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Agency Council Convenes; Weizmann Asks Jewish Unity, Warburg Urges Arab Peace

WITH THE THREAT OF A SPLIT AND ULTIMATE DISSOLUTION HANGING OVER IT, THE COUNCIL OF THE JEWISH AGENCY FOR PALESTINE, RECOGNIZED BY THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS AS THE SPOKESMAN FOR WORLD JEWRY IN HOLY LAND AFFAIRS, CONVENED IN BIENNIAL SESSION TODAY TO PASS UPON A DECISION OF THE WORLD ZIONIST CONGRESS TO NEGOTIATE WITH GREAT BRITAIN ON ITS OFFER TO ESTABLISH A JEWISH STATE.

THE DELEGATES, 105 OF THEM ZIONISTS AND AN EQUAL NUMBER NON-ZIONISTS, HEARD APPEALS FOR A UNITED JEWISH STAND ON THE ISSUE, FOR ARAB UNDERSTANDING AND FOR REALIZATION OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE’S ROLE IN HELPING MAINTAIN WORLD PEACE.

DR. CHAIM WEIZMANN, PRESIDENT OF THE AGENCY AND THE WORLD ZIONIST ORGANIZATION, AT THE OUTSET MADE IT CLEAR THAT THERE WOULD BE NO RETREAT FROM THE STAND ADOPTED BY THE ZIONIST CONGRESS JUST ENDED.

REPLYING TO A DEMAND BY THE NON-ZIONISTS, VOICED AT A CAUCUS LAST NIGHT BY FELIX M. WARBURG OF NEW YORK, THAT PEACE BE CONCLUDED WITH THE ARABS BEFORE NEGOTIATIONS WITH THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT ARE ENTERED UPON, THE ZIONIST LEADER DECLARED:

“I FULLY REALIZE THAT THE KEY TO OUR FUTURE LIFE IN PALESTINE LIES IN PEACE WITH THE ARABS. ARAB PEACE, HOWEVER, CAN BE ESTABLISHED ONLY ON A BASIS OF RECIPROCITY. JUST AS WE UNDERSTAND AND RECOGNIZE THE ASPIRATIONS OF THE ARABS IN THEIR NEWLY ESTABLISHED COUNTRIES, WE ASK THEM TO UNDERSTAND AND TO RECOGNIZE OUR RIGHT TO BUILD A HOMELAND IN THIS SMALL LAND OF PALESTINE.”

DR. WEIZMANN WARNED THE NON-ZIONISTS THAT THE ZIONIST HALF OF THE COUNCIL MIGHT NOT AGREE WITH THEIR OPPOSITION TO PARTITION, BUT APPEALED TO THE COUNCIL TO REACH A DECISION PERMITTING THE JEWISH PEOPLE TO PRESENT A UNITED FRONT WITH REGARD TO PALESTINE.

FATE OF ZIONIST RESOLUTION RESTS WITH COUNCIL

POINTING OUT THAT THE FATE OF THE MAJORITY RESOLUTION ADOPTED BY THE ZIONIST CONGRESS (AUTHORIZING NEGOTIATIONS WITH GREAT BRITAIN ON PROPOSED CREATION OF A JEWISH STATE) WAS NOW IN THE HANDS OF THE COUNCIL, THE ZIONIST LEADER SAID:

REFERRING TO THE POSSIBILITY OF ESTABLISHMENT OF A CONFEDERATION OF ARAB NATIONS IN THE NEAR EAST, DR. WEIZMANN EXPRESSED THE BELIEF THAT THE JEWS COULD “FIND A PLACE IN THIS TASK OF BUILDING UP THE NEAR EAST.” “OUR CONDITIONS, HOWEVER,” HE EMPHASIZED, “ARE THAT PEACE AND ORDER MUST PREVAIL IN PALESTINE.”

