Ussishkin, Weizmann in Clash As Zionist Congress Votes on Partition

A STIRRING LAST-DITCH DEBATE ON THE FLOOR OF THE WORLD ZIONIST CONGRESS, INVOLVING TWO OUTSTANDING LEADERS OF THE ZIONIST MOVEMENT, TONIGHT PRECEDED A VOTE ON AUTHORIZING THE EXECUTIVE TO NEGOTIATE WITH GREAT BRITAIN ON ESTABLISHMENT OF A JEWISH STATE THROUGH THE PARTITION OF PALESTINE.

THE FIGHT AGAINST ACCEPTANCE OF THE PARTITION PRINCIPLE WAS LED BY MENACHEM MENDEL USSISHKIN, 74-YEAR-OLD ZIONIST VETERAN, AND VIGOROUS REPLY WAS MADE BY DR. CHAIM WEIZMANN, PRESIDENT OF THE ZIONIST ORGANIZATION. DR. STEPHEN S. WISE OF NEW YORK PRESIDENT AT TONIGHT’ SESSION.

AS THE CONGRESS CONVENED IN ITS FIRST OPEN PLENARY SESSION SINCE THURSDAY, PREPARED TO TAKE A RECORD VOTE ON THE ISSUE OF PARTITION BEFORE IT ADJOURNED, MR. USSISHKIN DRAMATICALLY WARNED THE DELEGATES THAT ACCEPTANCE OF EVEN THE PRINCIPLE WOULD BRING “GREAT MISFORTUNE.”

SOLEMNLY TURNING TO DR. CHAIM WEIZMANN, PRESIDENT OF THE WORLD ZIONIST ORGANIZATION AND LEADING PROPONENT OF ACCEPTANCE OF PARTITION IN PRINCIPLE, THE VETERAN ZIONIST CHARGED THAT FOR THE PAST TWENTY YEARS HE, AND RECENTLY HIS COLLEAGUES, DAVID BEN-GURION AND MOSHE SHERTOK, HAD SUPPRESSED CRITICISM OF THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT AND HAD CONCEALED ITS UNFRIENDLINESS TO THE JEWISH WORK IN PALESTINE.

STRONG HINT OF A BREACH IN THE ZIONIST RANKS WAS CONTAINED IN MR. USSISHKIN’S WORDS HE SCORNFULLY DECLARED HE HAD NO CONFIDENCE IN A JEWISH STATE SUCH AS PROPOSED BY THE ROYAL COMMISSION ON PALESTINE IN ITS REPORT OF JULY 8. “BY VOTING FOR PARTITION,” HE ASSERTED, “THE CONGRESS IS ALSO VOTING IN FAVOR OF SPLITTING OUR UNITED ZIONIST LIFE.”

POINTING OUT THAT ONLY ONE-FIFTH OF THE FIVE MILLION DUNAMS (ABOUT ONE MILLION ACRES IN THE PROPOSED JEWISH TERRITORY BELONGED TO JEWS, HE WARNED THAT THE ARABS WOULD NOT VOLUNTARILY SELL THEIR LAND TO THE JEWS.

“THREE HUNDRED THOUSAND ARABS (THE ROYAL COMMISSION ESTIMATE IS 225,000) WILL REMAIN IN OUR PROPOSED JEWISH STATE AND BE OUR MISFORTUNE,” HE DECLARED. “WE WILL HAVE TO BUILD SCHOOLS FOR THEIR CHILDREN. BECAUSE THEY WILL BE CITIZENS IN OUR STATE WE WILL HAVE TO PAY GOOD JEWISH MONEY FOR THEIR WELFARE.”

THE SPEAKER, WHO MADE A PROFOUND IMPRESSION UPON HIS HEARERS, EMPHASIZED THAT THERE WAS NO ECONOMIC BASIS FOR THE PROPOSED STATE AND SAID HE WAS UNABLE TO SEE “HOW THIS CHILD CALLED A JEWISH STATE COULD SUPPORT ITSELF AND COVER ITS STATE BUDGET.”

HE ADDED THE WARNING THAT THE ARABS WOULD UNDERMINE THE LIVING STANDARD OF THE JEWISH WORKERS.

