Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

Island for Pure Political Zionism New Slogan of Opposition Group

December 4, 1928
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Assert Agency Pact Makes This Necessary; Nucleus of Opposition District Formed

The necessity for creating “a Zionist island” in the sea of “non-Zionism” which is feared as a result of the pact on the Jewish Agency between the Zionists and non-Zionists, was stressed as the slogan of the opposition group by Jacob de Haas and M. A. Zeldin at a meeting of the New York members of the Association for Z. O. A. Reorganization held at the Biltmore Hotel, Sunday afternoon. Forty men and women were present. M. A. Zeldin presided. Jacob de Haas and Mr. B. Epstein addressed the meeting.

Mr. de Haas stated that it was necessary at the present juncture to return to the fundamentals of Zionism. He traced the history of the movement for the past thirty-five years and stressed the point that it was as a political movement that Zionism gained its place and its value in Jewish life. Offers of cooperation on the part of non-Zionists in behalf of Palestine were repeatedly made previously, but on the condition that the movement gives up its political character. The acceptance of the Jewish Agency plan by the present Zionist leadership spells the disintegration of political Zionism. The speaker predicted that within five years, the Zionist Organization of America will be disintegrated by a dwindling membership and the lack of stimulus. He has no quarrel with the non-Zionists who have been consistent, fair and honest. The plot against political Zionism is to be blamed on the present leadership, which has never been “politically Zionistic.” The Jewish Agency past will lead to converting the Zionist movement into a mere philanthropic enterprise without vision and without political scope. In such Palestine work, a political Zionist can take no pride, he stated.

A nucleus of a Zionist opposition district was effected at the meeting, close to forty members enlisting. Mr. Zeldin was named temporary chairman of the district and together with D. Parris. Secretary; I. Posnansky, L. I. Bloom and Dr. C. Dumay, member of the Provisional Executive Committee.

The charge was made by Mr. de Haas and Mr. Zeldin that the present Zionist leadership has yielded the political principles of the Basle program for a hope, which, if realized, renders unnecessary the Balfour Declaration, the Mandate and the Zionist Organization. The present leaders of the Zionist movement are not political Zionists, they are Achad Ha’Amists. The administration of the Zionist Organization of America was not criticized at the meeting.

Recommended from JTA