Jerusalem (Oct. 27)
David Ben-Gurion, chairman of the executive committee of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, today tendered his resignation at a session of the Zionist Actions Committee in a sudden move which came as a surprise even to the members of the Agency’s executive.
Giving no reason for his resignation, Ben-Gurion, after making his brief and startling announcement, left his place at the presidium table and took a seat among the rank-and-file members of the Actions Committee.
The session of the Actions Committee was immediately adjourned and the executive of the Jewish Agency held a special meeting which culminated in a statement announcing that Ben-Gurion’s resignation would not be accepted by the executive. Ben-Gurion himself did not participate in the meeting.
When the Actions Committee resumed meeting later, it put Ben-Gurion’s resignation to a vote. By a total of 28 votes it was decided that the Actions Committee join the executive in refusing to accept the resignation. The four members of the Hashomer Hatzair, the Ichud Party and the left wing of the Poale-Zion abstained from voting.
DR. WEIZMANN IS ASKED TO COME TO PALESTINE
While refusing to accept Ben-Gurion’s resignation, both the executive of the Jewish Agency and the Actions Committee decided to ask Dr. Chaim Weizmann, president of the Agency, to proceed from London to Palestine “as soon as possible.”
Simultaneously, the Hashomer Hatzair, left wing of the Zionist Laborites, issued a statement terming Ben-Gurion’s announcement “a move against Dr. Weizmann.” The statement, couched in strong terms, said that “it is inconceivable that Dr. Weizmann should be torn away from the important work in which he is now engaged.”
Mr. Ben-Gurion himself refused to comment on the decisions of the Actions Committee and of the Jewish Agency executive. Nor did he indicate that he accepted their decisions and was willing to withdraw his resignation. The Palestine Jewish Labor Party, of which Ben-Gurion is a leader, held a joint conference with leading members of the other Zionist groups at which it was unanimously decided that Mr. Ben-Gurion must be prevailed upon to withdraw his resignation. The Hashomer Hatzair group did not participate in the conference.
Palestine evening newspapers in reporting the resignation point out that an internal crisis has been brewing in the ranks of the Jewish Agency executive for months. They reveal that it started after Ben-Gurion’s return from his visit to the United States.