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News Brief

December 17, 1928
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An article urging the return of Dr. Stephen S. Wise to active participation in the Zionist movement notwithstanding the differences of opinion, appears in this week’s issue of “Dos Yiddishe Folk,” Yiddish organ of the Zionist Organization of America.

In the article entitled “The Individual and the Movement in Zionism,” written by Dr. S. Bernstein, editor of the weekly, it is stated:

“I believe that the present moment is appropriate for giving expression to a feeling which rests heavily on many Zionists throughout the country. Their feeling of joy at the present development is mixed with one of regret. They are glad to see Louis Marshall, Felix Warburg and David Brown appearing at Zionist meetings and conferences, stretching out a hand and giving their hearts for the reconstruction of the Jewish National Home. They are burdened, however, with the feeling expressed by our old comrade, Rabbi Max Heller, at the non-Zionist conference: ‘I would have been happy indeed if among the joyous voices of today there would have been heard the voice of Dr. Stephen S. Wise’.”

Arguing that even though it cannot be doubted that Dr. Wise had committed grave errors at the Pittshurgh Zionist convention, there is no reason for Dr. Wise to retire from the movement of which he was for thirty years a valiant servant and champion, the writer continues:

“Much weaker is the reason for Dr. Wise’s retirement if his attitude toward the Jewish Agency is to be considered as such. It seems that there should be no difference between Dr. Wise and the decision of the Zionist General Council on the Jewish Agency. After the acceptance by both parties of the reservations, as well as of the three-year period, there is no logical reason why Dr. Wise should not place himself wholeheartedly in the service of the Agency plan. One can understand that a Gruenbaum or a Jabotinsky may remain in opposition as before, even though the reservations are adopted. They are dogmatists. To them the dogma of their group policy is supreme. They do not want and cannot proceed further.”

“There is another cause,” the writer continues, “for the resentment of many Zionists of Dr. Wise’s present retirement. Even though one supposes that after all, Dr. Wise still has some disquieting feelings concerning the Jewish Agency idea; admitted that the Agency plan has not convinced him yet entirely and he still has his doubts, then Dr. Wise is duty bound to make the greatest sacrifice which a spiritual leader must often make–the sacrifice of his conviction. Only a great leader and hero can make such a sacrifice. The Zionist, however, expects such heroism of Dr. Wise. Dr. Herzl made such a sacrifice when the Uganda question was under discussion.”

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