Prague (Aug. 24)
In an interview over the long-distance telephone from Zurich last night, Dr. Chaim Weizmann, former president of the World Zionist Organization, declined to confirm reports that he would not attend the Congress because the Revisionist Party had not been expelled from the Zionist Organization.
“I neither confirm nor deny the report, nor should I be kept responsible for any rumor,” Dr. Weizmann told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
Asked whether he would eventually appear at the Congress, Dr. Weizmann stated that he had related his views quite clearly to the Zionist executive and had no intention of changing his mind.
Meanwhile, the Revisionist faction, at a conference tonight following the formation of a Congress presidium without Revisionist representation, decided not to bolt the Congress, but to remain.
The Revisionists came in for another heavy attack at the hands of the Laborites in the late session tonight when Berl Locker, American Laborite and member of the Jewish Agency executive, speaking on “Zionism and Its Problems”, demanded that wide powers be given to the Zionist executive permitting it to maintain discipline and regulate the various Zionist organizations.
Although he did not specifically name the Revisionists, the Congress knew to whom he referred when he pointed out that it was impossible to be part of the organization and at the same time conduct outside activities against the organization’s executive body.
“None can sit on the Actions Committee and on the executive and read all our secret documents and utilize them later for conducting a foreign policy against ours,” he warned.
Strict maintenance of discipline and the primacy of the Zionist organization was postulated by him as the first necessary corrective measure. Secondly, he demanded, there must be a discontinuance of “double-dealing tactics” regarding the Keren Kayemeth (Jewish National Fund) and the Keren Hayesod (Palestine Foundation Fund), the chief fund-raising sources for Palestinian development, and an end to “paying them mouth service while actually carrying on propaganda against them.” His third postulate was the “clearing of the atmosphere of Zionism.”
Emphasizing the tremendous increase of Palestine sentiment among the Jewish masses as the ideological victory of Zionism over communism and assimilationism, Locker said, “this Congress, the electorate of which, numbering over 530,000, is of unprecedented mass character, can truly claim for itself the title of ‘world Jewish congress’.”