London (Mar. 1)
Great expectations are entertained of the results of the activities in America, which are carried on under the leadership of Mr. Sokolov, and of the campaign in South Africa, most energetically conducted by Dr. Weizmann, Mr. Berl Locker, member of the Jewish Agency Executive, said in addressing the Press Conference at the Zionist Central Offices yesterday, together with Dr. Brodetsky and Mr. Emmanuel Neuman.
The largest receipts, he went on, are expected from countries which are least affected by the economic crisis; but recognition is no less deserved by those friends of Palestine in other countries who, although most severely hit, are making big sacrifices in order to meet their obligations towards the National Home.
From October to December 1931, he stated, the Keren Hayesod collected Â£56,000, of which Â£16,600 were provided by the United States, Â£10,700 by Great Britain, Â£8,400 by South Africa, and Â£4,000 by Poland. In spite of the great difficulties of the present time, the receipts were actually higher than in the corresponding period of 1930. Valuable services were rendered by the Keren Hayesod of America, directed by Mr. Morris Rothenberg and assisted by Mr. Emanuel Neuman, and the Keren Hayesod of Great Britain, under the direction of Mr. Simon Marks. But in other countries, too, work has been carried on with unflagging energy, and it is hoped, Mr. Locker said, that now that campaigns for the Keren Hayesod are in full swing almost everywhere, the financial situation will be somewhat relieved.
The fact that it has been possible, despite the unexampled economic depression and political unrest of the last few months, to keep things going and even to make some not inconsiderable progress, is due, he continued, to the constant efforts of the Executive and its collaborators in all countries which, though quiet and inconspicuous, are both intensive and persistent. The uninterrupted continuance of normal activities and the implementing of the budget in Palestine and in London were rendered possible only by the numerous efforts and sacrifices entailed in the provision of the necessary funds, accompanied by drastic cuts in expenditure.
The Executive, he pursued, is meeting the changed circumstances by cutting the budget both in Palestine and in London to the utmost, and especially by reducing its administrative machinery to the farthest possible limit. Thus in Palestine the number of officials has shrunk from 118 to 56, and in London from 39 to #4. It is self-evident that a limitation of the activities of the Executive had to follow upon the reduction of staff. Thus, the information service could not be kept up in its former dimensions and has suffered curtailment.
The economic and political crisis have not failed of their affect on Zionist activities in various countries. The Zionist Federations have been hard hit by the depression, and only the idealism and devotion of Zionists have saved them from the worst and set them on the road to recovery.
Of especial importance are the efforts, now in progress, to end the isolation of Zionist parties, Mr. Locker went on, and to bring about the establishment of territorial joint working committees, designed to facilitate co-operation and to concentrate all Zionist forces within each country. The preparations are necessarily somewhat lengthy, but concrete results are expected very soon. These tendencies towards consolidation, especially gratifying in times of crisis, are unfortunately counteracted, he complained, by efforts at secession made by the Revisionists. With a view to satisfying the separatist aspirations which had become apparent within the Revisionist Union, the Revisionists adopted at Calais resolutions which run counter to the most essential principles of the unity of the Zionist Organisation and of its political activities. These resolutions have been unanimously condemned and rejected by all Zionist Federations. and groups which have publicly expressed their views thereon. The Executive, he recalled, published in December a statement dealing with these resolutions and setting out the conditions upon which the Revisionist Union might be incorporated in the Zionist Organisation. Despite the the attacks to which it is being subjected by the Revisionists, the Executive, Mr. Locker said, will patiently seek to avert, as far as it lies within its power, the secession of any portion of the movement. It must be quite clear, however, that there is room within the Zionist Organisation only for those who respect its laws and accept its constitution. This question, he added, calls for a very early settlement.