NEW YORK (Dec. 28)
The resignations of Dr. Stephen S. Wise and Dr. Abba Hillel Silver from leadership of the American Zionist Emergency Council were acted upon tonight at a closed session of the Council, following a week of stormy discussions in Zionist ranks during which the hope was expressed that the resignations of the two Zionist leaders would not be accepted. A statement on the decisions of the Council is expected.
The Mizrachi Organization of America, which is one of the constituent members of the Council, is reported to have decided to leave the Council if Dr, Silver is not retained as co-chairman. The Zionist Laborite Party, another member, decided to recommend that a new presidium be elected at tonight’s session of the Council, and that it include Dr. Silver and Dr. Wise. The Zionist Emergency Council is composed of representatives of the Zionist Organization of America, Mizrachi, Zionist-Laborites and the Hadassah.
Dr. Silver did not participate in tonight’s session. In a statement issued last night he reaffirmed his resignation from the leadership of the Zionist Emergency Council, adding that he intends to remain just an ordinary member of the Council. As a “private in the ranks” he would continue to work for a policy “in which timidity, appeasement and backstairs ‘diplomacy’ will have no place,” he declared. Dr. Silver’s statement reads:
“At the time that I announced my resignation as co-chairman of the American Zionist Emergency Council and as the chairman of its executive committee on December 20, I stated that it was irrevocable. I regret that so much controversy has developed over it, but I must insist upon the position I have taken, despite the urging of many friends that I reconsider my decision. My policies do not appear to have the support of a sufficient majority of the membership of the Council as now constituted to warrant my continuing in office.
Z. O. A. REPRESENTATIVES BLAMED BY DR. SILVER FOR CRISIS LAUDS OTHER GROUPS
“My action has been prompted particularly by the position taken by the representatives of one of the groups, the Zionist Organization of America. Despite the fact that the national convention of the Zionist Organization of America at Atlantic City on October 16 approved my policies by a unanimous vote, the present representatives of the Z.O.A. on the Council are committed to an attitude and a course of action which make it impossible for me to carry out those policies effectively.
“I am deeply grateful for the consistent and loyal support which I have had from the Poale Zion and Mizrachi parties, from the Jewish press, from the rank and file of American Zionism and the local Zionist Emergency Councils everywhere.
“I remain, of course, a member of the American Zionist Emergency Council and will eagerly give the movement whatever help and counsel I can. My resignation will leave me free to devote myself more fully to Zionist education among our people and the exposition of the Zionist program among the general public. As a private in the ranks I shall continue to advocate the classic Zionist program which aims at the reestablishment of Palestine as a free and democratic Jewish Commonwealth, and a policy in which timidity, appeasement and backstairs ‘diplomacy’ will have no place.
“It is a source of great satisfaction that the past sixteen months of my administration have been marked by substantial progress for the Zionist cause in our country. I trust that whatever differences of opinion exists in our movement — and no great movement is quite free of them –will in no way interfere with the further progress of our historic cause in the days to come.”