NEW YORK (Jun. 27)
The Zionist Organization of America, at the final business sessions of its 42nd annual convention, today elected 34 delegates to the World Zionist Congress, adopted resolutions intended to strengthen the Zionist cause and pledged support to a program cabled by the Jewish Agency Executive in Jerusalem aimed at defeating Britain’s Palestine policy.
Late last night the 1,000 delegates from 44 states, gathered at the Hotel Commodore, had by acclamation reelected its administration headed by Dr. Solomon Goldman and adopted resolutions expressing “unalterable opposition” to the British policy, confidence in Dr. Chaim Weizmann and the world Zionist leadership and support for the Palestine Jewish community.
The Agency message called for an “extraordinary effort” to prevent imposition of the British policy, including (1) continuation of Jewish immigration, land-buying and colonization and strengthening of the homeland’s economic structure, (2) resistance to imposition of an Arab-dominated administration and (3) efforts to convince world public opinion of “the moral, legal and preactical untenability” of the White Paper.
The convention replied as follows in a cable drafted by Dr. Goldman: “Convention showing great strength and marked enthusiasm. No trace of despondency or pessimism. Never so much resolution and determination to stand with Yishub and remove every obstacle in way of national home.”
A plenary session this afternoon adopted a resolution praising the Palestine Jews for their policy of self-restraint in the face of Arab terrorism. The resolution rejoiced “that the leaders of the Jewish community have made it clear that they will not countenance any form of physical violence in asserting the rights of the Jewish people in the establishment of a national home.”
Another resolution brought more concrete aid to the Yishub by announcing that the American share of $1,000,000 in the Jewish National Fund five-year four-per-cent loan of $2,600,000 to buy 98,000 dunams of land had been nearly one-half completed to date and calling for intensified efforts to complete the loan.
Other resolutions presented by the Resolutions Committee urged “the availability of Palestine as the answer to the problem of Jewish homelessness,” called for greater representation of the General Zionists in the Jewish Agency Executive and Zionist General Council and recommended establishment of a central agecy to pass on the various special Zionist fund-raising appeals in America. A recommendation of the institute on the Yishub called for establishment of a Palestine department representing the Z.O.A. and other Zionist groups to promote Palestine tourist trade and sale of Palestine products.
The convention then proceeded to the election of the Z.O.A.’s 34 delegates to the Zionist Congress to be held in Geneva in August. The total American representation will be 115. The slate as presented by the Nominations Committee follows:
Ralph Bass, Mattapan, Mass.; Dr. Ilie Berger, Providence; Rabbi Morton M. Berman, Chicago; Rabbi Maurice J. Bloom, Newburgh, N.Y.; Rabbi Isadore Breslau, Washington; Rabbi Barnett R. Brickner, Cleveland; Dr. A.K. Epstein, Chicago; Daniel Frisch, Indianapolis; Judge I.M. Golden, San Francisco; Dr. Goldman, Chicago; Rabbi William Greenfield, Waterbury, Conn.; Rabbi Edward L. Israel, Baltimore; Dr. Gustave Klausner, St. Louis; Mordecai Konowitz, Jamaica, L.I.; Abraham Krumbein, Brooklyn; Judge Louis E. Leventhal, Philadelphia; Boris Margolin, New York; Dr. Samuel Margoshes, New York; Morris Margulies, New York; Benjamin Rabalsky, Boston; Mortimer May, Nashville; Abraham Mazer, New York; Rabbi Irving Miller, Far Rockaway, L.I.; Judge Morris Rothenbe g, New York; Ezra Shapiro, Cleveland; Bernard Shelvin, New York; Dr. Abba Hillel Silver, Cleveland; Dewey D. Stone, Taunton, Mass.; Elihu D. Stone, Boston; Theodore Strimling, Los Angeles; Robert Szold, New York, and Morris Weinberg, Brooklyn.
In addition, the following American members of the Zionist General Council are automatically delegates to the Congress: Jacob Fishman, Abraham Goldberg, Dr. Israel Goldstein, Louis Lipsky and Dr. Stephen S. Wise, Dr. Silver, included among the elected delegates, is also a member of the General Council.
This morning a rabbis’ institute was held on “The Function of the Rabbi in Zionist Leadership.” Rabbi Eugene Kohn, New York, proposed inclusion of modern Zionist history and aspects of Palestine life in the Jewish ritual “to revitalize Jewish religious life in America.” Other speakers were Rabbis Simon Greenberg, Philadelphia; Leon S. Lang, Newark; Aaron Opher, New York; Robert Gordis, Far Rockaway, L.I., and Louis T. Newman, New York.
Dr. Newman who had an altercation with Dr. Goldman in the lobby on Monday, charged that Zionist leaders were seeking to suppress knowledge of a meeting held in the Hotel Lexington yesterday by the American Friends of a Jewish Palestine in support of “Aliyah Beth,” the extra-legal immigration to Palestine. He said “the duty of the rabbi is to see that Zionist leaders abstain from intolerance towards new manifestations of Zionist activity.”
Reelected president by acclamation, Dr. Goldman promised last night that he would not be a “yes man” to any Zionist leader at the forthcoming Zionist Congress, but would be guided by the sentiments of the Palestine Jewish community in his attitude on the program for combating Britain’s Palestine policy. Accordingly, he will sail for Palestine with Mrs. Goldman on July 5.
After his election had been confirmed with a rousing demonstration, Dr. Goldman made an acceptance speech which was an impassioned reaffirmation of the Zionist will to build a Jewish homeland and an outline of his attitude in regard to the Zionist Congress.
“I hesitate to advise the Yishub to refuse to pay taxes or not to cooperate with the British or to stand on the hills with guns ready to face the enemy,” Dr. Goldman said, “because I never preach for others that which I am not in a position to practice myself. I’ll not tell men they should shoulder guns until I am ready to stand by their side and face the bullets of the enemy. To adopt resolutions in the safety of New York, South Africa or even Geneva without studying in detail, step by step, in the Yishub what the implications are for the life and security of the men who live there is recklessness, not leadership….
“I want to understand not the mind of Weizmann, much as I respect it, not the mind of Ben Gurion or of the man from Johannesburg or Warsaw. I want first to form an understanding of the heart and mind of the people on the soil, the men and women in the Yishub. What is in their mind? What do they want? Can they carry the burden of havlagah? Can they go into a death struggle with the British Empire? Is there the heroic mold and is it rooted in reality? All this I will know only when I see them face to face.”
Dr. Goldman took occasion to pay tribute to ex-Justice Louis D. Brandeis “for all the time he put at my disposal and the patience with which he listened to my halting speech.” Sunday night the convention had voted at a dinner to send Justice Brandeis a message framed by Dr. Wise which said: “We offer our loving and grateful homage to the wisest of our counsellors and the noblest of our friends. May God bless us and all Americans with your presence for many years.”
The officers reelected with Dr. Goldman are Dr. Harry Friedenwald, Baltimore, Louis Lipsky, Judge Julian W. Mack, Judge Rothenberg, Mr. Szely and Dr. Wise, vice-presidents; Judge Leventhal, chairman of administrative committee; Ludwig Lewisohn, honorary secretary; Morris Weinberg, treasurer; Louis P. Rocker, chairman of finance committee.
The convention decided to plant a forest in Palestine in memory of Judge William M. Lewis of Philadelphia.