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Rabbi Wise Demands Resignation of Present Zionist Leadership

January 8, 1929
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Calling for the resignation of all those who have surrendered the central Zionist idea, the Jewish State, beginning with the leader of the World Zionist Organization, Dr. Weizmann, and declaring his intention to fight the Jewish Agency until the World Zionist Congress has declared “this is not an extended Jewish Agency, but an attenuated, emasculated, minimized Jewish Agency,” Dr. Stephen S. Wise asserted that Herlian Zionism is dead both in Europe and America.

Making his first public address since his return, Rabbi Wise, speaking before his congregation on Sunday in Carnegie Hall, launched into an attack on the Zionists, non-Zionists and the Jewish press for their concurrence in the Marshall-Weizmann agreement.

Dr. Wise said he went to Berlin in the knowledge that he would be technically defeated, but in order that there might be one “sincere mourner at the burial of political Zionism.”

“Palestine under the Jewish Agency that threatens is not fit to contain the ashes of Herzl,” he declared. “I would not bring his ashes there, until that brood responsible for the Jewish Agency has left Palestine.”

He berated the Jewish press in America for its acquiescence to the Jewish Agency. “There is not a Jewish or a Yiddish paper in America that has raised the question of the terms of the Jewish Agency. The Jewish people gave a blank check to a small group to draw on the fortune of the Jewish people and not one newspaper uttered a word of protest or inquiry,” he said.

Resenting any implication that his is a battle against personalities, he said: “If you ask me: ‘Are you hostile to the leaders of the World Zionist Organization?’ I would say: Personally I am exceedingly fond of Dr. Weizmann. He is a charming and powerful personality at his best. I am not interested in personalities. I am interested in the center of Zionism. Those who have ceased to be interested in the central ideal of Zionism, beginning with the President of the World Zionist Organization, must go.”

Dr. Wise accused Louis Lipsky, president of the American Zionist Organization, of moral laxity, in permitting to appear unrefuted the statement attributed to him that Rabbi Wise went to Berlin for the purposes of revenge, because certain honors were not given him. Although satisfied with the explanation made him by Lipsky, Rabbi Wise said, this inference could have been drawn from the language of his lieutenants who surrounded him at the pier. Denying that he has ever sought honor, Dr. Wise said he could, if he willed, and he will some day, tell a very interesting story of what happened at Basle in 1927.

He charged the Actions Committee with unfairness in giving him the floozies (Continued on Page 4)

after the debate was closed, in forcing him to speak within one hour and twenty minutes of his arrival in Berlin after eight days of continuous travel. He pointed out that they listened with their ears, not with their hearts, and that while he was overwhelmingly defeated, immediately after the vote one-half of the members of the Actions Committee came to him and said, “Wise, you are right But what can we do?”

“If Herzl had lived he would have dealt with the non-Zionists with the same dignity as he dealt with Dr. Hirsch and the Rothschilds. He would have said, ‘We want your help we need it, but we cannot accept you help on terms violative of the convictions of the Jewish people.’

“If only the leader of the Zionist today would have been as firm with the non-Zionists as Winston Church was with the anti-Zionists, a difference chapter would have been written today.”

Some of those who are among the non-Zionists today, he said, were, are very short time ago, from a Jewish point of view, treacherous. These are the same men who went to President Wilson and ask him to take back his word endorsing the Zionist ideal. Dr. Wise declared.

“I would not entrust the sovereign inalienable rights of the Jewish people to any group of people without guarantees,” said Rabbi Wise, reviewing his demand that “if we form the Jewish Agency, we must automatically rent state the Zionist Organization as the Agency, not on the promise of a New York lawyer or philanthropist, but through a document by the Mandaton Power, approved and endorsed by the League. If the non-Zionists invest money, if they do, the Zionsts are investing the hope, life and faith of the Jewish people.

“I returned from Berlin a bowed b(###) not broken man,” he continued. I went to Berlin expecting to find Zionism misunderstood. I found politic Zionism dead, as dead in Europe as is in America.”

Concluding, Rabbi Wise said: “The genius of the Jewish people that can recreate the miracle of a national revival after 1,800 years will yet again perform the miracle of saving Zion for the Jewish people and the Jewish people for Zion. When my people understand they will reject compromise, may not live to see the day when the surrender is undone. But you will a member one man warned you against the surrender of one iota.”

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