BASLE (Jul. 15)
Any steps taken by the British government to bring about a round-table conference of Arabs and Jews and representatives of the Mandatory government in order to consider the question of Palestine development and administration in a spitit of mutual understanding and cooperation, in the interest of all the inhabitants of Palestine should be welcomed by the Jewish Agency for Palestine in the opinion of the American members of the Agency.
This was the attitude expressed in a report read today to the meeting of the Council of the Jewish Agency by Joseph C. Hyman, secretary of the provisional committee of the American members of the Agency’s Administrative Committee. The provisional committee firmly approves the formulation of a program that shall extend and intensify the work of understanding with the Arabs, Mr. Hyman declared.
The provisional committee, created when Felix M. Warburg resigned as chairman of the Administrative Committee in October, 1930, as a protest against the White Paper, is comprised of Dr. Cyrus Adler, acting chairman of the Agency’s Council and president of the American Jewish Committee; Bernard Flexner, former president of the Palestine Economic Corporation; Morris Rothenberg, national chairman of the American Palestine Campaign; Robert Szold, chairman of Administration of the Zionist Organization of America, and Julius Simon, president of the Palestine Economic Corporation, member ex-officio and treasurer.
Mr. Hyman’s report reviewed the events and activities marking the status of the Jewish Agency since the last meeting of its Administrative Committee, September, 1930. In his review Mr. Hyman stressed the difficulty in creating an American section of the Jewish Agency and pointed out that the provisional committee hopes shortly to make a serious effort to lay the foundation for an organized Agency section in the United States.
He also emphasized that despite many economies in the Agency, a diminution in its income and of the Keren Hayesod, the Agency’s chief financial instrument, has created a situation resulting in liabilities and obligations approximately $1,000,000 in excess of the debts of the Agency and of the Keren Hayesod when the Council was constituted two years ago.
In the light of this serious situation, Mr. Hyman said that the provisional committee believes that the budget for the coming year should be drawn most carefully and with a full realization “of the trouble and depressed state in which the world now finds itself. Only by the most careful planning and the most rigorous husbanding of our resources in this coming year will it be possible to avoid a collapse which might mean the loss of generations of work in the upbuilding of Palestine. A drastically reduced budget must naturally depend in lage measure upon a transference of more responsibility for financial contribution on the part of local bodies and groups in Palestine, and on the other hand, on a sharply reduced Administrative apparatus.”
Mr. Hyman directed special attention to the Allied Jewish Campaign of 1930 and to the fact that it laid the foundation “for a definite growth of harmonious understanding between various groups in the United States which heretofore had emphasized their willingness to lend their major support either to the Joint Distribution Committee or to the cause of Palestine. Although in some of the lager communities there was a marked reluctance at the beginning on the part of one group or of the other to engage in a joint fund-raising effort, by the autumn of 1930 a considerable number of the communities had organized themselves on a joint basis.”
He considered it significant that “four national chairmen discovered that as a result of the Allied Jewish Campaign there was developing in many of the communities of the United States a definite tendency for the unification of all campaigns for extra local purposes through a central apparatus for fund-raising.”