ZOA Convention Rejects Partition, Calls for Jewish State in All of Palestine
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ZOA Convention Rejects Partition, Calls for Jewish State in All of Palestine

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The 49th annual convention of the Zionist Organization of America tonight rejected any proposals for the partition of Palestine, in a political resolution reiterating “the historic claims of the Jewish people to the whole of mandated Palestine.”

The resolution, which demanded establishment of a Jewish state, urged the Jewish Agency to submit any proposals made to it by the British Government to the World Zionist Congress for approval and expressed doubt of the wisdom of Jewish participation in the London Conference on Palestine.

The Committee on Political Resolutions unanimously recommended the resolution to the convention after a heated debate at a closed session of the group. Earlier, the committee rejected a proposal by Robert Szold, a former president of the ZOA, that Dr. Nahum Goldmann be invited to address the convention.


The action of the convention represented a clear-cut victory for Dr. Abba Hillel Silver, who was this afternoon re-elected president of the ZOA for a second term. In an address to the body last night, Dr. Silver had bitterly attacked the Jewish Agency executive for informing the British Government that it was prepared to discuss the establishment of a “viable Jewish state” in part of Palestine.

Dr. Silver criticized Dr. Goldmann for allegedly ignoring and flouting agreements reached with the American Zionist Emergency Council and charged that “we agreed unanimously, Dr. Goldmann concurring, that neither he nor we would propose a partition plan to the Cabinet Committee or other American officials.”

In his address last night, Dr. Silver also criticized Dr. Stephen S. Wise, although not mentioning him by name, for supporting the U.S. loan to Britain, which issue, he said, could have been utilized by the Zionist movement to apply pressure on the British to secure Jewish demands in connection with Palestine.

The ZOA president also sharply scored the Labor Government’s policy in Palestine and, while welcoming President Truman’s sincerity, expressed doubts that the American Government had “employed its full strength to get results” on Palestine.


Reporting to the convention this morning, Rudolf G. Sonnenborn, of New York, acting national chairman of the United Palestine Appeal, said that $40,000,000 was received this year by the UPA from the United Jewish Appeal. Of this amount, half will go to the Jewish National Fund and half to the Palestine Foundation Fund.

Despite the obstacles created by the British Government, more than 20,000 Jewish refugees entered Palestine during the eight months from Jan. 1 to Aug. 31, 1946, he said. Also, more than 5,000 others reached the shores of the Jewish homeland but were deported by the British to Cyprus.

Judge Morris Rothenberg, president of the Jewish National Fund, reporting for the J.N.F., said that 35 new settlements had been established during the past year and more than 40,000 dunams of land redeemed “despite the vicious and restrictive land laws of the British.” To make possible this achievement, the J.N.F. remitted to Palestine the sum of $12,000,000 since September, 1945. Judge Rothenberg expressed particular gratification over the founding in one night by 1,000 Jewish pioneers, including 300 girls, of 12 new agricultural settlements in the Negev.

Dr. Emanuel Neumann, re-elected a vice-president of the Z.O.A., voiced an appeal for unity. “There is nothing so dear to the heart of British diplomacy as the desire to introduce division into the camps of the adversary. There can be no division into moderates and extremists, where basic Zionist principles are concerned. There must be no partitioning of the Zionist movement,” he said.

Daniel Frisch, who was re-elected chairman of the national administrative council, declared that British brutality as practiced on the Yishuv is a perfect replica of the British mistreatment of colonial America. “The early American,” he said, “just like the halutzim of today aspired to build in their new land a home free of oppression.”


The full text of the resolution adopted tonight reads as follows:

“1. The annual convention of the Zionist Organization of America reaffirms the historic claims and aspirations, and the legally established rights of the Jewish people to Palestine. These rights have been formally embodied in solemn international covenants applied to the whole of mandated Palestine, undivided and undiminished, as the territory in which the Jewish people shall re-establish its national existence as a free and equal member of a family of nations. Any further attempt on the part of the British Government, by unlawful, unilateral and arbitrary action to curtail or destroy these rights, or to deny to the Jewish people free access to any part of its national homeland, will be resisted to the utmost by all sections of the Jewish people, with the support of democratic forces the world over.

“2. The tragic experiences of the past year, the unparalleled calamities which have overtaken the Jewish people and the record of British maladministration in Palestine have demonstrated beyond argument that the purposes underlying the Balfour Declaration and the mandate can be fully realized only through the establishment of a Jewish state with freedom and equality for all its inhabitants irrespective of race and religion. Only the early establishment of a free Jewish state can guarantee free entry of Jews into their homeland, full opportunity for colonization and economic development, security against oppression and the achievement by the Jewish people of national freedom on their ancestral soil. These aims have received the sanction and support of the American people through expressions of public opinion, Presidential declarations, the Anglo-American Convention on Palestine of 1924, the action of both major political parties in 1944, the joint resolution of Congress in 1922 and the concurrent Congressional resolution of 1945.

“The convention directs the officers of the ZOA and requests the delegates to the forthcoming World Zionist Congress to pursue a firm policy for the fulfillment of the legal rights of the Jewish people to Palestine, and the early re-establishment of a Jewish state.

“3. The convention notes the failure of the London Conference on Palestine to achieve a solution of the Palestine problem. The course of the conference to date and its adjournment for two-and-one-half months without the slightest change in the status of Jewish immigration into Palestine, confirms the view that it represents a further dilatory device following a long series of delaying tactics invented by the present British Government to deflect public criticism.

“The wisdom of Jewish participation in the conference is left open to question. The convention is confident that representatives of the Jewish Agency for Palestine will continue to decline an invitation to this or any conference unless there is adequate assurance that the purpose of the discussions will be the implementation of the legally established rights of the Jewish people, the furtherance of immediate immigration and the early establishment of a Jewish state.

“Such negotiations as may be entered upon by the Jewish Agency should be conducted in such a manner as to avoid any commitments on behalf of the Zionist movement. Anh proposals made by the British Government must, in accordance with Zionist procedure be submitted, prior to acceptance, to a regular or extraordinary session of the World Zionist Congress, or failing that, to a plenary session of the General Council of the World Zionist Organization, which will be elected at the forthcoming Congress, and which should be given the necessary power to act on behalf of the movement.”

Another resolution adopted by the convention voiced appreciation of the services of the American Zionist Emergency Council under Dr. Silver during the past year and called upon all persons in official positions in the Zionist Organization to give that body its complete cooperation.

The newly-elected administrative and national executive committees comprise the following:

Past-presidents (with voting rights on the executive): Dr. Harry Friedenwald, Baltimore; Dr. Solomon Goldman, Chicago; Dr. Israel Goldstein, New York; Edmund I. Kaufmann, Washington; Judge Louis E. Levinthal, Philadelphia; Louis Lipsky, Judge Morris Rothenberg, Robert Szold and Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, all of New York.

Vice-presidents: Rabbi Leon Fueur, Toldeo; Jacob Fishman, New York; Abraham Goldstein, Hartford; Dr. James E. Heller, Cincinnati; Mortimer May, Nashville; Rabbi Irving Miller, Woodmere, L.I.; Dr. Emanuel Neumann, New York; A.A. Redelheim, Brooklyn, N.Y.; Judge Bernard A. Rosenblatt, New York; Charles J. Rosenbloom, Pittsburgh; and Eliahu Stone, Boston. Abraham Goodman was elected treasurer.

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