Prague (Aug. 22)
A dramatic appeal to the League of Nations as representative of the conscience of humanity, and a plea to the great powers of the world for the Jewish people was made here today by Dr. Selig Brodetzky of Great Britain, delivering the political report of the World Zionist Organization to the Eighteenth World Zionist Congress in session here.
“At one stroke of the pen,” Dr. Brodetzky declared, “hundreds of thousands of Jews who were good patriots for generations and were loyal citizens, have been reduced to a condition unparalleled in history for hundreds of years.
“Tens of thousands of German Jews have already had to leave but they find practically all doors closed to them. It is for them that I plead the doors of Palestine should be opened,” Dr. Brodetzky declared. His remarks were received with stormy applause in which the Leftist groups in the Congress joincd with the General Zionists (Centrists).
THE PROBLEM OF UNITY
Declaring that the Jewish national home can become a reality only if it “represents the land to which the Jew can look with confidence for admission because he is a Jew,” the speaker called on “this congress to declare frankly that we look to Palestine as the land of the future Jewish nation.” He declared that the present Congress “must once and for all settle the problem of unity of Zionist effort.”
The view and the hope that the British Government will revise its policy on the vital subjects of land, immigration, the French Report on the development of Palestine, the Palestine loan and a number of other problems vitally affecting the future of Palestine, were expressed by Dr. Brodetzky in the course of his long address in which he reviewed the entire Palestine political scene.
For the first time in the history of the eighteen congresses, a session was opened without a congress presidium, the Actions Committee, following an all-night session, having been unable to effect a compromise on Laborite demands for the exclusion of the Revisionists, right-wing extremists, from the Congress presidium. Instead, Nahum Sokolow, president of the world organization, took the chair and conducted the sessions in Hebrew instead of the German which formerly was customary.
Professor Albert Einstein arrived here this morning to attend the congress and received a warm reception. Professor Einstein’s visit was considered of unusual significance.
Greetings from various parts of the world, including the United States, were read at the session.
Professor Brodetzky’s report, however, formed the chief center of interest dealing, as it did, with matters of extreme importance to Palestine’s political and material wellbeing. Immediately after his report, the special committee considering the German-Jewish situation went into executive session in another attempt to formulate a declaration for the congress regarding Germany. The Actions Committee, it was confirmed today, did not reach an agreement on this point and it was decided that a representative of each fraction would address the congress stating the views of the fraction.
Dr. Stephen S. Wise of New York is scheduled to speak on Germany in behalf of the General Zionists (Centrists). Strong statements by the Laborites and by the Revisionists, whose leader, Vladimir Jabotinsky, yesterday denounced the Nazis as “murderers”, are also expected.
Following a touching tribute to Dr. Chaim Arlosoroff, former head of the political department of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, who was assassinated last June, Dr. Brodetzky in his report launched into a detailed criticism of British policy in Palestine.
Continuing on the theme of a Jewish national homeland, Dr. Brodetzky asked of what uses are all the sacrifices of Zionists if the ideal of a door to Palestine open to the Jews is not realized.
“Why have the chalutzim (pioneers) labored in Palestine?” he asked. “Why have we fought through every crisis in order to maintain our rights? There is room in Palestine during the next ten years for millions of Jews. The more Jews that enter Palestine, the greater the absorptive capacity becomes, for the Jews bring to Palestine their energy as well as their poor savings. The much advertised Palestine prosperity is not a miracle but a reflection of Jewish faith in the work for the land.
THE HOME OF A NATION
“When the greatest need in Jewish history has arisen, and tens of thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands of Jews, need to escape, the recognition of this by the Mandatory power is the reply to this query and the challenge to Palestine and the Jewish national home made by the German Jews.
“This congress must declare frankly,” Dr. Brodetzy warned, “that we look to Palestine as the land of the future Jewish nation. This congress must once and for all settle the problem of unity of Zionist efforts.
This, he continued, “does not mean to make all Zionists think alike but it can meanâ€”which is moreâ€”that all Zionists can act alike. It is not an Inquisition but discipline for which I ask.”
