Weizmann in Farewell Message Urges Zionists to Abstain from Factional Warfare
Menu JTA Search

Weizmann in Farewell Message Urges Zionists to Abstain from Factional Warfare

Download PDF for this date

Calling upon the Zionists of America to “refrain from fratricidal war” and urging the opposition to the Zionist Organization of America “to consider whether the methods that they are using are for the best interests of Palestine,” Dr. Chaim Weizmann delivered his last address but one before his departure for London on May 23rd, at the closing banquet of the United Palestine Appeal for Greater New York.

The banquet, which was presided over by Judge Otto A. Rosalsky, Chairman of the Appeal for Greater New York, heard Judge Grover M. Moscowitz, Chairman for the Appeal in Brooklyn, laud Dr. Weizmann as “the world’s foremost Jew” and praise him for his work in increasing interest among American Jews in the rebuilding of Palestine. Judge Rosalsky referred to Dr. Weizmann’s participation in the formation of the Jewish Agency and called it one of the greatest pieces of work that had ever been achieved for the “unification of Israel.”

The topic of the Jewish Agency was enlarged upon by Morris Rothenberg, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the United Palestine Appeal, who pointed to the consummation of the Agency and the investigation by the experts as indicative of the desire of the American Zionist leadership to introduce effective economic methods into the up building of Palestine.

During his speech, Dr. Weizmann said in part: “If I were to attempt to erect a building of the stones that have been thrown at me during my stay in this country, I should very likely be able to erect a skyscraper. Such is the fate of those of us who have taken upon ourselves the duty of working in and for Palestine. Such will always be the fate of a Jewish leader,–until we learn to respect ourselves and to respect our leaders. In respecting our leaders, we pay respect to ourselves. It will not go on–it cannot go on–for us to elect a man for the purpose of subsequently dissecting him.”

Thanking the American Zionist leaders for the co-operation they had extended to him in this country, Dr. Weizmann turned to Mr. Louis Lipsky, President of the Zionist Organization of America, and said: “Be strong and of good courage. Nothing, my friend, no amount of invective can wipe out the services which you have rendered to the Jewish people. It is a possession of which no one can rob you.”

Pointing out that he was now breaking the self-imposed silence that he had maintained since his arrival in this country, in regard to the present Zionist controversy in the American ranks, Dr. Weizmann said:

“I appeal to the opposition to the Zionist Organization of America to consider carefully whether the end which they desire to achieve, namely, strengthening and improving the Zionist movement in America, cannot be achieved by other methods, by better methods, than those which they are now applying; whether the end they wish to achieve must necessarily lead to the type of warfare they have been carrying on.

“I also make a particular appeal to Hadassah, to those women who have achieved so extraordinary a piece of work in Palestine. Let them consider seriously whether these methods, in which they may be involuntary participants, are the methods which are likely to build or to help Palestine. From the higher point of view, and not from that of party politics, is it necessary to conduct a war? I ask that hostilities of this fratricidal war be suspended so as not to disturb the work for Palestine.

“This is my last appeal to American Zionists.”

A financial report presented by Samuel Blitz, Director of the New York drive, showed that the New York campaign had received in pledges $1,081,165, of which $742,002 is in cash. He also reported that expenses had been cut by almost $50,000 as compared with last year.

The Board of Directors of the United Palestine Appeal and the representatives of the Zionist Organization of America on that Board under fire of the opposition for “diversion of funds” in the U. P. A. loans to the American Zion Commonwealth, were upheld by a vote at the National Conference on Palestine held all day Sunday at the Hotel Astor, New York. The resolution which endorsed the action of the U. P. A. directorate was adopted by an overwhelming majority. Of the five hundred leaders in the United Palestine Appeal campaigns, eleven voted against the resolution.

Baruch Zuckerman, labor leader, objected to the resolution on the ground that it would endorse the assumption of the United Palestine Appeal of budgetary power which is held only by the Zionist Congress. Rabbi Nachman H. Ebin defended the resolution, declaring that it was an act of emergency and “when a fire is raging, strict parliamentary procedure may be dispensed with.”

At the suggestion of Morris Rothenberg, who declared that the resolution presented was not asked for by the directors, the original resolution submitted by Hyman J. Reit in behalf of the resolutions committee was modified to read as follows:

“Resolved that this National Conference on Palestine give its full approval to the action of the Board of Directors of the United Palestine Appeal. in aiding the American Zion Commonwealth, by the advance of loans, and record its opinion that this action, taken after conference with, and approval by the leadership of the World Zionist organization, was a proper and constructive use of the funds of the United Palestine Appeal, in the best interests of the Jewish Homeland and of the United Palestine Appeal.”

Before the adoption of the resolution, Mr. Rothenberg made a lengthy statement containing data on the American Zion Commonwealth advances and the discussions which were held on the subject prior to the grants. He declared that in the light of the facts the assertions of the opposition were unwarranted.

Judge William M. Lewis, national chairman of the United Palestine Appeal, who presided, stated that the Appeal, since its inception two and a half years ago, collected $8,396,843.

We have had no million dollar contributions. Some of the wealthiest and most competent of our people have held aloof. Our sole dependency has been the great masses of the Jewish people, and I think that if we compare our collections with the proportionate amounts collected by other national Jewish campaigns during the same period we need not at all be ashamed of our record.” Judge Lewis stated.

A resolution was also adopted thanking Dr. Weimann for his services in stimulating the activities of the United Palestine Appeal Dr. Weizmann spoke at length on the present controversy, although he did not refer to the leaders by name. “The opposition,” he stated, has not disclosed its principles and is shooting from concealed guns.” (Dr. Weizmann’s remarks will be published in tomorrow’s issue.)

The speakers at the session were Morris Rothenberg, chairman of the Board of Directors of the United Palestine Appeal. Louis Lipsky, president of the Zionist Organization of America Rabbi Z. H. Masliansky and Dr. Weizmann.

The National Board of Hadassah the Women’s Zionist Organization of America announced yesterday that at the New England Conference of Hadassah Chapters held in Boston Sunday. May 20, at which twenty-eight Chapters from Matre. Massachosetts and Rhode Island were represented the program of Hadassah’s proposed reforms in the Zionist Organization was approved by a majority, and a vote of support to the President and the National Board of Hadassah, was adopted by a similar majority.

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund