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Zionist Executive Reaffirms Concurrence in Agency Extension

January 8, 1929
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

A unanimous vote taken at the quarterly session of the National Executive Committee of the Zionist Organization of America held Sunday all day at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, again expressed the whole-hearted concurrence of the majority of American Zionists in the extension of the Jewish Agency.

The Zionist opposition group in the United States was urged in a resolution adopted to “desist from further action which may prove disastrous to the interests of Palestine and the Jewish National Home.” Dr. Stephen S. Wise was rebuked by Louis Lipsky for his recent utterances in Europe and the United States, concerning the decisions of the Zionist General Council ratifying the Marshall-Weizmann agreement. The “responsibilities of democracy” are forgotten by Dr. Wise in his championship of democracy in the Zionist movement, Mr. Lipsky stated, charging that Dr. Wise’s public statements that Zionism suffered a death blow, are injurious to the interests of the movement.

The meeting was presided over by Elihu D. Stone of Boston, and listened to extensive reports of the state of affairs in the Zionist movement in the United States by Dr. I. M. Rubinow, executive director, and Dr. Mordecai M. Kaplan, chairman of the administrative committee. A series of recommendations formulated by Dr. Rubinow and Dr. Kaplan on how to strengthen the Zionist movement and prepare it for the near future when the Agency will come into operation were referred by the committee to the administrative committee with power to act. These measures, including a recommendation for amendments in the constitution of the Zionist Organization of America, were necessary, it was explained, because of the new phase which Zionist work will have to assume under the Agency.

“As far as parliamentary action is concerned, all obstructions to proceeding with the extended Jewish Agency have practically been removed, and it remains for the next Zionist Congress, to meet in July, to give its approval of all Dr. Chaim Weizmann has achieved in this direction,” Mr. Lipsky declared in his address.

“The Zionists of America have given their approval to the policy of extending the Jewish Agency, because they have felt that the task of upbuilding Palestine is not specifically and exclusively the task of the Zionist Organization; that all Jews have a share in the responsibility and that unity in this direction is of the utmost importance both economically and politically. They feel that in the extension of the Jewish Agency, Zionist principles are adequately safeguarded.

“The Louis Marshall group have accepted the terms of the Palestine Mandate. They have accepted the principles underlying the Jewish Na- (Continued on Page 4)

tional Fund, which is regarded as the most nationalistic of the Zionist institutions to come under the wing of the Jewish Agency. They have also expressed absolute accord with the idea that Palestine is to be built up through Jewish labor, and in all enterprises of the Jewish Agency Jewish labor is to be employed. They are wholly in accord with the spirit of the Hebraic cultural revival in Palestine. There are a few additional points on which there is dispute, but we have no doubt that at the first meeting of the Council of the extended Jewish Agency, these disputed points will be settled in a friendly manner.

“Dr. Stephen Wise is unduly alarmed, and is guilty of using extravagant words in describing the present Zionist situation. His attempt to discredit Dr. Weizmann’s leadership will not meet with the approval of any considerable section of any Jewry in any part of the world. It is curious that Dr. Wise and Mr. Justice Brandeis and Judge Mack should regard the present co-partnership arrangement with the non-Zionists with disfavor, when in 1920, it was Mr. Brandeis’ own proposal to hand over the absolute control of the Zionist Organization to a quintette of directors responsible not to the Zionist Organization, but with full power to act as the agency for the up building of Palestine for a term of five years. If this was in consonance with Zionist principles in 1920, why is it so incongruous to accept an arrangement with non-Zionists, who endorse so many of the Zionist principles and are willing to give their generous co-operation in the achievement of our ideal?”

Mr. Lipsky was preceded by Jacob Fishman, managing editor of the Jewish Morning Journal, who had also attended the sessions of the General Council in Berlin. Mr. Fishman gave a comprehensive account of what had taken place at the meeting, declaring that the great majority of Zionist opinion in Europe was in favor of the Jewish Agency pact.

The resolution, which was introduced by Herman Bernstein, chairman of Political Affairs of the Zionist Organization, and seconded by Dr. Joseph Silverman, Rabbi Emeritus of Temple Emanu-El, read as follows:

“Whereas, the extension of the Jewish Agency aims to secure the cooperation of all Jews in the up building of Palestine as the Jewish National Home, in accordance with the terms of the Balfour Declaration and the Mandate for Palestine, is now the settled policy of the Zionist Organization, and

“Whereas, at successive Zionist Congresses, resolutions were adopted, directing the World Zionist Executive to take steps toward the achievement of this object, without disturbing the fundamental principles on which Zionism rests, which have been stated in definite terms by the Congress, and

“Whereas, at a meeting of the General Council of the World Zionist Organization held in Berlin in July, 1928, a series of resolutions were adopted safeguarding these principles which were subsequently incorporated in an agreement between representatives of the World Zionist Organization and the non-Zionist group in this country, and

“Whereas, the Zionist Organization of America is convinced of the historic necessity which underlies the extension of the Jewish Agency, and

“Whereas, non-members of the Zionist Organization in this country, headed by Mr. Louis Marshall, have indicated their earnest desire to cooperate with the Zionist Organization in the up building of the Jewish National Home in Palestine in accordance with the terms of the Balfour Declaration and the Palestine Mandate, and have fairly accepted the terms laid down by the Zionist Congress.

“Therefore be it resolved, that the National Executive Committee of the Zionist Organization of America express its deep satisfaction at the action of the General Council of the World Zionist Organization meeting in Berlin in December, approving the agreement reached between the representatives of the World Zionist Organization and the Marshall group in this country, giving authority to Dr. Weizmann to sign such agreement in behalf of the Zionist Organization, thus making possible the final consummation of the Jewish Agency to which effort it pledges further its full support and co-operation.

“Be it further resolved that the National Executive Committee express its regret that an attempt is being made by a Zionist group in this country to place obstacles in the way of the peaceful negotiation required for the consummation of the extended Agency and to disruption of the union of the forces. It expresses the hope that in the interests of Zionism, the Jewish National Home and Jewish unity, it will desist from further action which may prove disastrous to the interests of Palestine and the Jewish National Home.”

The Jewish Agency pact was called of “tremendous consequence to the Zionist movement” by Elihu D. Stone in his report. This position was also taken by Prof. Mordecia Kaplan, who stated that the achievement of unity in Jewish life is the main objective now.

One of the speakers at the meeting was Mayor David Bloch, of Tel Aviv, who predicted that large progress is to be expected in Palestine.

Much of the discussion during the afternoon session of the meeting was devoted to “Dos Yiddish Folk.” A motion to reconsider the action of the last meeting of the National Executive Committee which ordered the change of “Dos Yiddish Folk” from a weekly to a monthly, was passed. Mr. Wm. B. Leaf then presented a motion on behalf of the Administrative Committee of the Zionist Organization of American that “Dos Yiddish Folk” be published every other week, instead of every week, as at present. The motion was passed,-29 to 23.

Mr. Emanuel Neumann, recently elected President of the Jewish Nation Fund, made an appeal for unit support for the Jewish National Fund.

The meeting closed with the adoration of a resolution expressing congratulations to Abraham Goldberg on the attainment of his twenty-fifth year old service in the Zionist cause.

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