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Zionist General Council, Overriding Opposition to Extension of Jewish Agency, Drafts Plans for Body’

December 26, 1928
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Vote of 39 to 5 on Marshall-Weizmann Agreement Followed by Provisions to Guard Zionist Principles; Weizmann Leaves Berlin After Vote; Wise Protests Against Secrecy, Warns of Movement’s Degradation; National Home Principle Is Issue, He Says (Jewish Telegraphic Agency)

Having overridden by a majority of 39 to 5 the opposition to the Marshall-Weizmann agreement on the inclusion into an enlarged Jewish Agency of non-Zionists to share with the Zionists responsibility in the upbuilding of Palestine as the Jewish National Home under the provisions of the Palestine Mandate of the League of Nations, the Zionist General Council continued its sessions here all day Sunday and Monday.

After listening to the arguments of Dr. Stephen S. Wise of New York, who made a last-minute trip across the ocean especially to present his objections, the General Council went on with its work of drafting a constitution for the enlarged Jewish Agency. The Council of the Jewish Agency, under the present plan, is to consist of 200 members, instead of 150 as was originally intended. The Zionist legislative body adopted a resolution reaffirming a previous decision of the Zionist Congress that the incumbent of the office of president of the World Zionist Organization is always to be the president of the Jewish Agency. The purpose of this resolution is, it was explained, to guarantee the Zionist character of the Palestine work which will be carried on under the combined Jewish Agency.

Another resolution was adopted by the General Council at the initiative of the labor groups, Hitachduth and Poale Zion, in which it is emphasized that Point 3 of the Marshall memorandum, on which the vote was taken, constituted a reaffirmation of the decision of the General Council last July that the freedom of the Palestine settlers to choose for themselves the form of settlement, individualistic Moshav or collective Kvuzah, be secured, provided, however, that these colonization systems are found to be in accordance with economic principles and make the settlements self-supporting.

The president of the World Zionist Organization was also urged to take steps to enlist the cooperation of Jewish labor organizations in the United States for the furtherance of the Palestine project and to secure for them adequate representation on the enlarged Jewish Agency in that portion of the membership allotted to the American non-Zionists.

The question of drafting the constitution for the enlarged Jewish Agency occupied the General Council all day Sunday. While members of the opposition group and others urged that the competency of the enlarged Jewish Agency be limited in favor of the Zionist Executive, the spokesmen for the Mizrachi Orthodox Zionist Organization and of the general Zionists urged that the future Agency be given the widest prerogatives. A special commission to draft the Jewish Agency constitution was appointed consisting of Dr. Abraham Coralnik, New York; Kurt Blumenfeld, Berlin; Leon Lewite, Warsaw; Dr. Alfred Klee, Berlin; Dr. Alexander Goldstein, London, and Dr. M. Glueckson, Tel Aviv.

The Zionist General Council also debated Sunday the question of proxies as provided in the Weizmann-Marshall agreement. The agreement requires the granting of the right of proxy to the American members. It was suggested that each member of the Jewish Agency Council may have the right to hold proxies for four other members, so that ten Americans attending may represent the full voting power of the American non-Zionists.

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