American Jewish Congress Challenges Statements of B’nai Brith Head

July 25th issue of the Jewish Daily Bulletin that the Executive Committee of the B’nai B’rith has rejected our invitation to participate in the forthcoming sessions of the World Jewish Conference to be held on August 14th at Geneva, Switzerland.

“Your letter conveying this information did not reach the office of our Mr. Bernard S. Deutsch until July 26th, after he had already left to attend the Conference in Geneva. In his absence I am taking the liberty of acknowledging your communication.

“You state in your letter that ‘the answers received from the foreign districts are ‘unanimously’ unfavorable to the B’nai Brith’s participation in the World Jewish Conference at or near the present time.’ This statement is at variance with the communications which we have received at this office from B’nai B’rith Districts in four foreign countries, namely, Palestine, England, Roumania and Turkey. The English B’nai B’rith District has voted unanimously to participate in the World Jewish Conference. The Palestine District has elected Mayor M. Dizengoff to represent it at the Conference. A letter from the Turkish District, dated at Istambul, July 6th, advises us that they have directed an inquiry to you in order to determine your stand towards the World Conference before designating their representatives. A letter from the head of the Transylvanian section of the Roumanian B’nai B’rith informs us that his group is unanimously for a World Congress. His letter concludes as follows:

” ‘My letter is to urge you to make the utmost use of the international facilities of the B’nai B’rith to effect a permanent World Congress. Since the B’nai B’rith has missed the opportunity for Jewish service by sponsoring a World Congress, we should at least have the honor of participating in the convening of the preliminary World Conference.’

“It may well be that the foreign districts, which have been in communication with us, may ultimately be moved by your decision to refrain from participation in the World Jewish Conference.

“I must, however, for the sake of the accuracy of the record, insist that the eight foreign districts of the B’nai B’rith, as shown above, were not ‘unanimously’ unfavorable to a World Conference.

“You will remember that we commenced our negotiations, inviting the participation of the B’nai B’rith in the preliminary World Jewish Conference sometime early in April. It was not until the middle of May that you finally arranged to meet with the representatives of the American Jewish Congress. Even though we originally met on May 12th and we wrote again to your Dr. Rubinow on May 17th, asking him to expedite your reply to our invitation, the first intimation which we had of your rejection of our invitation was the published statement.

“Your reply on behalf of international B’nai B’rith comes to our attention after the Jews in twenty-one countries have definitely accepted our invitation to attend the Conference and have already elected close to one hundred delegates to represent them. You will readily understand that with these acceptances in hand we cannot avail ourselves of your counsel to recall and rescind our plans for the holding of the Conference in August.

I cannot close without pointing out to you that, in view of the difficult situation affecting our fellow-Jews in many lands, we had hoped that the B’nai B’rith might assume a more friendly attitude towards the World Jewish Conference, which we again emphasize is not a World Jewish Congress. We had hoped too, that, as on previous occasions, the B’nai B’rith might proceed with us vigorously and courageously in convening the Conference to hold common counsel with the representatives of our fellow-Jews in many lands of the Diaspora, in order to arrive at some modus to alleviate their unhappy lot.”

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