Prague, Czechoslovakia (Sep. 5)
The American Government and the American people will be asked to cooperate with the League of Nations and the other nations of the world in providing international assistance to the Jews in building a national home in Palestine. This course of action was adopted by the Eighteenth World Zionist Congress yesterday as it concluded its sessions which had started August 21.
Resolutions directing an appeal to the League of Nations for assistance in obtaining an international loan for Palestine work and settlement of German Jews in Palestine, and a demand to Great Britain, the mandatory power, for relaxation and drastic revision of regulations governing the entrance of immigrants to Palestine, were also adopted.
Nahum Sokolow, 72-year-old president of the World Zionist Organization, was re-elected to serve in that office for the next two years. An executive body composed of five General Zionists, four Laborites and one Radical Zionist was named by the congress. The General Zionist faction opposed to the return to power of Dr. Chaim Weizmann, former president of the organization, who declined to accept reelection, was not given representation on the executive nor were the Mizrachi, the orthodox Zionists, and the Revisionists, the extreme right-wing Zionists. The General Zionist bloc included half of the American delegation to the congress, and had Rabbi Stephen S. Wise and Robert Szold of New York among its members. The vote on the executive was 172 to 11, with the Revisionists and some others not voting.
WEIZMANN ON GERMAN BODY
Dr. Weizmann was elected to head a special commission to conduct and coordinate a world campaign for the colonization in Palestine of the Jews of Germany.
The Zionist executive for the next two years will be composed of Dr. Sokolow, Professor Selig Brodetzky, of Leeds, England, and Victor Jacobson, Zionist observer at Geneva, General Zionists, and Berl Locker, of New York, Laborite, at London, and David Ben-Gurion, Elieser Kaplan, and Moshe Shertok, Laborites; Dr. Arthur Ruppin, General Zionist, and Deputy Isaac Gruenbaum, Radical Zionist, at Jerusalem. Louis Lipsky, of New York, was named member-at-large. The members of the executive will assign the portfolios among themselves.
The new Actions Committee and the Zionist members of the Jewish Agency were also elected this morning.
Announcement of Dr. Weizmann’s election as head of the German drive, was received with a burst of applause, especially from the Labor benches, where Dr. Weizmann’s support throughout has been strongest.
The elections were marked by bitter opposition when a strong minority composed of the Mizrachi, the Revisionists and the Jewish State party, a Revisionist faction, made strong declarations from the platform announcing, in advance, their non-confidence in the proposed new administration.
The Mizrachi representatives were particularly aroused by failure of the congress to accept its religious demands and fought for over an hour to get some action on them. They concluded their struggle with a warning to the congress that they would not participate in the work of the organization unless, their demands were accepted. They were voted down by 127-53.
FIGHT ON AGREEMENTS
The Jewish State party, whose leader, Meer Grossman, has led the fight in the congress on the agreement negotiated with Germany for the export of Jewish capital from the Reich in the form of German goods to be shipped to Palestine, provoked a crisis in the congress with its resolution demanding that no one affiliated with the Zionist Organization negotiate or have anything to do with Germany until the Government permits the German Jews unconditionally to leave the country with all their possessions and capital.
The resolution provoked a sharp anti-German debate. Discussion of the German situation on the congress floor had previously been barred and statements on it this morning were overruled by the chair with the declaration that the Zionist organization is primarily interested in saving the German Jews and settling them in Palestine.
In connection with the discussion of the German agreement, Dr. Leo Motzkin, president of the congress read a letter from Georg Halperin, a director of the Anglo-Palestine Bank, denying statements by the head of the Nazi agrarian trade organization, that Halperin had negotiated the agreement providing for opening of Palestine markets to German goods in exchange for preferential treatment in the German markets for Palestine oranges.
The letter emphasized that Halperin had never directly or indirectly negotiated with the German Government.
HERZL REMAINS TO PALESTINE
Earlier in the session the congress directed that the remains of Dr. Theodor Herzl, founder of the Zionist movement, be transferred from Vienna to Palestine in accordance with Herzl’s request. The congress instructed its executive body to see that this is done before July 3, the thirtieth anniversary of Herzl’s death. A special committee, composed of Jacob de Haas of New York, friend and biographer of Herzl; Adolf Boehm, Johan Kremenetzki, Michael Ringel, Dr. Werner Senator, Dr. Leo Motzkin and M. M. Ussishkin was named to supervise the carrying out of the congress decision.
Urgency of action, it was understood, was insisted out of fear that political changes in Austria might make the transfer altogether impossible.
Just before final adjournment of the congress, one of the delegates unexpectedly introduced a motion demanding official recognition of the blue and white flag as the Zionist emblem and of “Hatikvah” as the Zionist anthem. It was carried with many delegates abstaining from voting in the feeling that the resolution was unnecessary since custom had already made these official.
Dr. Sokolow, in concluding the session, hoped for extensive activities in Palestine and vigorous work in the national upbuilding. The congress was then officially adjourned by Dr. Motzkin, its president.
“Considering the specific interest the United States has taken in the position of the Jewish people,” stated the resolution of appeal to America, “and in the progress of the Jewish national home, and considering the existing agreement between the United States and the Mandatory Power concerning Palestine, the congress appeals to the American Government and the American people to help in the realization of this action.
Charging that the present immigration restrictions are contradictory to the terms of the mandate and permanently limit Jewish immigration at a time when it is most acutely felt, the resolution demands sweeping changes in the regulations opening Palestine’s doors to a greater number of Jews.
“The congress proclaims the present immigration regulations contradictory to the mandate which obliges the Mandatory Power, in accordance with Article 6 of the mandate to facilitate the entrance of Jews,” the resolution states. “Furthermore, the regulations are not in accordance with the absorptive capacity of the country on which the immigration regulations are supposed to be based. These regulations merely serve as the instrument for limiting Jewish immigration.
“Secondly, the congress protests against a system which permanently limits Jewish immigration which is particularly and acutely felt at the present time when Jewish masses find themselves in a political and economic crisis in which German Jews are being ruined while Palestine possesses possibilities of capital and work created by the Jews themselves, for absorbing larger numbers of Jews to increase the tempo of the national upbuilding.”
DEMAND RELAXING OF BARS
The congress resolution instructed the Zionist executive to demand that, in accordance with the mandate terms, it be entrusted with immigration. It demands that the present restrictions be relaxed and that the quota of labor immigration certificates be fixed in accordance with the actual needs.
The resolution calls for the abolition of restrictions on admission of laborers under thirty-five years of age, on the admission of women, reduction of the 1,000 pounds qualification for admission in the “capitalist” classification to 500 pounds, elimination of much of the routine in making certificates available and abolition of the practice of deportation.
The debate over immigration was protracted and stormy as a result of the defeat of a minority resolution protesting preference given supporters of the Zionist Laborites in issuing certificates and demanding that preference be not extended them. The resolutions were carried, however, by the decisive vote of 146 to 78, over the opposition of the Mizrachi, orthodox Zionists, and the Revisionists, the extreme right-wingers.
Emphasizing the right of Palestine Jews to obtain subventions from the Government for health and education, the congress stated in a resolution that “while taking note of the increased subventions, the congress finds them insufficient in comparison with Jewish contributions to the Government revenue.”
The congress voted unanimously to proclaim a campaign to establish a colony in Palestine named after Dr. Chaim Arlosoroff, former head of the Jewish Agency political department and a leader in the Zionist labor movement, who was assassinated in Tel Aviv last June.
An ultimatum was served on the non-Zionist members of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, that unless