The failure of American Jewry to contribute its proportionate share of funds was the chief handicap placed upon Zionist constructive efforts in Palestine, Louis Lipsky declared yesterday upon his return from abroad.
The American Zionist leader had participated in the meetings of the Zionist Actions Committee and the Administrative Committee of the Jewish Agency, which have taken place in London during the past few weeks. Discussing the result of these gatherings, Mr. Lipsky said:
“The work of the Jewish Agency in Palestine was rendered unusually difficult this past year by the failure of American Jewry to contribute its equitable share of the funds required for the Jewish Agency budget. It is hoped that during the coming months this default will be made good by the organized forces of American Zionism. Palestine has been keenly disappointed because American Jewry has not provided the support that has been so essential, particularly during the past year, when all other phases of the development in Palestine have been progressing.
“Except for the financial problems that the Jewish Agency has to face, conditions in Palestine are fairly normal and there are signs of developments in the way of industry and commerce that are most gratifying. What happened in 1925, when 30,000 middle class settlers arrived in the country, is being repeated, but now this class of settlers is better equipped and the foundations have been more firmly laid by the pioneers of national rebuilding.”
Questioned regarding the French Report, Mr. Lipsky declared that there was practical unanimity of opinion regarding the document. Its findings, the Actions Committee felt, failed to offer any satisfactory basis for the discussion of a Development Scheme in Palestine. At the same time, he said, it exploded once and for all the notion that any large number of Arab peasants had been deprived of their land by Jewish settlers. Some 2,700 claims were filed with the French Committee. About half of these have already been investigated and no more than 250 have so far been found to be genuine.
Discussing current conditions in Europe, Mr. Lipsky vigorously denied recent reports that the Jews of Germany are leaving that country because of the Hitler menace. Mr. Lipsky had conferred with a number of leading German Jews and had been assured that German Jews are confident that the rational forces of the Reich will combine to frustrate Hitler and prevent the execution of his anti-Semitic program.
“Native German Jews are determined to protect their rights,” Mr. Lipsky declared, “and they are well in a position to do so. They have the political wisdom, the intellectual capacity and the financial means to stand their ground against Hitler and his cohorts. They are not taking flight in large numbers to any country, not even to Palestine.”
Mr. Lipsky, who is national chairman of the American Palestine Campaign, appealed to all sections of the Zionist movement in America to make their work more effective, since upon the work of the Jewish people themselves, he believes, depends not merely the progress of Zionist effort but also to a large extent the salvaging of the Jewish situation in the Diaspora.