Opening of World Zionist Conference Postponed, Palestine Delegates Have Not Yet Arrived
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Opening of World Zionist Conference Postponed, Palestine Delegates Have Not Yet Arrived

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The World Zionist Conference, first since the outbreak of the war, which was scheduled to open here tomorrow, will open Wednesday, it was announced here today. The postponement is due to the fact that the delegates from Palestine, as well as David Ben-Gurion, chairman of the executive of the Jewish Agency, have not yet arrived in London.

Many of the delegates to the conference today expressed regret at the fact that the formal opening of the new Parliament, which was slated for August 8, has been postponed for a week. The basis for their disappointment is the belief that King George, in his speech to the opening session of the new parliament, will refer to the Middle East and may indicate the political future of Palestine. If such an indication were given while the World Zionist Conference was still in session, it would have enabled the conference to formulate a definite political policy.

The postponement of Parliament’s opening leaves the conference without any official pronouncements upon which to make political decisions. Nor have the delegates any hope that the discussions by the “Big Three” at Potsdam, which may also have dealt with problems of the Middle East, will be revealed before the middle of August, when the conference will have concluded.


The parley may, therefore, be placed in a position where it will have to concentrate on internal organizational problems rather than on formulating political policies of major importance. The opposition, led by the Mizrachi and supported by several members of the American and Palestine delegations, is expected to level strong criticism against the present World Zionist Executive and to advance the following demands:

1. That the executive be reshuffled and that far-reaching changes be made in the composition of its personnel.

2. That the London office of the Jewish Agency, which has not been changed since the outbreak of the war, should be reorganized to meet the new situation.

3. That new tactics be adopted in the campaign to have Palestine established as a Jewish Commonwealth.

These three questions are the subject of private discussions among the delegates who have arrived here from various democratic countries. Although no definite demands have been crystallized as yet by the representatives of the different Zionist groups, the general feeling that prevails is that the enforced postponement of political issues may change the whole trend of the conference. This will leave the World Zionist Executive more vulnerable, since its members will not be in a position to present to the conference any indication that Britain intends to modify its present policy with regard to Palestine.

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