BASLE (Jul. 16)
Fifteen days after the 17th Zionist Congress convened in Mustermesse Hall, the biennial meeting of Zionists from all parts of the world concluded its lengthy deliberations at 9.30 P. M. last night. Nahum Sokolow, who had opened the Congress with an address as chairman of the Zionist Congress closed the Congress with an address in Hebrew as the new president of the World Zionist Organization.
Thanking the Congress for the trust bestowed upon him, Sokolow said he hoped he would be worthy of the position. He emphasized that everyone knows that he is taking over this great national office in a difficult time, but declared that he considered it his duty and expressed the hope that Zionists the world over would do their duty. On behalf of the newly-elected Zionist Executive, he read the six-point program which it would follow, including cooperation with the British government, Zionism under all circumstances and at all costs and friendly relations with the Arabs on the principle that, regardless of numerical strength, neither race wishes to rule or be ruled.
Just before the Congress elected the new Executive, Dr. Chaim Weizmann, who retired as president after 14 years of leadership, took touching farewell of the Labor delegation in a brief address. Dr. Weizman declared that he had been only temporarily removed, and added that he believes he would have an opportunity to meet again with the Labor party, which not only had been his staunchest supporter, but had even abstained from voting for his successor.
When the new Executive was announced various Congress leaders expressed the opinion that it was a victory for the Brandeis-Mack wing of the American Zionists because of the inclusion of Emanuel Neumann, president of the Jewish National Fund of America. Mr. Neumann, it is understood, will replace Col. Frederick H. Kisch in Palestine.
REVISIONISTS CREATE TUMULT
The concluding session, like most of the plenary sessions, was not devoid of its exciting moment, the tumultuous scenes of earlier sessions being twice repeated with the Revisionists playing the leading role in each instance while the tired delegates anxiously awaited the end.
The first excitement came when Sokolow read the program and policy which the new Executive would follow. The Revisionists and a number of other delegates immediately launched a vigorous and vocal protest, declaring that the program as outlined contradicted the resolutions adopted by the Congress and demanded an immediate debate. The majority of the weary delegates, however, opposed a debate, and although the uproar continued for fifteen minutes with the Revisionists losing their motion, the Congress proceded to wind up its remaining business.
The second interruption came a few minutes before the Congress closed when the Revisionists threatened to drag the Congress out for another eight days. Their second protest was prompted by the submission of a new resolution by the steering committee regarding the regulations for the composition of the Palestine immigration offices abroad.
The new resolution amended one adopted last week and provided that the Chalutzim organization, which is part of the Labor party, should also have proportionate representation in these offices. The Revisionists took noisy exception to this resolution which was the result of a compromise reached between the steering committee and the various parties in order to make possible the creation of a new Executive.
When the steering committee submitted this resolution the Revisionists objected, pointing out that Congress had already adopted a resolution on this question, and argued that if the new suggestion was approved it would mean that because one party haggled an already-adopted resolution was to be changed. Dr. Robert Stricker, on behalf of the Revisionists, appealed to the presidium not to permit the resolution to be put to a vote. When the chairman of the presidium overruled the Revisionists and permitted the resolution to come to a vote the Revisionists raised such an uproar that the voting was stopped and the presidium went into consultation while the session was interrupted.
The incident was finally settled amicably when the presidium announced that the steering committee’s new resolution in no way changed the earlier resolution, the new resolution merely indicating that the chalutzim should receive suitable representation in the immigration offices abroad within the limits of the previous decision.
By the terms of the first resolution these immigration offices are to consist of representatives of the several Zionist parties in the same proportion as they were represented at the Congress. This replaces the former policy by which the Laborites had 50 percent of the representation and the remaining 50 percent was divided among the other parties.
OVATION TO MOTZKIN
Before the Congress was concluded, Dr. Leo Motzkin, chairman of the presidium, was given an ovation for the manner in which he had presided over the Congress which was marked by so many disturbing incidents.
Prior to the interruption, Meer Grossman, British Revisionist leader, had announced that the Revisionists would oppose the new Executive. He said that the speeches of the leaders had convinced the Revisionists that they can have no confidence in them and cannot cooperate with them because they are too closely identified with the British Sholom idea.
Max Soloweitchik, speaking for the Radicals, asserted that they see in the new Executive the first move for improvement. While the Radicals will not participate in the Executive they will judge it in accordance with its future work, especially with regard to its future stand on political questions. Kurt Blumenfeld, German leader, in the name of the General Zionists, declared that the pro-Weizmann group condemned the Revisionists for bringing the Congress to such a point and then withdrawing from all responsibility.