Zionist Opposition Formulates Program at New York Conference
Menu JTA Search

Zionist Opposition Formulates Program at New York Conference

Download PDF for this date

Rejecting the proposal that it secede from the Zionist Organization of America and undertake to form an independent Zionist Movement, the Association for the Reorganization of the Zionist Organization of America, at its first public conference held all day Sunday at the Hotel Majestic, New York, reaffirmed its intention of working from within the movement to effect those changes which in the words, of Judge Julian W. Mack, will “vindicate the moral principles that underly the Zionist ideal” and bring about “the establishment of a Jewish National Homeland in which social justice shall prevail.”

Applauding the criticism of Abraham Tulin that the present Zionist leadership has done nothing except create a political machine in the Diaspora and a system of philanthropies in Palestine, the Conference which was attended by 350 men and women, recorded its approval of an extensive membership plan, which has as its ultimate aim a majority, large enough to carry out the policy of reform advocated in the program adopted.

The activities of the opposition are not to be confined to local problems alone. What it is aiming at, Judge Mack indicated, is a voice in the World Congress where this year, the paramount problems in Zionism will be fought out rather than at the American Convention. The first condition toward such a goal is the sending of a large untrammeled delegation.

To effect this end a plan was advanced by Mr. A. Zeldin, which calls upon all those identified with the reorganization group to undertake a membership enrollment campaign in the Z. O. A. with the proviso that the enrollments should come through the Association for the Reorganization of the Z. O. A. and that members should be signed up only after they had been informed of the Reorganization platform and expressed their approval thereof. It is hoped in this manner to organize whole Zionist districts of reorganization sympathizers. The organization of New York City in this manner is only preliminary. Mr. Zeldin announced, to a national movement to be launched at a national conference to be held within the next six weeks.

A dwindling membership and an increase of the Z. O. A. deficit, was the chief burden of the criticism launched ## the American Zionist Administration by Mr. Robert Szold. Nothing has happened since the Pittsburgh Convention to indicate that there has been a moral change he said. “The naming of an estimable gentlemen as Executive Director, whose mental operations are more difficult to understand than any one I know, does not after the situation so long as the present cabinet is not discharged.”

The present World Zionist Administration has been a failure for the past eight and one half years according to Abraham Tulin. The full extent of the Executive failure is summed up in the report submitted by Great Britain to the Mandates Commission of the League of Nations as to how far advanced is the formation of the Jewish Agency, he stated. “The British report gives as the sum total of Jewish achievement four things: I, Payment of 7,000 pounds annually for Jewish relief so that no Jew has become a public charge: 2. Earthquake relief: 3. Support of the health work; 4. Appointment of the Palestine Survey Commission.

“These facts condemn the Zionist Administration. Great Britain’s failure to live up to its pledges can be laid at the door of the Zionist policy which undertook to do everything itself,” be declared.

To remedy the conditions requiring change, as asserted by Mr. Tulin Mr. Scold, Samuel Rosensohn. Jacob de Haas. A. H. Fromenson. Elias Glasburg and others, the conference adopted a program which demands:

1. Reorganization of the present American Zionist administration along lines proposed prior to the Pittsburgh Convention: 2. Revival of Shekel groups, as the basis for representation in the Zionist Congress: 3. Formulation of measures to effect the necessary economic reforms in Palestine: 4. A survey of the economic, commercial and agricultural possibilities of Palestine: 5. Stimulating American Jews to come to the aid of commerce, industry and agriculture in Palestine: 6. Educational monumen to acquaint the public with Zionist ideals and Palestine development.

These resolutions were adopted after some discussion. The conference was thrown into considerable excitement when the resolutions concerning the Jewish Agency and participation in the United Palestine Appeal were offered for approval by Mr. Jacob de Haas. The resolution demands that in the formation of the Agency the text of the Mandate he followed to the letter and that the three year trial period as advocated by the Thirteenth Zionist Congress be maintained.

A strong hint was offered by Mr. De Haas that secret negotiations concerning the Jewish Agency were going on between the Zionist Executive and the Mandatory Power and the League. “We want in this Agency, no repitition of the Churchill White Paper signed under duress in the middle of the night,” declared Mr. De Haas insisting that all documents, be they public or private relating to the Agency, be published prior to its formation.