CONCLUDING HIS SPEECH, MR. USSISHKIN DEMANDED THAT THE VOTE ON A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE INCOMING EXECUTIVE TO NEGOTIATE ON PARTITION WITH GREAT BRITAIN, SUBJECT TO A NEW CONGRESS’ APPROVAL, BE TAKEN BY ROLL CALL.

‘MAKE BEST OF WHAT’S OFFERED,’ WEIZMANN URGES

DR. WEIZMANN, IN REPLY, SAID “THE THING FOR US TO DO IS TO MAKE THE BEST OF WHAT WE ARE OFFERED.”

DECLARING MR. USSISHKIN WAS CERTAINLY HONEST IN HIS OPPOSITION, DR. WEIZMANN HELD THE 74-YEAR-OLD ZIONIST VETERAN UNQUALIFIED TO SPEAK ON THE POLITICAL SIDE OF THE QUESTION.

DR. WEIZMANN ACCUSED AMERICAN JEWRY OF NEGLECTING GREAT OPPORTUNITIES OFFERED THE JEW IN PALESTINE IN 1924 WHEN, HE SAID, THE AMERICAN ZIONISTS CONSIDERED A BUDGET OF £4,000,000 (ABOUT $20,000,000) FANTASTIC AND CONTRIBUTED ONLY £84,000 (ABOUT $420,000). TRUE, THE ZIONIST CHIEF SAID, THE AMERICAN JEWS GAVE £1,000,000 IN 1925, BUT THE RIGHT MOMENT HAD PASSED.

IT IS OF NO USE TO ACCUSE ENGLAND OF BETRAYING THE JEWS, DR. WEIZMANN ASSERTED, SINCE ENGLAND, FACING HUNDREDS OF PROBLEMS, CANNOT BE EXPECTED TO DIRECT ITS ATTENTION TO A SMALL PART IN WHICH THE JEWS ALONE ARE INTERESTED.

THE JEWS, HOWEVER, EXPECT ENGLAND TO BE FRANK AND SAY TO THEM, “THUS FAR WE CAN GO AND NO FURTHER,” DR. WEIZMANN ADDED.

DR. WEIZMANN CONCLUDED BY DECLARING THAT PEACE WITH THE ARABS WOULD COME ON THE BASIS OF RECIPROCITY. HE APPEALED TO THE CONGRESS TO ACCEPT THE PARTITION PRINCIPLE AND LEAVE THE REST FOR THE FUTURE.

“THE JEWISH STATE WILL BE WHAT WE MAKE OF IT,” DR. WEIZMANN DECLARED, “AND I BELIEVE IN THE FORCES OF OUR PEOPLE. IF WE COULD BRING IN TWO MILLION PEOPLE, THE WIDEST PERSPECTIVE WOULD BE OPEN TO US. I BELIEVE THAT IN TIME TO COME JUSTICE WILL COME AND WE WILL GET JUSTICE. IN THE MEANTIME WE ARE ENTERING A DIFFICULT HOUR. THE JEWISH STATE WILL NOT BE GIVEN TO US AS A PRESENT, JUST AS THE BALFOUR DECLARATION WAS NOT GIVEN TO US AS A PRESENT.”

APPEALING FOR SUPPORT OF THE PARTITION PRINCIPLE, DR. WEIZMANN CITED BELGIUM, WHERE HE SAID, THERE IS THEORETICALLY NO ROOM FOR A CHILD TO BE BORN, NEVERTHELESS, IT GROWS AND DEVELOPS. IT IS NOT ABOLITION OF THE MANDATE THAT IS IN QUESTION NOW, HE SAID, BUT THE EVOLUTION OF THE BALFOUR DECLARATION. HE ADDED THAT ALTHOUGH IT WAS A DIFFICULT TASK, IT HAD TO BE CARRIED THROUGH BECAUSE IT WAS THE WAY TO GREATER ACCOMPLISHMENTS.

