London (Aug. 3)
The use of “backdoor diplomacy” in the struggle for Jewish rights in Palestine was strongly condemned today by Dr. Abba Hillel Silver, co-chairman of the American Zionist Emergency Council, addressing a closed session of the World Zionist Conference.
“Whatever the situation is, we must clearly state our aims and not use round- about methods,” Dr. Silver said. He paid tribute to the efforts of the World Zionist Executive, which, he said, were made against terrible odds during the last six years, and emphasized that in expressing disagreement, he was not assailing those at the helm of the world Zionist movement.
The American delegation, Dr. Silver stressed, came to the World Zionist Conference united. He lauded the services of Rabbi Stephen S. Wise to the cause of American Zionism and added that whatever the differences between him and Dr. Wise regarding methods of work, the Zionist movement in the United States remains unshaken.
“We have heard Dr. Weizmann warning us not to have too much confidence in government leaders,” Dr. Silver told the delegates, “I said it in 1944 at the convention of the Zionist Organization of America. But then the executive and its officers were insisting on our putting all our trust in Roosevelt and in Churchill. New Churchill is out, and Roosevelt is unfortunately dead. We are more hopeful regarding the Labor Government, but that is because of the public stand which the Labor Party has taken with regard to the Palestine issue and not because we base our hopes on our personal relations with this or that politician, however important he may be.”
“REFUGEEISM” MUST NOT BE SUBSTITUTED FOR ZIONISM, SILVER INSISTS
Dr. Silver praised David Ben-Gurion’s recognition of the fact that the victory of the Labor Party in England does not automatically mean a Zionist victory, and, therefore, the Zionist demands must be pressed as vigorously as ever.
“We must fight against anti-Zionism from the right as well as from the left,” he urged. “Beware of refugeeism as a substitute for Zionism! We must save the Jewish remnants, but the two things are complementary and do not cancel out each other.”
Meir Grossman, leader of the Jewish State Party, demanded the resignation of the present World Zionist Executive. He severely criticised the policy of the executive and urged that the Small Zionist Actions Committee elect a new executive.
Dr. Wise, speaking today at a reception given by the Zionist Federation of Great Britain to the conference delegates, said that “American Jews do not want any quarrel with England” and that they believe in England’s ability to redeem the pledges given to the Jews in the Balfour Declaration. Other speakers included Dr. Israel Goldstein, president of the Zionist Organization of America, and Rabbi James Heller, chairman of the United Palestine Appeal.