NEW YORK (Jun. 27)
With the words of Dr. Stephen S. Wise: ” We will not forsake thee, O Jerusalem:” ringing in their ears, the 1,000 delegates to the 40th annual convention of the Zionist Organization of America took action today against threats to the Jewish National Home in Palestine.
Fearing that the as yet unpublished report of the Royal Commission on Palestine recommends that the country be divided between the Jews and Arabs, they unanimously adopted a resolution opposing partition, cantonization ” or any other restriction upon the pace of the upbuilding of the country.”
They addressed another resolution to the United States Government, recalling this country’s important role in establishing Palestine as a Jewish homeland under British mandate, and urging that it “use its good offices for the purpose of safeguarding the rights of the Jewish people and the integrity of the Jewish National Home as provided for in the mandate.”
In his keynote address which opened the public sessions of the convention at the Hotel Roosevelt, Dr. Wise declared that while “physically we Jews would not and could not resist the force of an empire,
morally and spiritually we American Zionists declare we will never, never, never give assent to the partition of Palestine.”
“A partitioned, divided, truncated Palestine,” Dr. Wise said, “would no more be Palestine than England would be England without Scotland and Wales, without Essex, Yorkshire and Northumberland.”
Calling for a “return to the principles of Dr. The odor Herzl and Lord Balfour”, Dr. Wise rebuked those Jews, particularly some who reside in Palestine, “who are more avid for the name of a Jewish State than for the reality of a Jewish National Home.” He warned that Jewish elements in Palestine favoring partition will not have “the last word.”
“Once and for all let it be made clear,” Dr. Wise said, “that Zionism is not meant for an assurance of security to a handful–and 425,000 is a handful–of Jews in Palestine. The Land of Israel belongs not only to the Jews dwelling there, but to the whole Jewish population throughout the world.”
Dr. Wise complained that world Zionist officials had not consulted or given sufficient weight to the advice of American Zionist leaders when proposals for partition first appeared, and declared that the Americans should have insisted on a more extended hearing before the Royal Commission.
“American Zionists are not willing to be simply the chief fund-raising source,” he said. He suggested that the American Zionist movement was mature enough to act independently.
He also assailed factions in American Zionism, particularly the Poale Zionists, for precipitating a contested election for delegates to the World Zionist Congress, instead of agreeing to apportion the delegates among parties without voting, as was done in England and elsewhere as a “united front” device.
Another resolution adopted by the convention called on American Jewry to give greater support to the United Palestine Appeal, fundraising organ of the Zionist movement.
The four debates of organized Zionist effort in this country were reviewed by Louis Lipsky, American member of the World Zionist Executive, and other speakers at a symposium tonight on the history of Zionism in America.
A petition addressed to the British Royal Commission on Palestine was made public as the convention opened, reminding the British Government that the American Government had played a considerable part in arranging Britain’s League of Nations mandate for Palestine, that American Presidents, Congress and the people had shown great interest in it, and that American Jews had put $81,000,000 into the country since 1918 in contributions and investments.
The petition, in the form of a memorandum and a letter addressed to Earl Pesl, chairman of the Royal Commission, was signed by the heads of seven leading American agencies for the building up of Palestine.
The memorandum called on Britain to fulfill “fully and fairly” her obligations under the Mandate, described as now “in jeopardy.”
The memorandum was made public by Dr. Wise at a preliminary meeting last night of the administrative committee. This had been scheduled as a closed executive conference, but so many delegates pushed their way into the meeting room that it was declared an open session.
This morning a group of 100 delegates visited the Statue of Liberty. They placed a wreath under the bronze tablet inscribed with the verses hailing the statue, written by Emma Lazarus, Jewish poetess and a pioneer Zionist.