Zionist movement, foresaw the disaster which has been visited upon the Jews in Germany, the Zionist leader declared. He characterized him as “no Ghetto Jew, but a proud leader, an inspired son of his people and a modern man. He could see the truth in the tragedy of Jewish homelessness and had the courage to proclaim it to the world.”
He referred to Herzl’s prophesy of dire need on the part of the Jewish people and said it had come true. A state in the development of the Diaspora has been reached, he stated, when it is no longer possible to maintain the status quo.
“The idea of Zionism as the solution of the Jewish question must now again rise before the world like a new daylight,” he exclaimed.
“To the civilized world” he put the question: “Shall this nation ever and forever be in vagabondage, shall our people be ever and forever shifted about, shall this straying life, yearning to find rest, never find it? Is not this a situation which mocks the most elementary conceptions of humanity and civilization?”
THE THREEFOLD PROGRAM
He characterized the Zionist program as three-fold: the creation of a living unity in Palestine, the creation of a historically ideal unity in the Diaspora and continuance of progress along the road to autoemancipation.
Palestine, he declared, “has ceased to be as it formerly was, a favorite theme for Zionistic discussion and as a result has become a problem for the whole of Jewryâ€”a weapon of peace in the Jewish struggle for existence, which becomes more difficult every day; a shelter and a refuge for suffering Jews, perhaps also for anti-Zionists, perhaps also for a new mixed multitude of people who cannot point to an Aryan grandmother.”
Assimilation has proven a false hope and “a lie in our midst,” Dr. Sokolow declared. He described it as an attempt “to put blinkers on our public opinion,” that it might not see the “handwriting on the wall, the danger threatening of a spiritual epidemic of anti-Semitism.”
THE IRONY OF HISTORY
It is a “bitter irony of history,” he said, that this assimilationist movement should have been strongest in Germany. He appealed for unity in constructive effort, saying that if assimilationism and disunity had not prevented, there might have been ready a place of refuge in this time of great need.
The veteran Zionist leader closed his address with the hope that a benevolent Providence would lead the Eighteenth Zionist Congress to make giant strides forward in the fulfillment of the prophetic mission of a Jewish national home as a happy, secure and peaceful home for the oppressed Jewish people of the world and a blessing to the nations of the earth.
Dr. Sokolow opened the congress with a Hebrew greeting to all present and then paid his respects to President Masaryk of Czechoslovakia and to the diplomatic representatives present, in German, French and English.
Addressing the whole diplomatic corps present he declared: “Our work of peace and civilization has but one needâ€”the need of sympathy, of attentive curiosity and a bit of patience on the part of the world. I hope that you will accord us your good-will.”
EULOGY OF ARLOSOROFF
The vast assembly was extremely moved when Berel Katzenelson, Palestine labor leader, delivered the official eulogy of his former associate, Dr. Arlosoroff, and described him as “the young and gifted leader upon whom the entire Zionist movement laid its hopes. He was expected to present to this congress the outline of the political prospects of the Jewish national home,” Katzenelson declared, “and the entire congress must mourn him just as Palestine Jews mourned for him during the funeral.”
Katzenelson revealed that it had been decided to honor the slain leader’s memory by naming an agricultural institute after him. The congress, he said, will have to decide about this. “The bullet which wounded Arlosoroff also wounded the heart of the entire movement,” he concluded.
Mr. Gurney, the British representative, greeted the congress in behalf of the British Government. “His Majesty’s Government is anxious at all times to carry out its obligations under the mandate.”
Greetings were also tendered the delegates in behalf of the League of Nations, the Czechoslovakian Gov-