ANTWERP (Sep. 5)
Zionist leaders attending an international conference of the Palestine Foundation Fund appealed yesterday for the raising of $5,000,000 as a “Jewish war budget for Palestine.” Speaking on behalf of the Jewish Agency, of which he is treasurer, Eliezer Kaplan sounded the call for the fund to enable Palestine Jewry to maintain its position and make possible new development.
Dr. Chaim Weizmann, president of the World Zionist Organization, and David Ben Gurion, Labor Zionist leader, today conferred with the American delegation, urging that half of the quota be raised in america. The two Zionist leaders then left for London.
Mr. Kaplan’s appeal was echoed by Simon Marks, merchant and vice-president of the British Zionist Federation, who urged that an additional $5,000,000 be raised exclusively for defense and maintenance of the economic equilibrium. Mr. Kaplan declared the disorders had badly affected Jewish economy and had caused considerable unemployment. Without giving the unemployment figures, he said the Agency had spent $600,000 in the last ten months to aid the jobless.
BEN GURION WARNS AGAINST REPRISALS
Emulation of Arab terrorism plays into the hands of the Arabs, Mr. Gurion declared last night at a closed session, in a vigorous warning against a policy of retaliation against the Arabs. Reviewing the political situation, the laborite Zionist urged continuation of legal-self defence and the maintenance of self-control. He declared the main objects for the future were to combat arab terrorism legally and to see that Jewish immigration was not stopped.
Prof. Selig Brodetsky, member of the Jewish Agency Executive, asserted that anti-Zionism was growing among Jews in America and England, while the future of the Zionist movement depended chiefly on the English-speaking countries. Those today are the only ones able to support the movement Financially, he said.
Today’s session was devoted to general debate. Among Those participating were Rabbi Solomon Goldman, president of the Zionist Organization of America; Dr. M. Kleinbaum, of Poland; Rabbi Mordecai Nurok, of Latvia, and Alexander Goldstein.
Charges that Italy and Germany were financing the Arab revolt were voiced by Joseph Baratz, Palestine labor leader, and Moshe Smilansky, farm leader. Praising the heroism of young American Jews in defending remote settlements and urging increased funds for defense, both speakers declared the Arabs were not so much to blame for the disorders as “the forces behind them.” Both condemned reprisals and warned that the disorders might continue for some time.
Delegations arrived yesterday from Germany and Italy, their attendance at the conference having been approved by their respective governments.
DR. WEIZMANN VOICES ZIONIST DEMANDS
The opening session of the gathering, the first major Zionist meeting since the World Zionist Congress last year, was addressed Saturday night by Dr. Weizmann. More than 100 delegates from 30 countries are present. Citing the expulsion order against italian Jewry as an instance of the tragic fate of the Jewish people, he asserted that the Evian conference had proved “tragically inadequate” as a solution, and sounded a number of demands upon the world, especially Great Britain, with regard to Palestine.
“Our immediate demands,” he said, “are for restoration of the principle that Jewish immigration must be regulated by the absorptive capacity of the country; secondly, for adequate protection of our men and women in Palestine; thirdly, that the Jewish share in maintenance of public security be further increased until it is adequate to meet the needs of the situation.
“We will never countenance a solution limiting the hopes for large-scale immigration and for attaining ultimately the national status essential to our rehabilitation among the nations of the world.”
Describing the tragic position of the Jews, aggravated by forced emigration, Dr. Weizmann declared: “The nations not infected by anti-Semitism have been driven to find a solution to a problem which is not of their making. Evian is and must remain tragically inadequate. Our position today is so acutely difficult that we must demand a permanent solution, which can be found only in Palestine–a national home of homeless people.”
APPEALS TO WORLD JEWRY TO SUPPORT COLONIZATION
Pointing out that in the past few years Palestine absorbed 35,000 Jewish immigrants and even now exceeded all countries except the United States as a country of immigration, Dr. Weizmann declared that 24 new settlements had been founded in the last two years, that all attacks had been warded off and that the Jewish position in Palestine had been consolidated. He paid tribute to Palestine Jewry, “whose heroic stand and magnificent achievement are a source of pride and encouragement in this grave hour,” and appealed to Jews throughout the world to support the Palestine Jewish community in consolidating its position.
He concluded with an appeal to the Arab people for peace and cooperation. “We refuse to identify the Arab people,” he declared, “with the cowardly and murderous terrorist bands, and we extend, in this grave hour, to the Arab people a call for peace and cooperation to develop the country for the benefit of all its inhabitants.”
In a report submitted to the delegates, summarizing the effects of the Arab revolt, it was revealed that 208 persons were slain and 457 wounded in July alone, economic damages to Jewish and Government property totalled millions of dollars, the treasury faced a growing deficit because of increased expenditures for police and military, unemployment had risen, and the “moral loss” was great since the world “thinks nothing happens in Palestine except violence.”
The report said that despite the handicaps they faced, the Jews had registered important achievements in building strategically and economically important roads between Tel Aviv and Haifa, and Haifa and Beisan, in opening the Tel Aviv port and in founding 30 new Jewish settlements. To alleviate the crisis, the report said, the Jewish Agency obtained a Loan from LLoyds and the Anglo-Palestine Bank of $1,500,000, of which $350,000 is to be used in credits to affected farmers, artisans and traders, $150,000 for defence, $50,000 for loans to the unemployed and $250,000 for new colonization.
U.S. STUDIES TRADE BENEFITS FOR PALESTINE
The State Department is now studying a proposal that the United States Government extend to Palestine the same trade advantages to be granted the United Kingdom, it was revealed in connection with the conference.
The proposal was put before the State Department in the form of a memorandum by the representatives of several Jewish organizations. Replying, Secretary Cordell Hull declared the matter required extensive study from the legal and economic viewpoint, and added: “I will have such study instituted at once and you may be assured of careful and sympathetic consideration.”
The opening session was devoted to a memorial for Felix M. Warburg and to a report on the damage to Jewish economy as a result of two years of terrorism. Despite the depression and political upheavals in many countries, the fund succeeded in raising approximately $2,395,000 in 1937 for use in furthering its colonization activities in Palestine. The sum fell short of the quota by about $600,000. Collections in Central and Eastern Europe were largely affected by events, but the loss there was made up by an increase of more than 25 per cent in the United states and 55 per cent in Canada.
The Fund’s report paid tribute to Eddie Cantor, the screen and radio star, who raised $550,000 within a few weeks for the Youth Aliyah movement.
An official communique by Dr. Arthur Hantke, director of the Fund, announced that the goal of next year’s campaign would be $3,000,000. Pointing out the adverse conditions in Palestine and the Diaspora, the communique appealed for unprecedented efforts to maintain and increase collections.