The Jewish Agency may be the preliminary to the supercession of the Zionist Organization, and it is therefore well that the situation be gone into with care, Mr. De Haas insisted.

“The Joint Palestine Survey Commission has met, it has issued its report; the Zionist Conference met in Berlin and Lord Melchett gave out a most remarkable series of interviews. From these events I gather there is no pot of gold at the and of the rainbow. The report advances no great financial prospects for the movement. Of the ten million dollar and which the non-Zionists were to raise there is no mention, and of the eighty million dollar fund which I heard artlessly whispered during May, there is of course no thought. Lord Melchet has made it abundantly clear that the report has no connection with the Agency. He says simply: You can carry out the recommendations of the report and have no Agency or you can establish the Agency and ignore the report.

“The Agency is a plan whereby the 15th Zionist Congress agreed to the supercession of the Z. O. as the Jewish Agency. Where is the report showing how the superceding of the Z. O. has been prepared for? No man and no group of men are the conscience of the movement and no congress should be faced with a fair accompli. This we are here trying to guard against by calling for be publication at this time of all document as in the negotiations.

“To the non-Zionists who wish to aid in the development of Palestine, we offer the heartiest welcome, and it the cost of their support involves the dissolution of ur organization that must be faced but not blindly or under duress as a conse##ce of baffling internal Zionist politics.”

The full txt of the resolution adopted ## “By the Mandate the World Zionist Organization is constituted the Jewish Agency. The Mandate requires the Zionist Organization “to secure the cooperation of all Jews who are willing to assist in the establishment of the Jewish National Home.” It is therefore, the duty of all Zionists to assist in all efforts made by the World Zionist Organization to achieve this end.

“To safeguard the integrity of Zionist aims and ideals and rights under the Mandate the Mandare must not be changed. To do so would be forever to surrender Zionist rights secured after years of effort and would violate the resolutions of the Zionist Congress which has approved the extension of the Agency by an agreement for a three years trial period. The reservations adopted by the Zionist Council at Berlin are aimed to accomplish this end and must be insisted upon.

“We further declare that any steps taken by the representatives of the World Zionist Organization contrary to the letter and spirit of the resolutions of the Zionist Congress and of the Zionist Council, are taken without authority and should be vigorously opposed. All documents of whatever nature, public or private, to or from the Mandatory Power, or the Council of the ## of Nations, relating to the formation of the Agency and the conditions under which it is to operate, should be made public.”

The conference was aroused by the report of Mr. Isaac Allen that the Executive Committee of the Zionist Organization of America, meeting at the same time in the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, had appropriated the sum of $100,000 from the U. P. A. to meet its expenses.” A resolution was adopted declaring the willingness of the Opposition group to participate in the U. P. A. provided “the U. P. A. is entirely divorced from direct of indirect control of the Z. O. A. and that an administration will be set up for the collection and disbursement of U. P. A. funds that will assure the public that no part of the receipts can be used directly or indirectly for Z. O. A. purposes or to create political control for machine politicians.”

In the event that these provision are not met with Judge Mack pointed out the members of the Opposition are not absolved of their responsibilities to Palestine the ## cated that the Hadassah may ## to raise a separate fund in which event the group, if the Executive so decides will ally itself with Hadassah.

A ## of optimism was sounded by Mr. Israel Brodle who has recently returned from Palestine, Palestine he declared is recovering from the economic crisis of 1925. The land now supports 513 industries created by the initiative of its inhabitants. He warned however that with the development of the Haifa port, the Mosel Pipe line, the refineries, the Bagdad Railway and the Rutenberg electrification scheme, there is danger of non Jewish capital getting control of the key industries.

He urged the organization of a National Non Partisan Trading Company along the lines of the Hudson Bay Trading Company to extend credit to small industries. Unless private industry is developed, he pointed out, immigration to Palestine cannot ##.

The conference expressed its resentment of the Wailing Wall incident and charged the Executive with investigating the advisability of joining the movement ## raise a fund to purchase the area adjoining the Wall.

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