New York (Feb. 12)
The conditions leading to Dr. Emanuel Neumann’s resignation from his position on the American Emergency Committee for Zionist Affairs were revealed today by Dr. Neumann at a press conference at which he warned of the difficulties which face Zionist political work.
Declaring that it become “increasingly difficult and finally impossible” for him to continue his work on the Emergency Committee. Dr. Neumann stated that among the reasons prompting his resignation were: recurrent factional and personal differences, possibly inherent in the structure of the Committee; vacillation in policy and in action; absence of centralized administrative direction; failure to adopt a definite and comprehensive program of activities; and budgets wholly incommensurate with the immensity of the task, “Repeatedly I warned against this dangerous state of affairs in the light of the heavy responsibility resting on American Zionism,” Dr. Neumann said. “I pleaded for a more dynamic policy, bolder conceptions and larger budgets; but the response was slow and painfully inadequate.”
Reviewing his activities in the Emergency Committee, which led to the establishment of the American Palestine Committee, which developed into an important political force, as well as to the winning of many Congressmen and Senators and hundreds of Christian clergymen, intellectuals and writers, to the Zionist cause, Dr. Neumann continued: “Without belittling the work which has been done, including my own modest contribution. I must warn against underestimating the difficulties and the seriousness of the position. There is no ground for undue optimism regarding our political situation. With respect to the present British Administration in Jerusalem, it is hopeless, in London, it is bad; in Washington, it is unsatisfactory. Our own Government has been taking a greater interest in the Near East than ever before, but that in itself does not necessarily imply a pro-Zionist orientation or a pro-Zionist policy. Through the occupation of North Africa, America has become — at least for the time being — a great Moslem power. This means that the policy-makers in our Government are growing more sensitive to Moslem susceptibilities and Arab opinion. There is a great pre-Arab propaganda which is being carried on persistently and with considerable skill, It is not only pro-Arab but definitely anti-Zionist in character and is receiving both guidance and support in certain influential quarters.
“At the same time, consideration of post-war problems has now passed the stage of academic discussion and is proceeding concretely and practically in our Government departments and other chancelleries. It is probably much later than we think. No among of skillful negotiation and persuasiveness on the part of our political leaders at the “front line” can succeed unless it is supported by an effective and sustained activity “behind the lines.” This is no time for relaxation of our political efforts. We have done perhaps ten percent of what needs to be done. Matters are approaching a stage where every day counts. Opportunities now missed may be irretrievable.” Dr. Neumann warned.