Prague (Aug. 29)
Dr. Stephen S. Wise of New York, addressing today’s session of the Eighteenth World Zionist Congress, launched a sharp attack on Dr. Chaim Weizmann, former president of the World Zionist Organization, and on the policies of the Zionist Laborite party. Shouts and exclamations from the Laborite section frequently interrupted Dr. Wise as he appealed to the congress to elect only such leaders to the organization’s administration as do not oppose the idea of a Jewish state in Palestine and support the demand for a Jewish majority on both sides of the Jordan River.
Dr. Weizmann, who, it was reported, would arrive here today from the resort where he has been resting for the last few days, has definitely declined to accept the presidency of the organization and will not visit the congress, it was reliably learned today. Although his election to the presidency seemed assured on the basis of his Laborite support and other Weizmann strength among the General Zionists, Dr. Weizmann yesterday declined the presidency although agreeing to head the campaign for funds to settle German Jews in Palestine.
In his speech before the congress this morning, Rabbi Wise declared himself bewildered by Dr. Weizmann’s criticism of constructive negotiations for the opening of Transjordania to Jewish settlement, especially as voiced by Dr. Weizmann in his speeches at the American Zionist convention in Chicago in July. The negotiations have been conducted by members of the Palestine Executive of the Jewish Agency with friendly Transjordan Arab leaders.
CALLS AGENCY DEAD
Referring to the Jewish Agency, Rabbi Wise declared that it was “dead.” He urged the congress to “deal wisely but firmly with this organization which has added little to and has taken much from the strength and integrity of the Zionist movement.”
Turning his guns on the Laborites, the American Zionist leader accused them of trying to translate Palestine into “Utopia.” He declared that they should not attempt to postpone settlement of Jews in Palestine “for the sake of this possible Utopia,” and should not seek to limit the admission into Palestine of those who are not associated with the ideals of the Laborite movement.
Speaking in behalf of the General Zionists (centrists), Dr. Wise urged a policy of arbitration in Palestine to bring to an end the Labor disputes which have been a principal cause of dissension in Zionist ranks and are the basis of the animosity existing between the Laborites and the Revisionists, the extreme right-wing Zionists.
“Palestine must not divide the Jews but unite them,” he declared. “The Zionist Organization,” he continued, “cannot permit or sanction a monopoly of the labor organizations nor monopolization of immigration certificates.”
EXECUTIVE COULD SAY “NO”
Rabbi Wise highly praised the Palestine executive for its activities during the past two years, and said it, “with dignity, replied ‘No’ to the Mandatory Power whenever this ‘No’ was to be said. “From the beginning,” he declared, “the executive bravely challenged, contested and sought to avoid the French Report.” (The report of Lewis French, director of development in the Palestine Administration, which declared that no state lands were available for Jewish settlement and asserted that Jewish colonization was responsible for the “displacement” of Arabs from the land.)
“Regarding the intolerable and unjust income tax proposals, the executive vigorously and convincingly said, ‘No.’ Regarding the legislative council, which amounts to abrogation or annulment of the Balfour Declaration, the executive had the courage to say, ‘No’,” he continued.
“We demand that the new executive should also say ‘no’ to the proposed land ordinance which we consider a very mean act of the Mandatory Power.” he stated.
PRAISE FOR MR. NEUMANN
Dr. Wise freely praised Emanuel Neumann, American member of the executive, and the late Dr. Chaim Arlosoroff, for their conduct of negotiations leading to the opening of the spacious Transjordan area to Jewish effort. He concluded his speech with criticism of Dr. Weizmann for his policy of parity between the Jews and Arabs in Palestine.
The three-million mark agreement made with Germany for export of Jewish capital from Germany to Palestine in the form of German goods, came up in the congress again today when Meer Grossman, head of the Jewish State Party, formerly the Democratic Revisionists, in an interpellation, asked why the Zionist Organization’s executive had not yet submitted its promised explanation of the agreement.
Grossman, in sessions last week, vigorously denounced the agreement as being a blow at the worldwide anti-Nazi boycott and announcement of the deal has provoked a storm of criticism everywhere.
Berl Locker, Laborite member of the executive, replied that at the Saturday evening session of the congress he had established that the negotiations leading to the agreement had not been carried on in the name of the Zionist executive nor with the executive body’s authorization. Further details, he said, would be reported to the political committee which will decide whether or not to bring them up before the full congress.
Grossman further asked whether the Anglo-Palestine Bank, named as the clearing agency in the agreement, is part of the Jewish Colonial Trust Company, and whether the executive exercises any control over it.
Grossman’s demand that the report to the political committee be made today so that it can be brought up before the congress tomorrow was approved by the congress.
The congress court, after a session lasting almost the entire night, voted a reprimand to M. Berchin, editor of the Revisionist magazine, Rassviet, which is published in Russian in Paris. The magazine was accused by the Histadruth, Zionist labor federation in Palestine, of stating that the Histadruth had given the police names of Revisionist workers illegally in Palestine, in order to have them deported.
The reported insistence of Dr. Chaim Weizmann, former president of the World Zionist Organization, that he be empowered to name the executive body of the organization and that the present structure of the Jewish Agency for Palestine be maintained, confronted the Eighteenth Zionist Congress last night as it gave thought to the question of leadership of the Zionist movement during the next two years.
Long distance telephone negotiations were conducted with Dr. Weizmann throughout the day, with the view of inducing him to accept the presidency of the organization. The Jewish Telegraphic Agency learned reliably that while declining the presidency, Dr. Weizmann declared his readiness to lead the campaign for funds to settle German Jews in Palestine.
Dr. Weizmann has not been present at the congress, but has been resting at Zermak, a resort several hours distant from here. A delegation composed of David Ben-Gurion and Dr. Josef Sprinzak, representing the Laborite Party, the largest faction in the congress, returned here last night after unsuccessfully nego-