MINORITY RESOLUTION OPPOSES DISMEMBERMENT

UP TO THE EVENING SESSION THE ANTI-PARTITION BLOC WAS IN CONFERENCE DISCUSSING WHETHER DEMONSTRATIVELY TO LEAVE THE CONGRESS HALL IF ITS RESOLUTION OPPOSING ACCEPTANCE OF PARTITION WAS VOTED DOWN. EXTREMISTS IN THE GROUP DEMANDED A DEMONSTRATION, BUT THE MODERATES, LED BY MENACHEM M. USSISHKIN, WERE OPPOSED.

THIS MORNING’S SESSION LASTED ONLY TWENTY MINUTES AND WAS CONFINED TO FORMAL ANNOUNCEMENTS–SUCH AS A PROGRAM FOR THE EVENING LISTING DR. WEIZMANN AND MR. USSISHKIN AS THE PRINCIPAL SPEAKERS–AND NEGOTIATIONS BETWEEN THE TWO SIDES OCCUPIED THE REST OF THE DAY.

THE MINORITY RESOLUTION CALLED ON THE CONGRESS TO OPPOSE THE DISMEMBERMENT OF PALESTINE AND TO SEEK FULFILLMENT OF THE MANDATE. THE RESOLUTION WAS SUPPORTED BY THE JEWISH STATE PARTY, THE HASHOMER HATZAIR (LABORITE YOUTHS), A MAJORITY OF THE GROUP B GENERAL ZIONISTS AND A SMALL NUMBER OF GROUP A, INCLUDING DR. STEPHEN S. WISE AND ROBERT SZOLD OF NEW YORK, AND FOURTEEN OF THE EIGHTEEN HADASSAH DELEGATES.

REJECTING THE ROYAL COMMISSION’S ASSERTION THAT THE MANDATE IS UNWORKABLE, THE RESOLUTION CHARGED THE PALESTINE ADMINISTRATION, NOT THE MANDATE, HAD FAILED. IT REJECTED THE ALTERNATIVE “PALLIATIVES” OR RESTRICTIVE MEASURES PROPOSED BY THE ROYAL COMMISSION AND DECLARED THE PLAN TO TRIPARTITION PALESTINE WAS A FLAGRANT VIOLATION OF PLEDGES GIVEN TO THE JEWS OF THE WORLD.

THE RESOLUTION CALLED ON THE CONGRESS TO OPPOSE PARTITION BY EVERY MEANS AND INSTRUCTED THE EXECUTIVE TO TAKE A STAND “ON THE SOLID GROUND OF JEWISH RIGHTS AND ACHIEVEMENTS” AND LEAD A STRUGGLE TO BRING ABOUT THE APPLICATION BY THE MANDATORY POWER OF A CONSTRUCTIVE POLICY FOR THE FULFILLMENT OF THE MANDATE.

ADDRESSING LAST NIGHT’S SESSION, MOSHE SHERTOK, POLITICAL SECRETARY OF THE JEWISH AGENCY, DEFENDED THE PARTITION PRINCIPLE AND DECLARED THE ZIONISTS MUST FIGHT FOR INCLUSION OF FOUR TOWNS OF NORTH PALESTINE IN THE PROPOSED JEWISH STATE.

SHERTOK SEES CAPITAL INFLUX ASSURED

THERE NEED BE NO FEAR THAT THERE WILL NOT BE AN INFLUX OF CAPITAL INTO THE NEW STATE, MR. SHERTOK SAID. HE TERMED PARTITION A PLAN WHICH WAS BAD BUT WHICH PROVIDED POSSIBILITIES FOR WHICH IT WAS NECESSARY TO FIGHT.

“THE PALESTINE ADMINISTRATION IS FIGHTING AGAINST US,” SAID MR. SHERTOK. “IT WOULD BE EASY TO CONTINUE AS HITHERTO, BUT WE ARE TAKING A GREAT RESPONSIBILITY IN CLOSING THE ROAD PROVIDED BY PARTITION.”

DR. NAHUM GOLDMANN, ZIONIST REPRESENTATIVE AT GENEVA, SAID THE JEWS COULD GET THE ASSISTANCE OF THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS MANDATES COMMISSION TO OBTAIN THE BEST TERMS. HE SAID THE JEWISH STATE COULD NOT BE IMPOSED ON THE JEWS AND WOULD BE DEAD IF THEY DECIDED AGAINST IT.

