The end of the regime which has governed the destinies of the Zionist Organization of America in the past two years and the election of a president and vice-president to replace the National Administration of 18, is hailed by Jacob Fishman, editor of the “Jewish Morning Journal” and Dr. S. Margoshes, editor of the “Day,” writing in their respective papers.
The election of Morris Rothenberg as president is praised and he is urged to follow in the example of leadership offered by Louis Lipsky, during his nine years of office as the head of the American Organization.
Mr. Fishman says the veil has now been lifted on a condition within the Zionist organization which has been both unhealthy and hypocritical. He calls for the “nightmare of the interim to be wiped out from Zionist memory.”
Dr. Margoshes sees the election of Rothenberg as being in substance a victory for Louis Lipsky and Dr. Chaim Weizmann.
Both score the administration of the last two years charging t with responsibility for the decline in the Zionist Organization.
Dr. Margoshes states that Mr. Lipsky could easily have been elected to the presidency but he chose to decline while he remained the dictator of the convention’s acts.
“No great achievements were expected from the American Zionist convention just closed at Philadelphia,” says Mr. Fishman. “Neither the internal condition which led to a false and self-deceiving policy in the past two years, nor the external economic condition were favorable to substantial results.
“Still, the Philadelphia convention has taken a step forward in the reconstruction of the Zionist Organization of America,” he asserts. “The veil which in the past two years covered a condition in the Z.O.A., both unhealthy and hypocritical, which has caused a number of Zionists to adopt an attitude as if defeatism were the only mark of loyalty to Zionism or to Herzlism, is beginning to fall. It is becoming increasingly clear of all except a few who are consumed by their personal prejudices and hatred that the policy pursued in the past two years could only lead to destruction. Again it is being realized that a Zionist can not claim to have done his duty merely by ranting, cursing and noise-making. It is realized that Palestine has remained vital and progressing actually despite all difficulties, and, that the first duty of a Zionist is the daily hard work, and criticism can only take second place.
“Who taught this old-new lesson to the American Zionists? Palestine itself has done it. Eretz Israel has branded the falsity of the statements of our defeatist ‘prophets’ that a Simpson or a French can retard the progress of the Homeland. This lie has become so manifest only due to the live deeds of creative Palestine that speak louder than any words. It has penetrated the net of intrigue, negation and ignorance. Every day Palestine records progress in spite of our enemies.
“In this frame of mind evidently the Philadelphia convention took up its duties. It had to sweep out quite a deal of refuse that has accumulated during a period when truth was taboo, and the dust and refuse was only hidden under the furniture.
“It will take some time to clean away this rubbish entirely so that the real practical and daily Zionist work may be resumed with the old-time fervor and creative joy, when the shrieking and false tones of so-called leaders will cease to contaminate the Zionist atmosphere. I believe though that Philadelphia has made a beginning in this direction. The Z.O.A. again shows a desire to be honest with itself, and that is the first requisite for any massmovement.
“If I am not mistaken the action at Philadelphia portends that the Z.O.A. will abandon its dishonest tactic of late in asking the rank and file of American Zionists to disguise their true feelings in the interest of opportunism,” Mr. Fishman states. “This tactic has been tried for two years and has been ruinous to the organization. The Z.O.A. cannot exist in the form of an inverted pyramid, but must have its broad base within the masses of the people. Neither opportunism nor terrorism ought to move the Zionist masses to tolerate leaders in whom they have little confidence and with whom they have little in common.
“I congratulate Morris Rothenberg and the Z.O.A. upon his election to the presidency. Mr. Rothenberg’s task will be no mean undertaking, but I am confident that Mr. Rothenberg, who has been tested and found thoroughly reliable in all Zionist fires, will be equal to the task in his new office.
“Mr. Rothenberg is known as a man of peace. Very good, but it will perhaps be timely to remark that a dead peace is worse than a lively controversy. We have had ample proof of this in the Z.O.A. in the past several years.
“I am confident that Mr. Rothenberg will find no resistance among the Zionist masses if, as I believe, his leadership will be marked by high courage and a strong will. Compromises are necessary now and then, but in essentials there can be no compromise. The American Zionists who have known to appraise the high qualities of leadership which Louis Lipsky gave them for nine years, will, I am convinced, generously rally to the support of Mr. Rothenberg. The nightmare of the interim must be wiped out from Zionist memory.”
Dr. S. Margoshes, editor of the “Day,” declares that the Zionist convention which has just closed in Philadelphia spells the end of the regime which undertook leadership two years ago with many fine promises and which has succeeded in reducing the organization to the low level of the pre-war period.
The convention on the whole spelled a victory for Louis Lipsky, former president of the Zionist Organization of America, and Dr. Chaim Weizmann, retired head of the World Zionist movement, according to Dr. Margoshes, although it was Morris Rothenberg who was elected the president.
“Louis Lipsky,” writes Dr. Margoshes, “dictated the acts of the convention and himself chose the successors to the old administration. He himself could have had the office of president of the Zionist Organization of America. At least eighty percent of the delegates were in favor of his renewed leadership, tooth and nail. But he declined the invitation, whether because of fatigue or for other reasons, is not altogether clear.
“His victory, however, is clearly outlined,” asserts Dr. Margoshes. “While Rothenberg occupies the presidential chair, Lipsky is the ruler of American Zionism and his opponents who two years ago sought to estrange him from leadership are today themselves shadows of defeat.”
According to Dr. Margoshes, Dr. Weizmann is no less a victor than Lipsky, inasmuch as the opponents of Lipsky are the opponents also of Weizmann.
Of Morris Rothenberg, Dr. Margoshes writes: “Morris Rothenberg, who stands closer to the Jewish masses than any other Zionist leader with the exception of Lipsky, knows how to evaluate the strength of the two victors at the convention and it may be expected that he will conduct his administration in their spirit.”