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War-time Congress Opens in Palestine in Place of World Zionist Congress

A “war-time congress” in which more than 200 delegates of the last World Zionist Congress are participating, opened here tonight in place of the World Zionist Congress which cannot be held until the war is over.

All the five members of the Zionist Executive who were elected by the last World Zionist Congress in Geneva in 1939 will report to the gathering on various aspects of the Zionist movement and on the future of Palestine. David Ben-Gurion, chairman of the Zionist Executive, who is now en route from the United States, is expected to reach Palestine in sufficient time to deliver the closing address.

In addition to the 200 delegates of the last Zionist Congress, the gathering is also being attended by representatives from various Jewish institutions in Palestine. At tonight’s opening session, greetings were delivered by Isaac Benzvi on behalf of the Jewish National Council of Palestine, and by leaders of the various groups within the world Zionist movement. The congress will hear a political report from Moshe Shertok and a financial report from Eliezer Kaplan. Other members of the World Zionist Executive will report on Jewish economic problems and on the Jewish war effort. A review of the Jewish situation in Nazi-held Europe was given tonight at the opening session by Isaac Gruenbaum, member of the Zionist Executive, who for many years represented the Jews of Poland in the Polish parliament prior to his departure for Palestine.

The situation of the Polish Jews stranded in Russia was discussed here today by Wladyslaw Banaczyk, vice-chairman of the Polish National Council, and leaders of Polish Jewry who are now in Palestine. Mr. Banaczyk also discussed with the Jewish representatives a number of other questions concerning Polish-Jewish relations and expressed his conviction that “the independent Poland which will be restored after the victory of the United Nations will not disappoint the democratic world.”

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