Basle (Dec. 18)
Dr. Chaim Weizmann tonight appeared before the Political Committee of the Zionist Congress and said that he will not accept the honorary presidency of the Jewish Agency executive. At the same time he emphasized that he is ready to accept the active presidency only under certain conditions.
The two major conditions laid down by Dr. Weizmann for his acceptance of the nomination for president of the World Zionist Organization and of the Jewish Agency are: unconditional participation in the London Conference on Palestine, and Congress agreement to the partitioning of Palestine.
Dr. Weizmann’s testimony before the Political Committee was short and decisive. The members of the committee listened to him with great interest. The content of his testimony soon became known at a meeting of the delegates of the Palestine Labor Party and immediately split the meeting into two almost equal sections–one favoring Dr. Weizmann’s position, the other opposing it.
Leaders of the Palestine Laborites fear a split within their group if Dr. Weizmann does not modify his stand. Even those who during the day favored giving Dr. Weizmann further opportunity to come to terms with the British Government by electing him president for another three months until after the London Conference on Palestine, began to question whether such a compromise would be wise in the light of Dr. Weizmann’s conditions.
BEN GURION REPORTS TO POLITICAL COMMITTEE ON TALKS WITH U.S. GOVT.
The meeting of the political committee continued until midnight with David Ben Gurion reporting for more than two hours on the political outlook facing the Zionist movement. He dwelt at great length on the negotiations between leaders of the Jewish Agency executive and the governments of Britain and the United States. The committee, of which Dr. Abba Hillel Silver is chairman, is not expected to conclude its work before next Monday when it will bring its recommendations to the plenary session of the Congress.
Criticism of alleged control of Jewish DP camp committees in Europe by Laborites was voiced tonight at a meeting of the General Zionists. Demands were made that “control” be widened to permit the DP’s to obtain a Zionist orientation free from any form of pressure.
The world conference of the Brith Ivrith Olamith, Hebrew cultural organization, opened today with Dr. Gruenbaum, Professor Selig Brodetsky and Sir Leon Simon, chairman of the executive board of the Hebrew University, speaking. It was announced that the organization’s next meeting will be held in Palestine.
Speaking at the world conference of Jewish journalists, B. Mark, editor of “Unzer Leben” and head of the Polish delegation at the conference, declared that the Yiddish press in the Soviet Union educates the Jewish people to support the government and advocates the rebuilding and upbuilding of Jewish centers throughout the world. He said the Yiddish newspapers also stressed the role of Jewish heroism in the world’s history and correlates it to the Red Army’s heroism and devotion to its country.
A delegation of the Palestine Maritime League met today on a steamer on the Swiss Rhine. The ship was flying the League’s colors. It was announced that a new Palestine shipping company “Zim” had just been formed with the acquisition of its first vessel, the 3,000-ton “Kedmah.” This was hailed as the first step toward the formation of a national Jewish merchant marine fleet.