Late last night, amid tumultuous scenes during which delegates of the Jewish State Party shouting “Hitler Agents buy German goods!” demonstratively left the hall, the Congress adopted a resolution favoring the continuance of the Palestine-German barter agreement. The Congress decision, however, removes control of the transfer from the Haavara, special trustee office created for the execution of the pact, and lodges supreme control with the World Zionist Executive.
The resolution was adopted by a vote of 169 to 12. Seventeen refrained from voting. The entire Mizrachi delegation of 65 absented itself from the hall when the resolution was reported. The resolution had the support of the Laborites and Group A General Zionists. The Jewish State Party and Group B General Zionists, right-wing groups, opposed it.
The resolution, read by Rabbi Abba Hillel Silver of Cleveland, rapporteur for the special committee on the transfer agreement, follows:
“In order to encourage the continued immigration into Palestine of Jews from Germany, the incoming Executive is instructed to take over control of the work of Haavara.”
A minority resolution demanding complete abrogation of the agreement with Germany was introduced by the Jewish State Party, but was defeated. As soon as the vote was announced, the Jewish State Party delegate marched out of the hall in protest.
Rabbi Silver informed the Congress that the committee had adopted a series of resolutions in connection with the barter pact which were not publishable, but which guaranteed that the transfer be limited only to transactions involving the capital of German-Jewish immigrants and that no goods imported from Germany through the transfer agreement can be sold in countries neighboring Palestine, he said.
Meier Grossman, leader of the Jewish State Party, speaking for his faction and Group “B” General Zionists, declared if the Congress decided to continue the agreement “the Zionist Executive will actually be converted into an agency for German industry.”
Dr. Schmorak of Poland, speaking for Group “B” General Zionists, charged that it would be impossible to continue the anti-Nazi
boycott in Poland which is being conducted at a great loss to the Jews, “if the Zionist Executive agrees to act as official agents for Germany.”
Mrs. Goldie Meyerson, Palestine woman labor leader, defended the resolution. “The boycott against Hitler,” she said, “should not be converted into a boycott against the Jews in Germany.” She emphasized that German Jews must be saved and must be enabled to go to Palestine. Under the control of the Zionist Executive, she said, no unscrupulous parties would be able to take advantage of the barter pact for personal gain.