London (Jul. 26)
Zionist leaders from all parts of the world who have gathered here for the World Zionist Conference opening on Tuesday, were heartened today by the sweeping electoral victory of the Labor Party.
The Laborites have consistontly been more favorable to Jewish aspirations in Palestine than the Conservatives, and at their last national convention, in December, 1944, adopted a strongly worded resolution attacking the present White Paper immigration restrictions, and supporting the establishment of Palestine as a Jewish homeland.
How eager the Labor leaders will be to fulfill this pledge once they assume the responsibilities of the government and are face to face with the complicated Middle East situation cannot be foretold. Should they delay, however, the tense situation in Palestine is likely to grow even worse than had the Conservatives triumphed, because large sections of the Jewish community of Palestine had pinned their hopes on a Labor victory, and will be disinclined to accept further delays in settlement of the Palestine issue.
Reports from the various constituencies indicate that over 20 Jewish Laborites, including several Zionists, have been elected to Commons. Among the sucessful candidates are Barnett Janner, vice-president of the British Zionist Federation, Samuel S. Silverman, World Jewish Congress leader, and John Mack and Maurice Ohrhach, Poale-Zionists. Ohrbach, incidentally, defeated Conservative S.S. Hammersely, who was strongly pro-Zionist and head of the Parliamentary Palestine Committee.
Jewish candidates of the other parties were all defeated with the exception of Daniel Lipson, Independent Conservative and Philip Piratin, Communist. Sir Edward Spears, former British minister to Syria, who has been outspokenly pro-Arab and anti- Zionist, was among the defeated Conservatives.
The most active anti-Semites in Commons also went down to defeat. Jewish leaders pointed to this as an indication that the country as a whole is opposed to anti-Jewish propaganda. They stressed, however, that fascist agitation and propaganda may likely increase in an attempt to offset the crushing defeat at the polls. It will be up to the new Home Secretary, they said, to curb the development of such activities.