Lucerne (Aug. 25)
Criticizing and at the same time defending the so-called transfer agreement with Germany, whereby German Jewish emigrants are permitted to take a part of their capital in the form of German goods to Palestine, Schlom# Kaplansky, Laborite theoretician and member of the Congress praesidium, today delivered one of the most interesting speeches yet heard at the Nineteenth Zionist Congress.
Kaplansky presented startling figures concerning the results of the transfer agreement. He pointed out that while it was most helpful in saving part of the capital of Jews forced to quit Germany, it also encouraged other dealings with the Nazi Reich outside of the transfer agreement.
Quoting official figures, he showed that Palestine imported German goods to the value of thirteen million marks in the last eighteen months. German goods sold in Palestine in 1934 outside of the transfer agreement amounted to three million dollars, he asserted, disclosing that two-thirds of all German goods sold in Palestine did not come through the transfer agreement. However the transfer agreement accounted for almost two-thirds of all German exports to Palestine, he said.
Nevertheless, Mr. Kaplansky declared in favor of a modified transfer agreement. “We are in favor of a transfer agreement,” he stated, “but only for the purpose of transferring the capital of those German Jews who are actually migrating to Palestine”.
He also regretted that certain Jewish organizations are utilizing the transfer agreement for their own-purposes.
Discussing the possibilities of a bi-national state in Palestine, Mr. Kaplansky declared that while Zionism is certainly not aiming for the establishment of a bi-national state in Palestine, the fact remains that normal relations between all peoples living in Palestine can be established on similar lines as in Switzerland.
He also emphasized Labor’s opposition to the legislative council and suggested that the Jews take the initiative to negotiate an understanding with the Arabs. Whatever agreement will be reached between them, he cautioned, must have an international guarantee in order to make sure that it will be observed.
Other speakers in the general debate tonight were Jacob Fishman, editor of the Jewish Morning Journal of New York, M. Glickson, editor of Haaretz in Palestine, Meyer Brenner of Rumania and M. Bialapolsky of Poland.
The Congress sessions were adjourned tonight until tomorrow, Monday evening in order to give the various factions the whole day tomorrow for intra-factional deliberations.