RABBI BARNETT R. BRICKNER OF CLEVELAND, SPEAKING FOR THE 18 ZIONIST ORGANIZATION OF AMERICAN DELEGATES, OF A DELEGATION OF 22, WHO FAVOR DR. WEIZMANN’S PROPOSALS, SAID THE MANDATE WAS WRECKED AND IT WAS IMPOSSIBLE TO COMPEL ENGLAND TO CARRY IT OUT.

THE JEWS PREFER TO BE MASTERS IN THEIR OWN HOME AND NOT REMAIN A PERMANENT MINORITY, RABBI BRICKNER SAID. HE ANNOUNCED THE AMERICAN DELEGATION WOULD PROPOSE THAT THE NEW EXECUTIVE NEGOTIATE UNDER SPECIFIC INSTRUCTIONS TO SECURE IMPROVEMENTS IN THE PARTITION PLAN AND REPORT TO THE NEW CONGRESS.

MRS. DAVID DE SOLA POOL OF NEW YORK, SAID HADASSAH PROPOSED THE APPOINTMENT BY THE CONGRESS OF A POLITICAL COMMISSION TO COLLABORATE WITH THE EXECUTIVE IN POLITICAL ACTIVITIES. SHE EXPRESSED THE HOPE PUBLIC OPINION WOULD SUPPORT THE JEWS IN THEIR STRUGGLE AGAINST THE ROYAL COMMISSION’S RECOMMENDATIONS.

MRS. DE SOLA POOL SAID THE MEDICAL CENTER HADASSAH IS BUILDING ON MOUNT SCOPUS, JERUSALEM, IN COOPERATION WITH THE HEBREW UNIVERSITY WOULD GO ON ALTHOUGH JERUSALEM IS NOT INCLUDED IN THE JEWISH STATE AS OUTLINED BY THE ROYAL COMMISSION.

DR. A. KATZNELSON, PALESTINE EDITOR AND LABOR LEADER, SAID THAT UNDER PRESENT RESTRICTIONS IT WOULD BE IMPOSSIBLE FOR THE JEWS TO BECOME EQUAL IN NUMBER WITH THE ARABS IN PALESTINE. HE SAID THE JEWS SHOULD ACCEPT PARTITION.

MELCHETT URGES COOPERATION WITH BRITAIN

LORD MELCHETT, CHAIRMAN OF THE COUNCIL OF THE JEWISH AGENCY, URGED THE JEWS TO COOPERATE WITH GREAT BRITAIN AND “LAY THE FOUNDATION OF A STATE WHICH WILL BE A CREDIT TO MANKIND AND A GLORY UNTO ISRAEL.”

“I DO NOT BELIEVE BRITAIN WILL DESERT OUR CAUSE IN ISRAEL’S DARKEST HOUR,” THE BRITISH INDUSTRIALIST SAID IN APPEALING TO THE CONGRESS TO FACILITATE BRITAIN’S “SUPREME TASK.”

BRITISH STATESMEN, IN CONJUNCTION WITH DR. WEIZMANN AND HIS COLLEAGUES, MUST EVOLVE A SENSIBLE PLAN TO GIVE THE JEWS A SOUND AND WORKABLE STATE IN PALESTINE CAPABLE OF RELIEVING THE INTENSE PRESSURE AND SUFFERING OF THE MASS OF EUROPEAN JEWRY, LORD MELCHETT DECLARED.

“NOW IS THE TIME TO SHOW OUR TRUE CHARACTER,” HE ASSERTED. “WE MUST RISE TO THE GREAT OCCASION AND OUR GENERATION WILL LAY THE FOUNDATION OF A STATE WHICH WILL BE A CREDIT TO MANKIND AND A GLORY UNTO ISRAEL.”

HE APPEALED TO THE ARABS FOR FRIENDLY COOPERATION, WHICH, HE SAID, WOULD NOT ONLY EARN THEM EUROPE’S GRATITUDE BUT A WORLD REPUTATION FOR WISE AND GENEROUS STATESMANSHIP.

NEXT STORY