Silver Elected President of Zoa; Accuses British Govt. of Betraying Jews and Duping U.S.
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Silver Elected President of Zoa; Accuses British Govt. of Betraying Jews and Duping U.S.

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Accusing the British Government of betraying the Jewish people and of using the American Government as a protective device to the its betrayal, Dr. Abba Hillel Silver, following his election this afternoon to the presidency of the Zionist Organization of America, tonight sounded the keynote of what is generally regarded here as the beginning of a more militant Zionist policy.

Dr. Silver’s election by acclamation set a precedent for recent years and was mistrued here as indicating agreement by all groups that, in the light of the present Palestine crisis, a more aggressive policy is necessary.

“The British Government,” said Dr. Silver, “maneuvered our Government into joining in an action which will involve it in moral responsibility without granting corresponding autonomy. America will now be used to cover Great Britain’s broken pledges, and to act as a smokescreen for the betrayal of our people.”

Commending President Truman for his request for the admission of 100,000 Jewish refugees to Palestine, Dr. Silver said that “we had over-estimated the determination of the President. He was persuaded to accept the shabby substitute of an investigating committee–that very transparent device for delay and circumvention– against his own better judgment. Have we no way of insisting any longer on what is right? At this very moment Great Britain is requesting great help and vital concessions from our country.”

Rejecting the joint commission of inquiry, Dr. Silver said its primary purpose is not to help the distressed Jews of Europe, but the liquidation of the Jewish national homeland. He warned that “we cannot be bound by the findings of any such commission. The executive committee of the World Zionist Organization will have to determine whether in view of the palpable insincerity of the entire project, it can in any way cooperate with it.”


Dr. Stephen S. Wise, who also spoke tonight, condemned the British Government and called upon President Truman to “wave aside the State Department negotiators and go back to his admirable starting point, and declare to the Prime Minister and to the British Secretary of Foreign Affairs: “I will not have my request to you annulled by a commission of inquiry’. ” Dr. Wise described the statement of Mr. Bevin as “a second White Paper.” The Jews of Palestine, he said, “would not be fit to live and have a national home, if they did not resist every effort on the part of the Mandatory Power to prevent the coming of Jews into Palestine. No Jewish refugee entering Palestine is as lawless as the White Paper, or Mr. Bevin,” he added.

Addressing the morning session, devoted to the Jewish National Fund, which was presided over by Judge Morris Rothenberg, Dr. Abraham Granovsky, chairman of the JNF in Jerusalem, said that there was no reason for the present political crisis interfering with land colonization work. “While we wait for the full abrogation of the White Paper, we must not be idle,” he said. “As an immediate step we propose to acquire 500,000 dunams of land. This area can be purchased even under the present conditions, because it is covered by negotiations already initiated.”


The purchase of these 500,000 dunams, Dr. Granovsky stated, would involve the expenditure of $40,000,000. A resolution was adopted setting this as the immediate goal of the JNF in America. Dr. Granovsky explained that this acquisition was part of

In his presidential address, last night, Dr. Israel Goldstein, retiring ZOA president, also urged President Truman to stand by his original request to have Britain admit to Palestine 100,000 Jews from Europe immediately, despite the establishment of the joint Anglo-America inquiry commission. “Nothing has happened in the situation of the Jews in Germany to change President Truman’s conviction on the urgency of their light,” Dr. Gollstein said.

“The appointment of a commission now is patently a delaying tactic,” he continued. “It is bitterly disappointing that our President has fallen in with this tactic, perhaps unwittingly. Commissions in Palestine, the Haycroft Commission, the Shaw Admission and the Woodhead Commission, have been almost invariably bad omens of ineptess and betrayal. And every time a commission reported that Palestine had no more new for Jews its report was later discredited by the actual events which prove that it judged Palestine’s capacity by standards of Arab stagnancy and not by standards of Jewish enterprise.”

In today’s election, Daniel Frisch of Indianapolis was re-elected chairman of the administrative council and the following vice-presidents were named: Dr. Ken Feuer, Toledo; Jacob Fishman, New York; Rabbi Solomon Goldman, Chicago; Dr. Israel J. Feller, Cincinnati; Edmund I. Kaufman, Washington, D.C.; Judge Louis E. Devinthal, Philadelphia; Louis Lipsky, Rabbi Irving Miller, Dr. Emanuel Neumann, Judge Bernard (##)blatt, Judge Morris Rothenberg, Robert Szold, Dr. Stephen S. Wise, all of New York; Charles Rosenbloom, Pittsburgh; and Eliahu D. Stone, Boston.

(As the Bulletin went to press, the delegates at the ZOA convention were lifting a declaration of policy, which was expected to be adopted at a late session.)

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