Lucerne (Aug. 26)
Not for publication – for personal use only
The World Zionist Congress was deadlocked today after all-night negotiations between the Mizrachi (orthodox Zionist group) and the laborites failed to bring the two factions into agreement.
The Mizrachi, which has not participated in the Congress Praesidium and in the general debate, firmly refused to enter the new Zionist executive or actively take part in any of the Congress functions until definite assurances are given by the laborites that the Sabbath and dietary laws will be observed in those colonies supported by funds of the Keren Kayemeth (land purchasing body) and the Keren Hayesod (colonizing agency).
Without the Mizrachi no all-inclusive coalition executive can be established, since the firm attitude of the Mizrachi is inspiring the Jewish State party delegates and the General Zionists of the “B” or the right-wing group to greater demands than the laborites are ready to accept.
On the other hand it is felt that should the Mizrachi reach a compromise then the formation of a coalition executive will resolve itself into a simple formality. In such an event all factions of the Zionist movement will probably be represented on the executive. The Mizrachi, therefore, are conceded to be holding the key to the situation.
Dr. Chaim Weizmann, Congress president, who participated in the negotiations, was actively engaged throughout the day in attempting to bring about a rapprochement between the two factions. Although certain groups in the Mizrachi have been threatening to leave Lucerne if no settlement is reached by Wednesday, it is felt that a compromise will be effected within two days.
Meanwhile complications arose today in connection with Dr. Weizmann’s candidacy for the presidency of the World Zionist Organization. A number of his intimate friends, it was learned today, are trying to influence him not to accept the nomination for political and personal reasons.
M. M. Ussishkin, leader of the Jewish National Fund, and Morris Rothenberg, president of the Zionist Organization of America are expected to speak when the debate reopens.