OPENING THE SESSION, LORD MELCHETT, BRITISH INDUSTRIALIST AND COUNCIL CHAIRMAN, SAID THE COUNCIL WAS MEETING IN “THE MOST SERIOUS CRISIS IN THE AFFAIRS OF PALESTINE.” HE URGED THAT THE BODY IN ITS DELIBERATIONS ON THE ISSUE WITH WHICH IT IS CONFRONTED, BEAR IN MIND THE WORLD SITUATION AND THE POSITION OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE IN HELPING MAINTAIN WORLD PEACE.

THE OPENING SESSION WAS ALSO ADDRESSED BY ARTHUR RUPPIN AND ELIEZER KAPLAN, ON COLONIZATION AND FINANCES RESPECTIVELY.

DISSENSION IN BOTH GROUPS

BOTH THE ZIONIST AND NON-ZIONIST SECTIONS OF THE COUNCIL HAVE FAILED TO REACH INTERNAL UNITY ON THE QUESTION OF PARTITION. THE 105 ZIONIST DELEGATES, HOWEVER, HAVE BEEN BOUND TO VOTE IN A UNIT TO SUPPORT THE CONGRESS DECISION.

DEEP-SEATED DIFFERENCE OF OPINION ON THE PARTITION QUESTION WAS REVEALED AT THE NON-ZIONIST CAUCUS LAST NIGHT, WITH DELEGATES FROM THE UNITED STATES, GREAT BRITAIN, FRANCE AND OTHER WESTERN EUROPEAN COUNTRIES LINING UP WITH MR. WARBURG IN OPPOSITION, AND DELEGATES FROM EASTERN EUROPEAN NATIONS SUPPORTING THE ZIONIST VIEWPOINT.

ADDRESSING THE CAUCUS AN HOUR AFTER STEPPING OFF THE TRAIN FROM PARIS, MR. WARBURG URGED THAT BEFORE THE HOLY LAND IS SPLIT INTO THREE PARTS AN EFFORT BE MADE TO BRING ABOUT AN UNDERSTANDING BETWEEN ARABS AND JEWS.

APPEALING TO THE NON-ZIONIST LEADERS TO “COOL OFF THE HOTHEADS IN THE RANKS OF ZIONISM FAVORING PALESTINE PARTITION,” THE AMERICAN FINANCIER AND PHILANTHROPIST DECLARED HE FAVORED NEGOTIATIONS WITH THE ARABS FIRST BECAUSE HE WANTED PALESTINE TO “LIVE IN PEACE, NOT BROKEN IN PIECES.”

MR. WARBURG EXPRESSED CONCERN OVER THE FATE OF 400,000 JEWS IN PALESTINE AND VOICED REGRET THAT THE BRITISH ROYAL COMMISSION HAD SAID AN UNDERSTANDING BETWEEN THE ARABS AND JEWS WAS IMPOSSIBLE.

AMERICAN DELEGATES SUPPORTING MR. WARBURG’S VIEW INCLUDED SOL. M. STROOCK; GEORGE BACKER AND MAURICE HEXTER. BRITISH DELEGATES BACKING HIM AT THE CAUCUS WERE NEVILLE LASK AND PROF. NORMAN BENTWICH.

AN EMOTIONAL APPEAL FOR AN “OPEN MIND” ON THE QUESTION WAS DELIVERED TO THE CAUCUS BY SHOLOM ASCH, NOVELIST. HE ASKED THAT ANTI-PARTITIONISTS SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED “BAD JEWS” ANY MORE THAN THOSE FAVORING PARTITION SHOULD BE ACCOUNTED THE “BEST”.

THE CONFERENCE ENDED AFTER MIDNIGHT WITHOUT TAKING A VOTE ON THE NON-ZIONIST ATTITUDE TO BE FOLLOWED DURING THE COUNCIL SESSION. THE COUNCIL MEETING IS SCHEDULED TO LAST THROUGH FRIDAY MORNING.

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