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Warns of “uninterrupted Protests” Against Britain

August 16, 1923
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Warning of the dangers inherent in “uninterrupted protests” against the British Government, the mandatory for Palestine, Dr. Chaim Weizmann, President, late last night outlined his policy before the delegates to the Thirteenth Zionist Congress here. His speech, the first public utterance since the vote to place on record the Administration’s report, was eagerly awaited by the Assembly as it was thought there was a likelihood of the President announcing his retirement. Every seat in the hall was occupied and the galleries were packed when he rose to speak.

Regarding the question of the Zionists’ relations to the Palestine mandatory, the British Government, Dr. Weizmann said “there must be mutual confidence and complete good will on both sides”. This did not mean, he added; that the Zionists were satisfied with the present situation, particularly with the British policy of restricting Jewish immigration into the country, nor with its attitude respecting the Hebrew schools of Palestine. He warned, however, that a policy of un-interrupted protests, would increase the difficulties and perhaps prove fatal.

“Public opinion”, Dr. Weizmann added, “must be enlightened, as there is not only a malicious opposition fighting the Zionist aims, but there is a great amount of honest ignorance that is responsible for much of the opposition.

“In our relations with the Arabs, while maintaining our unshakable rights, we must respect the rights of others. No other wish animates us than to live in friendly relations with the Arabs”.

Various aspects of the Zionistic policy, Dr. Weizmann continued, such as the economic and cultural undertakings in Palestine, should find a response in the hearts of the Arab world as well, for they will share in their good results equally with the other inhabitants of the country. In promoting good will between the Arabs and the Jews, he said, it would be necessary to rely more on the good offices of the Jews of Sephardic stock native to the soil.

Speaking of the Jewish Agency, and of the need for its extension, Dr. Weizmann declared that the signs were numerous that there are many Jews outside the Zionist Organization who were anxious to aid in Palestine reconstruction. He was convinced he declared, that many valuable allies would be enlisted in these quarters. The creation of the Agency would be no hinderence to the continued development of the Zionist Organization which, he declared, would be preserved intact. The adhesion of non-Zionists, he said, would bring added strength and political and financial prestige to the movement.

The work in Palestine needs reorganization. This, he said, implied no disparagement of the services of those now working there, but the relations were developing too rapidly for the present methods. The time has come when the administration machinery needs experts to handle it, hinting at his desire to see M. Ussishkin, the veteran leader who heads the Palestine branch of the Zionist Executive, retire.

“This is my program”, said Dr. Weizmann. “Let the Congress in its wisdom approve or reject it. The achievement of it requires strenuous efforts. Since 1815”, said Dr. Weizmann, referring to Mr. Sokolow and himself, “we both have borne heavy responsibilities. Possibly heavier ones are still ahead of us which we will be able to bear only when convinced that behind the leadership is the overwhelming majority of the movement. On this condition alone will we work”, he concluded.

This speech of Dr. Weizmann’s is taken as disposing for once and for all the rumors that have been afloat lately that political differences had arisen between Weizmann and Sokolow. Discussions relating to the Keren Hayesod commenced late Wednesday evening. Dr. Weir, of Austria, on behalf of the Keren Hayesod Committee announced that the American delegates had recognized the Maaser principle and were prepared to carry it through. It is intended, he said, that “Maaser (tithes) should be adhered to wherever collections for the Fund were made. Dr. Syrkin, the American Poale Zion leader, demanded the proclamation that the Keren Hayesod tax was the institution to which all classes of Jews owed allegiance. Ab Goldberg of New York opposed the proposal on the ground that it could not be effected. The ### proposal was voted down. Upon the recommendation of Morris Rothenberg, the Congress decided to publish regular reports showing how the money of the Keren Hayesod was spent. Mr. Rothenberg said the contributors desired to know how the money was spent and such information would strengthen the interest in the Fund.

According to a financial report issued by the directors of the Palestine Foundation Fund in London covering the Funds received by the Headquarters in London since its organization, two years ago, the collections reached the sum of £955,653.15, approximately $4,300,000.

The Fund, it is declared, was created at a very critical moment. When it became clear that the adverse world conditions were not a quickly passing phenomenon, the Keren Hayesod decided that it must adapt itself to the circumstances and not wait any longer. A strong effort was made to carry on the work under existing conditions no matter how bad they were. At that time Dr. Weizmann went to America at the head of a Delegation which included Prof. Albert Einstein. Tje Fund was organized and achieved considerable success. Keren Hayesod work began then in all countries and gradually the work everywhere began to bear fruit.

America occupies the head of the list of fifty countries contributing to the Fund. The sum which the United States alone has contributed (£572,100) is larger than that which all the other countries together have given. Nevertheless, the opinion commonly held that the Jewries of the Old World are depending entirely upon America for the necessary means for the rebuilding Palestine is not valid. New light is thrown on this question when one compares the political and economic situation and the exchange of America with those of other countries.

After America come the British Colonies, and Canada first of all. Thecess in Canada becomes more significant when the small number of Jews in that country, amounting to 150,000 souls, is taken into consideration.

After Canada comes South Africa with a population of only 60,000 Jews. England itself has given a small sum in comparison with the colonies, which is explained by the fact that England has previously contributed a great deal to the Preparation and Restoration Funds.

Poland is fourth on the list, despite the low rate of exchange. In Czecho-Slovakia the income is becoming quite regular and better results may be hoped for from that country in the future. Germany is eighth on the list.

The Department of Agricultural Colonization of the Palestine Zionist Executive in its report submitted to the Congress states that the most important event in the past two years has been the creation of the new settlements in Vale of Jezreel.

At the present time the extension of the Jewish agricultural settlements is only possible on national land with national f###. The economic crisis in Central and Eastern Europe has cut off the private supply of private capital for the purpose. However, at no previous time has there been available any Jewish workers so well fitted for agriculture as at present. The National Fund during the war was training pioneers for agriculture in various parts of Europe. Today both men and women workers, really proficient in agricultural work are to be found.

During the two years 1922 and 1923, the Zionist Organization with the funds provided by the Keren Hayesod, has established seven new settlements, two of which are the workers’ settlements, Kefar Nahalal and Kefar Yehezkiel. The number of settlers on these new settlements is 400 comprising 170 families. Five hundred and fifty pioneers have been transferred to agriculture. Fourteen existing farms have been strengthened, especially by the development of dairy-farming, and new employ 500 workers. Two experimental farms for women workers have been founded for the training of Haluzoth and preparations have been made for the opening of a school of farming for girls. The area under cultivation has risen from 22,070 dunam to 39,715 dunam. The number of workers on farms and settlements, extending or developing, has increased to 1521, with 476 dependents.

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