Zionist Congress Declared Irresolute, Its ‘decisions’ Flabby and Vacillating

“The Eighteenth Zionist Congress is, in my opinion, a failure,” said Michael Haskell, honorary commissioner of the Union of South Africa in Palestine, and prominent General Zionist leader. “The Jewish people, faced with the greatest catastrophe that has ever threatened their existence and their status, looked to the Zionist Congress for guidance and for that intelligent statesmanship and concentrated effort which is today so desperately needed. In both these directions the congress is bound to create disappointment. The resolution adopted with regard to Germany was marked by a spirit of meekness and determination, and, instead of inspiring the Jewish people and instilling in them courage and hope, the congress adopted a policy of lying low, thus creating a deplorable impression on world public opinion. The Nazi press condemned the resolution no less ferociously than they would have done had a strong resolution been adopted. Not only Rosenberg and Goebbels, but even Hitler, for the first time since his assumption of the chancellorship, came out with an unheard of attack against the Jews. German Jewry, who, during the last few weeks had already taken a calmer view of the situation, are once more trembling in fear of a pogrom. Lack of determination and pride will never win for the Jewish people mercy or peace. It will be merely construed as the cringing fear of a cowardly people.

“It is most unfortunate,” he declared, “that the congress has not spoken out against the report of that miserable deal of exporting oranges to Germany in return for double the value of German goods, and of importing three million marks worth of goods from Germany. At a time when we expect every decent man and woman to boycott German goods, the congress, by not expressing condemnation of the deal, and keeping silence on the transaction, has created a most unsavory impression.

“The congress has also signally failed in its second task of creating a united front. The executive which has been elected is even less representative than the previous one. It does not represent more than 60 percent of the congress. In Johannes burg, I had already predicted that the Labor Party did not really desire coalition, and I am sorry I have proved to have been right. The congress has not shown that degree of responsibility which this tragic moment demands from the only parliamentary institution the Jewish people possess. Party strife and party interests have won the day. It is the most tragic aspect of the present situation that even the German emergency did not rouse in us that unity, that desire for peace and collaboration of all groups wrich alone could have given us moral strength to conduct effectively the fight which has been forced upon us.”

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