wrong done by the White Paper and emphatically reaffirmed the Balfour Declaration and the Mandate.
Dr. Weizmann also took occasion to point out that while his administration has “consistently, sometimes in the face of strong pressure from certain of our constituents, done everything we properly could to facilitate the task of the Mandatory Power in Palestine,” there was evident ever since the beginning of the civil administration “a certain apathy and indifference” in the personnel of the Palestine Government, “at times amounting almost to hostility, towards the policy of the Jewish National Home.”
He took the Mandatory Power to task for its “reluctance to take any active steps in support” of the Jewish National Home policy. He attributed the unsatisfactory attitude of the Palestine administration to the fact that the civil administration in Palestine has been and still is largely recruited from men who “have very little understanding of Zionist aims and aspirations, who come to Palestine unprepared for the complex task which they have to face.”
BUSINESS BASIS CREATED
Turning to the economic policy of the administration, Dr. Weizmann said that its endeavor to lay the foundations of an economic structure, capable of expansion and eventually of becoming self-supporting and independent and of creating a nucleus for further development, has been achieved. He declared too that as a result of the labors of the Chalutzim and the investments of the Keren Hayesod, the Jewish National Fund and the Jewish Agency, a “business basis” for the development of Palestine had been created.
Concerning Arab-Jewish relations, Dr. Weizmann declared that the Arabs “must be made to feel, must be convinced, by deed as well as by word, that, whatever the future numerical relationship of the two nations in Palestine, we on our part, contemplate no political domination. But they must also remember that we on our side shall never submit to any political domination. Provided that the Mandate is both recognized and respected, we would welcome an agreement between the two kindred races on the basis of political parity.”
He also urged that the Jews should be encouraged to study the Arab language, history and literature so that they can understand and look with sympathy on the Arab point of view, and added that no opportunity of coming into touch with the Arabs should be neglected.