Dealing with the legislative council proposed for Palestine, Dr. Brodetzky said: “the Executive views with concern the question of constitutional change because this may stamp the Jews as a minority and give Jews a legalized position as a minority in a country to which the question whether the Jews are a minority or majority must not apply.”
FREEDOM AND FRIENDLINESS
Discussing the Arab question, Dr. Brodetzky said, “we desire freedom of entry into Palestine for ourselves, combined with every facility and advantage for the Arabs. We want to live in freedom and friendliness with the Transjordan Arabs and other neighboring territories where our enterprise and energy can lead to mutual benefit.
“We have much to offer the Arabs, in the widest sense, for the national rebuilding which we enjoy in Palestine,” he continued. “We look back a thousand years and see how we can live at peace and dignity with the members of the great Arab race.
“The congress,” he declared, “must decide upon a course of political action which will make the nations of the world learn the truth about the situation of the Jewish people and about Palestine as the salvation of the Jewish people. Above all,” he stated, “Great Britain must learn this.
CONSCIENCE OF MANKIND
“We must plead with the other great nations and appeal to the League of Nations which represents the concentration of the conscience of humanity.”
Dr. Brodetzky went into detail on a number of questions connected with the Jewish movement into Palestine. Referring to Government expenditures in behalf of the population he declared: “We demanded that the Government’s agricultural activities be made on the principle of parity between Jews and Arabs, but now we are informed by the Government that the principle of equality cannot be expected.
“When we argue that the Jews contribute at least fifty percent of Palestine’s revenue and that this should be taken into consideration in connection with Palestine expenditures, we are faced with the reply that contributions to revenue are irrelevant to considerations of public expenditure.
“Unfortunately,” he declared, “the Government policy is not based on consideration of the needs of all sections of the population as is obvious in the case of education and health. The Government will do an injustice to the Jews if the 750,000 pounds remaining from the Palestine loan will not be devoted to the benefit of the Jews in equal proportion to the Jewish share in paying for the Government loan.
PURCHASE RESTRICTION HIT
“Our concern is very great regarding the proposed restrictions of land purchase,” Dr. Brodetzky said in reviewing one of the most important aspects of Jewish work in Palestine. “Such restrictions are entirely unjustified.”
Speaking of immigration, Dr. Brodetzky described the present High Commissioner of Palestine, Sir Arthur Grenfell Wauchope, as “more liberal than his predecessor. But in spite of increased schedules and considerable immigration into Palestine during the last two years, it is nevertheless a fact,” he said, “that this immigration does not represent even that restricted formula on which the Government bases its immigration policy, namely the country’s absorptive capacity.
“On every occasion, the labor schedule for certificates has been cut down by the Government in a manner contrary to the facts regarding economic capacity,” he asserted.
“I am not referring to the German situation,” he declared, “but even if there had not been this particular need for Jewish escape from persecution, there still would not have been justification to cut down the Jewish schedule to forty, fifty and sixty percent.
“Regarding labor and small capital,” he declared, “the Government policy needs a thorough revision.” Speaking of public employment, he stated that employment of Jewish laborers on public works has made some progress but “the Government decision cannot be said to meet the obvious injustice of the case, while, in general, the Jewish share of civil service and defense will need to be examined with great care and be pursued with energy.”
ORGANIZATION UNIFORMS BARRED
Organization uniforms were barred from the Congress meeting hall by a decision of the Actions Committee this afternoon. This decision was necessitated by the presence at the congress of large numbers of members of the Brith Trumpeldor (Revisionist youth organization) and the consequent fear that the uniforms would provoke friction between Revisionists and Laborites.
The start of this afternoon’s sessionâ€”the third of the present congressâ€”was delayed as the party leaders considered the vexing problem of the Congress presidium. With no compromise of the Laborite demand for the exclusion of Revisionists from the presiding posts, thus far accepted, it appeared likely that the matter would have to be brought up before the full Congress session for public discussion and voting. It had been the desire of the leaders that this be avoided in the interest of harmony.
MORE SHEKOLIM SOLD
At the afternoon session, Dr. Michal Ringel of the Congress court announced that 305 delegates had been elected to the congress, eleven more from the world list and one traditional mandate for Russia, which, with Germany, is unrepre-