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Zionist General Council Ends Discussion on Proposals to Adjust Differences Between Zionists and Non-

December 24, 1928
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Vote on Executive Resolution Scheduled for Saturday Night; Weizmann to be Empowered to Proceed with Legal Action for Completing Agency (Jewish Telegraphic Agency)

A resolution empowering the president of the World Zionist Organization to proceed, on the basis of the agreement reached between him and Mr. Louis Marshall, with legal action for completing the extension of the Jewish Agency to include non-Zionists as well as Zionists, was introduced by the Zionist Executive late Friday afternoon, following a two-day discussion.

The resolution calling for the acceptance of the American proposals aiming to set aside the differences created between the Zionists and non-Zionists as a result of the reservations made by the Zionist legislative body, the General Council, will in all likelihood be voted upon at the Saturday evening session of the Council. The proceedings were interrupted Friday afternoon in deference to the Sabbath.

Summing up the discussion, Dr. Weizmann, the chief exponent of the idea to extend the Jewish Agency and principal figure in the negotiations with the American group, stated that he believes Zionist leadership has succeeded in convincing the non-Zionist American Jews that the rebuilding of Palestine is not merely a matter of economic and technical nature but that it has taken into account also the spiritual elements. The memorandum handed him before his departure from the United States by Louis Marshall recognizes this point of view and admits that the recommendations of the Joint Palestine Survey Commission, the bone of contention of the Zionist General Council’s reservations, are subject to modifications as conditions change. The leading American non-Zionists who are imbued with the best intentions do not make the situation more difficult, but are rather helpful and facilitate cooperation. Replying to the demands of several Labor delegates from Palestine that the Jewish working class in the United States be given a seat in the Council of the Jewish Agency, the president of the World Zionist Organization stated that if the efforts to win the American Jewish labor organizations’ cooperation in the Palestine project are successful, their proper representation on the Agency will be conceded.

The speedy rebuilding of the Jewish National Home necessitates an extensive and intensive educational campaign among the Jewish communities in the Diaspora. Such a campaign must have for its aim the firing of the Jewish imagination and uniting and inspiring entire Jewry. Under such conditions the Palestine government would be asked to grant not 600 certificates for the admission of immigrants, but 6,000 in a given period. “Accept the Marshall memorandum. Bear in mind the task as a whole and don’t squabble over an iota,” Dr. Weizmann pleaded with the members of the Zionist General Council.

The discussion continued all day Friday and representatives from various countries participated.

Dr. M. Glueckson, editor of the “Ha’Aretz,” Tel Aviv, urged the adoption of the American proposals. The Jewish National Council of Palestine, which he represents, instructed its representatives to withhold their approval until the decisions adopted by the Zionist Congress and the General Council concerning the Jewish Agency formation were fulfilled. The Marshall memorandum, he stated, virtually fulfills these demands.

David Remez, Laborite, representing the Achduth Ha’Avodah of Palestine, stated that the Palestine labor settlers will never abandon the principle of their freedom to determine the form of settlement. He urged that a place be reserved in the Council of the extended Jewish Agency for the representatives of Jewish labor organizations in the United States.

Mr. Sprinzak, Palestine labor delegate, declared that the great majority of Zionists are in favor of the extension of the Jewish Agency policy. However, the Zionists will not recede from the principles laid down in the reservations formulated by the General Council at its July session in Berlin.

Jacob Fishman, New York, urged the Zionist groups in other countries to follow the excellent example of the Americans. As an eye witness to the proceedings of the Non-Zionist Conference held at the Biltmore Hotel, New York, on October 21, he stated that the proceedings and the spirit animating the non-Zionists at this conference were inspiring America performed excellent work. The opposition in the United States was completely disarmed by these results, he stated.

Mr. Harzfeld, Palestine laborite, expressed recognition for Dr. Weizmann’s achievements. The Jewish youth, he stated, is renewing its interest in the rebuilding of Palestine, because new progress and enthusiasm in the Palestine work are visible.

Dr. Selig Brodetsky of the University of Leeds, member of the Zionist Executive, stated he was satisfied that the results of Dr. Weizmann’s negotiations in the United States were 95 per cent, satisfactory. The non-Zionists, in the Marshall memorandum, recognize the principles of Hebrew culture. Jewish labor and the right of the settlers to determine their form of colonization are unaffected.

Dr. M. Hindes of Warsaw stated that the duty of the Zionist Organization is to guard the Zionist principles. The Marshall memorandum concerning the reservations provides a full guarantee that the Zionist principles will not be affected.

Dr. George Halperin, London, argued that after the formation of the enlarged Jewish Agency, the non-Zionists as well as the Zionists will be full fledged cooperators in the work.

Meer Grossman, speaking on behalf of the Revisionists, reiterated his group’s opposition to the extension of the Agency. Notwithstanding all assurances, the extension of the Agency spells danger to the Zionist movement. The cooperation of the non-Zionists in the Palestine work might be achieved without the Agency. The Revisionists, he stated, will remain within the Zionist Organization in the expectation of a change of policy.

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