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280 Delegates at World Zionist Congress

August 6, 1923
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

American Proposals Regarding Jewish Agency and Smaller Executive are Principal Issues:

Two hundred and eighty delegates registered for the first roll call of the Thirteenth World Zionist Congress which is beginning its two-week session here today.

The American delegation of twenty is headed by Lohis Lipsky, Chairman of theZionist Organization of America. Canada is represented by five delegates. The largest delegation of any “fraction” is that of Mizrachi, who number 80 delegates or almost a third of the voting power of the Congress.

Dr. Weizmann was among the latest to arrive in Carlsbad, having come late last night. It is said the leader purposely delayed his arrivel in order not to be involved in the exhausting preliminary conferences and private discussion preceding the Congress.

The two principal issues before the Congress are that of the Jewish Agency and the proposal to reduce the executive from its present membership of sixteen, to a “homogenous” group of five or six. Dr. Weizmann is sponsoring the last proposal and is also urging the plan to enlist non-Zionist forces in the reconstruction work of Palestine by means of a Jewish Agency, which the British Mandate for Palestine provides shall be constituted by the Zionist Organization.

The first official expressing of any of the “fractions” towards the proposal to extend the Jewish Agency was that of the “Zeire Zion” who concluded a protracted conference with the decision to oppose the plan. In announcing their stand the Zeire Zion declared they were for the “strengthening and purifying” of the Organization instead of an extensioning of the Organization’s responsibility.

Among the leaders of the opposition to the Jewish Agency plan is also Deputy Gruenbaum of Poland, who declared that the Agency plan meant the liquidation of the Zionist Organization, without the creation of another body to assume the financial obligations now borne by the Zionist Organization.

The American Delegation supporting the Agency plan declared that they recognized the urgency of preserving the integrity of the Zionist Organization but that the Agency would without undermining the Organization, bring to the side of the Zionist workers new forces, nominally not Zionistic, but ready and interested in the construction work of Palestine.

Dr. Hantke, Dr. Alexander Goldstein and Ab. Goldberg, of the American Zionist Administration, are among the group which is seeking to bring a reconciliation between the adherents and opponents of the American proposals, The American delegates, notably Louis Lipsky, Ab. Goldberg and Emanuel Neumann have appeared at several meetings of delegates to explain their point of view.

Dr. Soloweitchek, the member of the Executive entrusted with the World Congress plans, declared he favored the creation of a broader Agency, with the proviso that guarantees he had that the democratic principles of the Zionist Organization will be safeguarded.

Before the opening of the Congress, the alignment on the Weizmann proposals of extending the Agency through the co-opting of non-Zionist forces did not appear to be clear-cut. The Mizrachi, constituting almost one third of the entire Congress membership, are divided. The overwhelming majority are opposed to the Weizmann plan. The Americans are of course backing Dr. Weizmann believing that the integrity of the Organization can be maintained while the task of reconstructing Palestine requires the cooperation of all Jewry. A majority of the Polish Delegation, too, believe that the present form of Organization interferes with the sound economic work in Palestine and that much needed reform can be had from cooperation with new forces. Delegations representing some of the smaller countries are backing Dr. Weizmann, while a vigorous minority of Polish Zionists headed by Deputy Gruenbaum fear the Zionist Organization will have to surrender its control along with its national and democratic principles, should it enter upon the proposed cooperation. Some of the representatives of the Russian Zionists share these misgivings.

Of the organized opposition Nehemiah deLieme while opposing the Gnuenbaum group is as heartily against the Weizmann plan. The majority, however, incline to a compromise while the extremists on both sides appear adamant.

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