Fishman Scores Revisionists, Urges Labor Movement Backing
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Fishman Scores Revisionists, Urges Labor Movement Backing

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sive military gestures, as well as vicious strikebreaking.

“The party mainly involved in this factional struggle,” he maintained, “is the Revisionist Union, for whose growth there was no justification either in the internal conditions of the movement or in the philosophy of those who formed the new party.

“There was not even the pretense of a new creed when their party was founded. It was merely the expression of ordinay opposition to persons or methods of the administration in power.

“The raison d’etre of the Revisionists’ program was an insistence that the Zionist administration in power was not bringing sufficient pressure to bear upon the mandatory government, but that was hardly sufficient excuse for the creation of a new party, for there were adequate facilities within the Zionist organism for an expression of purposes.

“In time, however, the Revisionists, seemingly influenced by the anti-social and dictatorial movements now holding sway over a large part of Europe, with the avowed object of destroying the last vestige of democracy, have built themselves a program which may be reduced to two elementary points: An uncompromising opposition to labor in Palestine and a championship of militarism.

“It is on these two points, unswayed by sentimental pretense in other directions, that the Zionists of America must judge the Revisionists. We would be untrue to the purpose of Zionism, as we would be doing violence to the spirit of Jewish tradition, if we would condone the growth of a movement that collects within itself all the corrupt and decayed fallacies of the Galuth that we pretend to disavow.

“Shall we who have survived by the spirit yield now to the sword by which almost every nation in the past has jeopardized its own destiny? The cloak of youthful impatience hides for many American Zionists the really sinister character of the Revisionist philosophy. We who live in this country have no conception of what Revisionism means in Eastern Europe and Palestine.

“We have among us those who call themselves Revisionists, but they have not to any notable extent adopted the methods of violence and brutality which prevail abroad, they are not the criterion by which we must judge the truth about the Revisionists.

“The details of their conduct are too foul to recount: Exploding bombs, assaulting Zionist leaders, wrecking Zionist headquarters, demolishing boxes of the Jewish National Fund, making aggressive military gestures.

“They have been a source of alarm and distress among right-thinking Jews in those lands. In Poland they have established new military formations, backing up various dictatorships, which imitate all the contemptible methods, and we are asked to consider these Revisionists a party in Zionism! Are they not rather a negation of everything for which Zionism has stood and of everything for which the Jewish people have lived ?

“The third group in this party triangle is the Laborites, representing the Histadruth in Palestine, which has grown out of the needs of the Chalutzim in Palestine and which is an instrument for the furtherance of the aims which brought the Chalutzim to Palestine, notwithstanding all statements to the contrary.”

“I maintain that the Histadruth is completely divorced from the political idiosyncracies of alien lands, being a true expression of the soil in Palestine itself.


“The war of Revisionists upon the Zionist movement has not been restricted to an espousal of ideas alien to the Jewish spirit. Vicious strikebreaking in Palestine, the creation of a new labor movement that has no other purpose than the destruction of the Histadruth, the conduct of separatistic political activities which undermine the position of the Zionist organization, the espousal of personal violence—all these are the contribution of Revisionists to the Zionist movement.

“We cannot stultify ourselves by merely calling for peace and harmony without discovering and pointing out the persistent offenders, those who would have no peace. We cannot repeat the naive error of last March when the Zionist Organization of America sent a cablegram to the Actions Committee meeting in Jerusalem, asking that body to make peace. The cablegram was not addressed to the proper source. Despite that, however, the Actions Committee did all in its power to meet the demands of the wings. In the interests of that harmony every possible concession was made to the Mizrachi, and pledges were given by the Laborites that there would continue to be complete abstention from any attempt to impose political views.

“The Mizrachi and the Revisionists have jointly created an impasse for the Zionist movement. Aside from their irreconcilability they are not merely individual parties but they have formed a bloc which endangers the stability of the organization and which virtually paralyzed the last two Zionist congresses.

“Both refuse to subordinate themselves to majority rule. The Mizrachi say they cannot compromise with religion. However, that religion is used as a political lever. The Revisionists cannot yield to the majority in principle because they believe in dictatorship and want all power for Der Fuehrer, disavowing democracy completely.

“In the case of the Mizrachi the Zionist organization is given passive non-cooperation. In the case of the Revisionists, there is actual warfare and sabotage against every single act of the Zionist Executive, the organization of which we in America are an integral and very important part.

“We cannot withhold a choice any longer: Either we are for the Zionism that was preached by Herzl or for the uncontrolled hooliganism of the Diaspora.”

Greetings were sent in by Dr. Chaim Weizmann. Governor Moore of New Jersey welcomed the delegates. He received a warm ovation.

