New York (Aug. 29)
The American delegation at the World Zionist conference was left unprepared by the unexpected fall of the Churchill cabinet and the election of the Labor Government, Dr. Abba Hillel Silver reported yesterday at a session of the national executive of the Zionist organization of American at which other members of the delegation gave their views on the outcome of the conference. Silver said:
“The American delegation originally came to London with a plan for organizing a united protest of world Jewry against the Churchill government in its treatment of the Palestine problem. The changed political situation in England mullified this plan as it was felt that the new government could not be whipped for the mistakes of the old government. The sudden end of the World War during the Conference also contributed to a change in the tone of the Conference which was a far calmer and more hopeful one than would have been otherwise.”
Dr. Silver asserted that while the Conference was punctuated by a major crisis – such as the withdrawal of the Mizrachi from the executive and the temporary difference between Ben Gurion and Weizmann- the parley adjourned on a note of harmony and unity. He stated that the American delegation made a number of major contributions to the conference; all members were united on a basic Zionist program, and that this attitude helped to strengthen other groups at the conference to an extent which was reflected in the political commission, of which Dr. Silver was the chairman. The deliberations of the political commission reaffirmed the maximum Zionist program in clear cut and sharply defined line by reasserting in a resolution the creation of a Jewish State in an undivided Palestine – a resolution unanimously adopted by the conference, Dr. Silver stated.
The meeting of the executive committee preceded a public meeting at the Hotel Pennsylvania, at which the Zionist leaders told an audience of 1,200 that all indications point to the fact that intensified activities with regard to Palestine are to be expected soon.
Dr. Israel Goldstein reported on the situation of the Jews in camps in Germany, most of whom, he said, want to go to Palestine, and disclosed that while in London he had discussed the Palestine problem with Harold Laski, chairman of the British labor Party. Laski expressed the opinion that cooperation of the United States would play a large part in bringing about a solution of the problem favorable to the Zionists, the ZOA president said.
Emanuel Neumann stressed the importance of the action taken by the conference in reaffirming the Biltmore Resolution, inasmuch as it was the first international gathering since the outbreak of the war to take a definite position. He praised Dr. Goldstein’s efforts in helping to consolidate the General Zionist front at the conference and the organization of a strong General Zionist World Confederation in which the ZOA and Hadassah in America will play a vital role.
Daniel Frisch, another member of the American delegation, cautioned against placing too much reliance on the change of the government in England in the expectation that it will spell speedy realization of Zionist aims. He charged that the new Colonial Secretary’s attitude toward the Jewish people is”not of a nature that should make us rejoice even though his assistant Mr. Creech Jones, is a true and tried friend of Jewish Palestine.”
In an account of his visit to Palestine, Dr. James G. Heller declared that Palestine has wrought a miracle in recreating Jewish lives and in the transformation of barren land into fertility. He stressed the contrast of Jewish fertility and the barrenness of Arab lands, indicating that there are tremendous stretches of land available for cultivation. Dr. Heller particularly dwelt on the feeling of “at home” and freedom animating the Jew in Palestine. In no country did he note such a spirit of pride, freedom and at homeness as in Palestine, he said.