Basle (Sep. 1)
(Jewish Telegraphic Agency)
The political negotiations of Zionist leadership with the mandatory power and the League of Nations has passed the period of heroics and has entered a stage of slow but steady development, requiring cautious and tactful negotiation; there are no political hindrances for the Jewish people to continue the rebuilding of Palestine; the various political problems now pressing will find their solution in a measure proportionate with Zionist achievement in Palestine.
The underlying principle of the negotiations of Zionist leadership with the mandatory power is complete confidence toward that power.
There is a necessity for immediate steps to bring about a consolidation of the Jewish position in Palestine, to ameliorate the unemployment situation and to secure a long term loan to tide over the Zionist Organization for the coming year. New colonization work must be suspended until the old colonies have been made sound.
These were the outlines of the policy of the Zionist Executive presented to the Fifteenth Zionist Congress by Dr. Weizmann in his statement prior to the opening of the general debate in accordance with the tradition of the Zionist Congress.
“No sensational developments in the political field are to be expected,” Dr. Weizmann said. “Our policy must be a slow but steady march forward. It is already possible to point to a better and deeper understanding in the relations between the Zionist movement and the mandatory power. This understanding will increase steadily. The underlying principle of our attitude must be complete confidence toward the mandatory power, otherwise there is no room for negotiations. The political success of the work of the Zionist Executive will be in a measure proportionate with the Zionist achievement in Palestine; the greater the material achievements, the greater will be the political successes.
“Our sphere of influence in the League of Nations and in public opinion of the world has been considerably broadened, even in those countries where there is no direct interest in Palestine, and where, of course, the task is harder. The next Zionist Executive will have to create possibilities by which sympathy and greater support, for our ideal in the public opinion of England will be stimulated.
“The Palestine government has of late taken a more active part in the efforts aiming at the rebuilding of the Jewish National Home,” Dr. Weizmann continued. “It has extended aid in the unemployment situation, it has promulgated the Palestine Communities Ordinance, it has improved, partly and in an unsystematic manner, the industrial legislation.
“The next Zionist Executive will also have to continue the negotiations concerning the state lands, in which there are limited possibilities but some are possible of achievement if the government will take a favorable attitude, particularly in the region of Beisan. It is necessary to see to it that all land available be secured for Jewish colonization, and to seek such areas which may be of general use. The next Zionist Executive will have to lay emphasis on the right of the Jewish people as is outlined in the Palestine mandate. The heavy injustice in the present taxation system in Palestine, which results in placing a great burden on Zionist work, is an important point of which it is possible to expect a favorable solution in the not distant future.
“The next Zionist Executive will have to negotiate with the Palestine government concerning the industrial legislation, as well as concerning the starting of public works for Jewish workingmen. Our educational budget enjoys the growing support of the Palestine government. It will be necessary to carry through the same procedure with regard to our health work.
“The political negotiations of Zionist leadership have already passed through the period of heroics. At present it is possible to negotiate tactfully and cautiously. When the situation will be consolidated and when the work will go ahead, it may at a future date be possible that a new period of greater political work will ensue,” Dr. Weizmann said.
“The Palestine government and some Jewish manufacturers in Palestine are in dispute over the protective tariff question. Some of the manufacturers whose demands have not been met have started press attacks which are directed not only against Zionist leadership but against the government. In principle there is no prospect for introducing a protective tariff in Palestine.
“The foundations for the Jewish Agency have been laid. The organization of this Agency will not come about before the Joint Palestine Survey Commission will submit its report in March.
“The financial situation of the World Zionist Organization shows that for the year 1926-7 a deficit of Â£150,000 will be incurred. It will be necessary to improve this situation. Figuring that next year’s income of the Keren Hayesod will amount to Â£430,000 ($2,150,000) and remembering that we are committed to the amount of Â£127,000 in the Ruttenberg works, in the mortgage bank, the Solel Boneh, in the Schweitzer Hospital and in our contribution to the Jewish Agency Commission expenses, and remembering also that we will have to pay during the year Â£70,000 on debts and Â£70,000 for the labor department, there will remain Â£155,000 for the other operations of the Zionist Executive,” he said.
“It will be necessary to incur long term loans. There are prospects for securing such loans provided the proper budget is adopted,” Dr. Weizmann said.
“The agricultural settlements in Palestine have remained comparatively untouched by the crisis. However, it will be necessary to consolidate these settlements which have already been created before new settlements are undertaken. The Jewish National Fund and the Palestine Foundation Fund in Palestine will have to obtain individual contracts with the settlers.
“Our main problem is that of the unemployment. It will be partly solved by the beginning of the Ruttenberg work and by the beginning of the work in the Haifa harbor. The solution of the rest will require two years. The Congress must secure the necessary sum to immediately create opportunity for work for these unemployed. We are full of admiration for the discipline and the self-sacrifice of the Chaluzim, but we should never speculate on their idealism and the willingness to suffer. The raising of the part of the budget allotted to the various Zionist groups is a duty of honor. We must find an honorable solution to the unemployment problem.
“Reforms in the administration are necessary. There are no political hindrances for continuing our work in Palestine. We must meet and overcome the crisis in a manly, courageous manner, without hysterics,” Dr. Weizmann deilared.