Basle (Dec. 22)
The political committee of the World Zionist Congress, by a vote of 20 to 16, with several abstentions, today adopted a resolution opposing participation in the London Conference on Palestine except on the basic of the full Zionist program. The Poale Zion members of the committee announced that they were reserving the right to raise the issue before the plenary session of the Congress, when a minority resolution embodying their position will be presented.
Simultaneously, a meeting of the Zionist Organization of America delegates passed a resolution reaffirming their opposition to participation in the London talks and reiterating their endorsement of Dr. Chaim Weizmann as honorary president of the Zionist Organization, but opposing him for the presidency.
Their action came shortly after a three-day session of the World Union of Poale Zionists voted 90 to 30 to support Dr. Weizmann for the presidency, if he agrees to support the program outlined in a resolution adopted by the meeting. The resolution calls for attendance at London on the basis of a pledge y Britain that it will implement the terms of the mandate or agrees to the principle of a Jewish state. It strongly opposes terrorism.
The resolution was presented to Dr. Weizmann early today by Moshe Shertok and Eliezer Kaplan. The Zionist leader expressed thanks for the Laborites’ readiness to support him, but said that it would require some time for him to consider the ramifications of the resolution, and he would have to take into consideration the composition of the new executive to be elected by the Congress. A special meeting of the Poale Zion caucus is scheduled for late tonight to consider Dr. Weizmann’s reply, but it is not known whether it will be received in time.
WEIZMANN ELECTION SEEMS CERTAIN IF REACHES AGREEMENT WITH LABORITES
If Dr. Weizmann accepts the Laborites’ conditions, and agreement is reached between them on program and composition of the executive, his election is considered to be virtually certain. A straw vote taken by the General Zionists this afternoon indicates that at least 65 of their 120 delegates would vote for him. With another 25 votes from the Hashomer Hatzair, he would have a slim majority of the 370 delegates. However, he would be likely to pick up a few more votes from dissidents with in the parties that are opposed to him.
The resolution as finally adopted by the Poale Zion caucus represents a mutually unsatisfactory compromise between the views of Dr. Weizmann and David Ben Gurion, Laborite leader, but it was the best that could be worked out. Leaders of the party, who say that it was adopted to prevent a serious split, point out that it would enable Weizmann to make a last effort to secure concessions from the British Government, and failing that, he would be forced to resign and a new Congress would be elected to choose a new executive.
GENERAL ZIONISTS STRESS NEED FOR SINGLE LABOR FEDERATION
A resolution stressing the need for a single, united labor federation in Palestine was adopted last night at the world conference of the General Zionists. It called on all General Zionist workers in Palestine to join the General Zionist Labor Union, which is affiliated with the Histadruth, pointing out that this is the only union recognized by the Confederation of General Zionists.
Dr. Abba Hillel Silver appealed for a single labor movement, asserting that the existence of more than one major labor federation in the United States has had harmful effects. Urging the Palestine Revisionist labor organization to join the Histadruth, Dr. Silver declared he was impressed with the Histadruth’s achievements and predicted that the cooperation of all workers in one federation would encourage progress in the country.
A joint meeting of the American and Palestinian delegates of the Poale Zion party called on the Jews of America to support the Histadruth’s efforts to build a Jewish Commonwealth.
REVISIONIST LEADER QUITE BECAUSE OF PARTY’S SEPARATIST ACTIONS
Dr. Jacob Marcus, a member of the Revisionist world executive and former chairman of the central committee of the Palestine Jewish State Party, last night announced his resignation from the Revisionist Party, declaring that it lacked a clear political line and was continuing its secessionist, separatist actions.
The members of the Revisionist bloc have not yet been able to agree on the composition of the party leadership. The elections are to be held tonight. The struggle for the presidency of the party has been complicated by internal conflicts on political policy.
Some of the participants in the political debate stressed that the Revisionists do not desire to drive Britain out of Palestine, but merely to “make her understand that the Jews were her best allies in the Middle East.” Arie Altman, leading candidate for the party presidency, counselled the party against “flirting” with the Soviet Union. The conference decided to establish its central headquarters in Paris.
The Congress court hearing charges against the American Revisionists for certain activities in the United States decided today not to call any further witnesses. It announced that its decisions will be rendered tomorrow.
MRS. WEIZMANN APPEALS FOR TRANSFER OF EUROPEAN CHILDREN TO PALESTINE
An appeal for the rescue of Jewish children still in Europe and their transfer to Palestine, was made last night by Mrs. Vera Weizmann at a reception preliminary to today’s opening of the Youth Aliyah conference.
“These children belong to us, they are our treasures, the only one left for us in our impoverishment,” Mrs. Weizmann declared, “and of this last possession we will not be robbed.” Mrs. Judith Epstein, president of Hadassah, greeted the meeting on behalf of her organization and George Landauer spoke on the activities of Youth Aliyah.
Memorial services were to be held at the plenary session tonight for prominent Zionists who have died since the last Congress was held in 1939. Dr. Weizmann is scheduled to deliver eulogies of Henrietta Szold, who would have been 85 years old yesterday had she lived. A film depicting the high points of her activities was shown here last night. Dr. Weizmann is also expected to pay tribute to Jacob Fishman, veteran Zionist and newspaperman who died last night.