NEW YORK (Apr. 5)
The Jewish Agency today issued a statement expressing regret over the fact that the American Jewish Committee last week made public a letter addressed to the Agency without waiting for a reply. “This strange procedure also forces the Jewish Agency to make its reply public,” the statement said.
“The Jewish Agency rejects the protest of the American Jewish Committee on the ground that it is under no obligation to consult with the American Jewish Committee before calling an international Jewish conference,” the statement declared. “At the time when the Zurich conference was convened it was absolutely essential to hold it as quickly as possible for the conference to fulfil its purpose. Had the Jewish Agency consulted the American Jewish Committee, it would also have had to consult many other Jewish organizations not alone in the USA but also in England, France, Latin America, Canada and other countries which are entitled to the same treatment as the American Jewish Committee.
“To consult all organizations would have required weeks, and it is for that reason the Agency decided to call the conference without such consultations. The fact that the organizations invited had accepted the invitation indicates that the reasons for the calling of the conference even without such prior consultation were fully understood by all.
“It must, furthermore, be pointed out that while taking the initiative in convening the conference in Zurich, the Jewish Agency had clearly provided that the agenda and the procedure for the conference would be determined by all organizations represented at the conference. The American Jewish Committee was so informed.
“The Jewish Agency is always ready and eager to cooperate with all Jewish organizations, a desire manifested on many occasions. It will continue this policy in the future. At the same time, however, it must retain the right to decide to undertake actions on its own responsibility, whenever it deems them necessary and shall not be dissuaded from this policy by warnings that the American Jewish Committee will not participate in any further conferences unless consulted in advance.”