Dr. S. Margoshes, editor of The Day, criticized the Zionist Organization for losing sight of the Jews in exile in its preoccupation with Palestine. “Whatever the reason,” he said, “whether it be the paucity of our forces which renders it difficult for us to fight on two fronts, whether it be our mistaken ideology as to the helplessness of the ‘Goluth,’ the fact remains that American Zionists, as an organized body, have rarely provided the stimulus for the integration and intensification of Jewish life in America and have contributed less to the solution of its manifold problems.”

Pointing out that differences among the Zionists are a sign of healthy interest, Rabbi Edward L. Israel said that differences may go too far, and pleaded for compromise among the Zionist factions.

“It is quite understandable,” he said, “that the varying experiences of hundreds and hundreds of years of the diaspora should have stamped us with contradictory outlooks. It is a mark of vitality in Israel. In death everyone is the same. It is only when there is life that we find vigorous differences of opinion.

“Yet we must have before us the grim reminder of the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans when the bitter animosity of the parties in Israel accelerated our doom and became the greatest source of strength of our enemies.

“There must be compromise. The only real traitor to Zion is not the man who differs, but the man who would kill the realization of the dream of the Jewish people—sabotage Eretz Yisroel—rather than come to an understanding where the safety of Eretz Yisroel is at stake.”

Expressing his sympathy with the Zionist Labor position, Rabbi Israel flayed the Laborites for “intemperate expressions in connection with the Arlosoroff murder.”

Jacob DeHaas upheld a view directly contrary to that expressed by Dr. Margoshes by advocating a policy of concentration on Zionism aims and keeping out of Jewish communal life.

“The Zionists,” he declared, “can do little or nothing about communal problems, and if they could they would not be permitted to trespass on other people’s preserves. The Zionist Organization is not equipped to do this sort of thing, and in sober truth I do not believe that the Zionists are interested in this sort of thing.

“We have lost prestige because we do not lead in our own movement. Our leaders march steadily ten paces behind our followers.

“I urged the holding of a discussion convention—not a speech making convention, because I believe that the Zionist Organization still has a function to perform in connection with the remarkable development of Palestine, and I still urge a conference in which there will be no mechanical committees, a gathering not guided by newspaper exigencies, but an attempt by a heart to heart talk to discover what we are really thinking about, what we really mean, and how we can help solve the great problem which is the concern of Jewish life everywhere.”


Matters of administration, education, propaganda, supply of speakers were discussed in reports on “Zionist Organization of America,” submitted by Morris Margulies, secretary; Louis P. Rocker, chairman, finance committee; Harry P. Fierst, treasurer, and Dr. S. Bernstein, Palestine department.

Imperative need of unified effort of all American Jewish forces to meet the “tragic Jewish situation in Germany has been recognized,” Louis Lipsky, chairman, said in reporting on the American Palestine Campaign and United Jewish Appeal. He also reported at length on The Romance of a People, emphasizing its propaganda value from the Zionist point of view.

Israel S. Chipkin, chairman, reported on the Zionist Commission on Education and Youth Organization. He urged the organization of the commission so as to reduce the size of committees, and said that it was decided to enlarge it as a whole by establishing a Zionist Forum for the discussion of theoretic aspects of Zionism.


Danger of overemphasis on urban as against agricultural settlement, unless present trends of development in Palestine are checked, were stressed by Dr. Israel Goldstein, president of the Jewish National Fund of America. Immediate agricultural counter-balance was declared needed due to influx of immigrants and refugees to the cities.

Colonization accomplishments of the American Zion Commonwealth and its recent successful litigation with the Arabs were described by David Freiberger.

Better coordination of Hadassah’s work, improvement in numbers and funds was treated by Mrs. Moses P. Epstein, national secretary. Progress during the year, which marked Junior Hadassah’s thirteenth birthday, was reported by Celia B. Slohm, national secretary.

Order Sons of Zion insurance fund has passed the $325,000 mark and about $1,500 was distributed to needy members, Jacob F. Kaplan, maskir, declared. Loyalty to the Z. O. A. leadership was expressed. Abraham Goldberg, chairman, administrative committee, rendered a report on the year’s work in Histadruth Ivrith.

Activities, publications, platform and ideology and related subjects were under discussion in the report of Isaac Imber, president, on the work of the Masada, Youth Zionist Organization of America.

Mrs. A. H. Vixman, executive director, Young Judaea, told of the Palestine Scout Fund project, educational activities, internal organization, the Young Judaean Magazine and relations with other groups.


“The past year was one filled with new hope for Avukah,” declared Samuel Duker, acting executive secretary, “thanks to the partial solution of the financial problem confronting the student Zionist movement.” As in the past years the Avukah Summer School is the highlight of the year.

Mrs. Edward Jacobs and Dr. Nathan Ratnoff spoke on the Hebrew University. The Hechalutz Organization of America was heard from, as well as reports of convention standing committees.

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