PARIS (Feb. 24)
A world Jewish congress to combat Nazism and establish a united Jewish front will be held next August, it was decided today by a conference of the Executive Committee for the World Jewish Congress.
The United States and Palestine were exempted from a decision of the conference that democratic elections must be held for delegates to the congress. Palestine will be represented by its Jewish National Council.
The action was taken after the question of a rule on democratic elections had precipitated a heated debate during which Louis Lipsky, of New York, vice president of the American Jewish Congress, asserted that “American Jewry does not need lessons in democracy.”
The statement was protested by Dr. Henry Rosmarin of Poland and I. Schechtman of Paris, who declared that if democracy was eliminated it would mean the “burial of the Congress idea.”
Shalom Asch, Jewish writer, supported Lipsky, stating that democratic elections would only accentuate differences among the Jews.
The plan announced by a British delegation in the United States for expatriating 100,000 Jews from Germany was subjected to attacks today at the closing session of the conference. Mr. Lipsky and M.H. Davis, of London, characterized the plan as an example of “unorganized initiative.”
They promised the support of the United States and Great Britain for the congress.
An indication that direct negotiations would be held with the Soviet Government for regeneration of Russian Jews was given by Dr. Nahum Goldmann of Geneva, leader of the Committee of Jewish Delegations. Discussing the Jews in various countries, he declared that the congress would not interfere in internal policies and religious problems.
Mr. Asch stated in an address that “the Jews must fight for their rights; otherwise they will not deserve them.”
It was announced that a world-wide campaign for election of delegates to the congress would be launched next month. The Zionist Revisionists, a right wing group, declared they were withholding participation in the congress because the elections were not entirely democratic.
The Palestine question was added to the congress agenda. Other questions to be taken up are:
1) Creation of a permanent Jewish representative body.
2) The struggle for Jewish economic and political equality.
3) The problem of the German Jews.
4) The fight against anti-Semitism.
5) Economic reconstruction among the Jews.
6) Democratization of Jewish philanthropic institutions.
7) Emigration of Jews from certain countries.
8) Creation of a world-wide central Jewish fund.
The session was opened by Dr. Goldmann, who reported extensively on the situation of the Jews throughout the world, stressing the plight of the Jews in Germany and Poland.