Weizmann Urges Jewish Unity for Palestine at World Zionist Congress in Zurich
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Weizmann Urges Jewish Unity for Palestine at World Zionist Congress in Zurich

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The work of the Sixteenth Biennial Zionist Congress was organized and was well under way when the delegates, 322 in number, assembled for the Monday morning session following the solemn and festive proceedings of the opening session late Sunday afternoon at the Zurich Opera House.

Two hundred and fifty-four regularly elected delegates and 68 members of the administration who are entitled to rote were seated following the adoption of the report of S. Gronemann of Berlin, chairman of the Congress Court, the body charged with passing on the validity of the elections. The protest of Jacob de Haas of New York, representing the American Opposition group, against the result of the Zionist elections in the United States, was rejected by the Congress Court for the reason that the protest was submitted too late.

Dr. Chaim Weizmann, president of the World Zionist Organization, took the floor for the second time to submit his report on the political situation in Palestine.

The actual work of the Congress was started when the praesideum for the plenary session, including many Americans, was elected by acclamation on the recommendation of a special committee of the Zionist General Council. Nahum Sokolow was chosen president of the Congress. The following vice-presidents were elected: Rabbi A. H. Silver of Cleveland, Ohio; Archibald Freiman of Ottawa, Canada; M. M. Ussishkin, Jerusalem; Rabbi Meyet Berlin, Jerusalem; Deputy H. Farbstein and Abraham Podliszewski of Warsaw; Dr. Leon Reich of Lemberg; David Ben Gurion of Jerusalem; Joseph Sprinzak, Jerusalem; Adolf Bernhardt of Bucharest, Roumania. As members of the praesidium the following were elected: Rabbi Judah L. Landau of Johannesburg; Abraham Goldberg, New York; Mrs. Archibald Silverman, Providence, R. I.; Rabbi Israel Rosenberg and Rabbi Remagolski of New York; Dr. Alfred Klee of Berlin; Sigmund Arzt of Warsaw; Deputy H. Rosenblatt of Lodz, Poland; Mr. Marks of London; Deputy Fischer of Bucharest; Dr. G. A. Terlo of Cracow, representing the labor party Hitachduth. A place was reserved for a representative of the Revisionist group.

The omission of Dr. Stephen S. Wise of New York from the list of officers for the Congress was noted.

Jacob Fishman of New York and Mr. Siegel were the two Americans elected on the secretariat of the Congress which includes eight European members as well.


Simplicity and dignity marked the proceedings of the opening session which was attended by close to 3,000 persons. With the members of the diplomatic corps of most of the governments of Europe present, including the British Ambassador to Switzerland, William Russell, and the Under-Secretary of the League of Nations. Albert Dufour Feronce, and representatives of the Swiss government, Dr. Weiz-

mann and Mr. Sokolow were the principal speakers of the festive session.

The platform, decorated in green, with a large portrait of Dr. Herzl draped in black placed in the center, was occupied by the members of the Zionist Executive in the front row, followed by the members of the governing boards of the Zionist funds, the Palestine Foundation Fund and the Jewish National Fund, and leading officials in Zionist service. The press table, seating about 300 newspapermen from 39 countries, was crowded to capacity. Dr. Weizmann, in good health but thin following his recent Illness, was the recipient of a prolonged ovation given him by the seated delegates when he entered the hall. The ovation accorded him at the square outside of the Opera House by the Zionist youth assembled there was greater.


The progress made by the Zionist movement and the recognition that it has won was characterized by the tone of the greetings and messages addressed to the Congress by eminent European statesmen and government representatives. A tone of extreme friendliness and approval of the goals of the movement was evident in the congratulatory utterances. William Russell, British Ambassador to Switzerland, greeted the Congress in behalf of his government. He declared that although this was his first contact with the Zionist movement directly, he was a student of Zionist problems. He assured the delegates that his government will follow with close interest the progress of the proceedings.

Rudolf Streuli, representative of the Swiss government, and Dr. Keioell, Mayor of Zurich, extended to the delegates the hospitality of Switzerland and the city of Zurich. They declared that the Herzl conception of the Jewish state was a laudatory one and in no wise Utopian. Albert Dufour Feronce, Under-Secretary of the League of Nations, in the name of Sir Eric Drummond, Secretary General of the League, and Mr. Weaver, a representative of Albert Thomas, head of the International Labor Office, greeted the Congress in the name of the League of Nations and expressed satisfaction at the fact that the League has so prominent a share in the control of the “Humane, peaceful Palestine upbuilding work.”

The Congress warmly applauded the congratulatory messages from Lord Melchett, Albert Einstein, and Nathan Straus. The delegates likewise warmly greeted the announcement of Dr. Weizmann that he had sent a message in the name of the Zionist Organization, wishing for the speedy recovery of Lord Balfour, and a message of congratulations to Prof. Otto Warburg, formerly president of the World Zionist Organization, on the occasion of the recent celebration of his seventieth birthday.


The colorful and varied international assembly, in a festive and solemn mood, listened to the head of the World Zionist Organization who, after calling the Congress into session; sketched the progress of the reconstruction work in Palestine. Delivering his address in German, Dr. Weizmann sounded as his keynote the creation of an all-Jewish union for Palestine through the establishment of the extended Jewish Agency and the reformulation of the aims of the Zionist movement in the post-Agency period. The fear that the Zionist Organization will become “superfluous” after the Agency comes into being was declared by Dr. Weizmann to be “small-minded.” On the contrary, an extensive Zionist educational campaign to win the youth to a determination in favor of its Jewish responsibility is now the order of the day in the Zionist movement. The decision for or against the Palestine program, after the Zionist accomplishments in Palestine, has lost its sharpness, he said and visualized a day when the message of Zionism will have penetrated into “every Jewish home.” The expression of gratitude to Louis Marshall and Felix M. Warburg for their cooperation in the erection of the Jewish Agency structure was a feature of Dr. Weizmann’s address. He added that the Jewish Agency idea has found high-minded understanding and willingness to cooperation among the leading Jewish personalities of the age and in large circles of the most important Jewish communities throughout the world.

Nahum Sokolow, speaking in Hebrew, delivered an impressive eulogy of Dr. Theodor Herzl.

A banquet in honor of the diplomatic representatives attending the first session was given Sunday evening at the Baur du Lac Hotel under the auspices of the Zionist Executive. Representatives of many governments as well as of the League of Nations were present and political toasts were made.


The completion of the “world election list,” a special list of delegates provided for securing representation to minorities was passed upon by the Congress Court. The 18 mandates accruing from this list were divided by the Congress Court as follows: Revisionists 9, Poale Zion 3, Radical Zionists 2, General Zionists 2, Mizrachi 1, Hitachduth 1. These mandates were allotted to the respective groups in addition to the number of delegates they secured in the elections.


Much concern was displayed in the group referred to as General Zionists, principally the delegations from the United States representing the administration of the Zionist Organization of America; from Canada, from Poland and from Germany, with regard

the division of the political strength ###ing the various groups attending ### Congress. Due to the weakened ###ical condition of the center, the ###er arose that the General Zion### may be outvoted on the principal ###ions on the agenda with the ex### of the Jewish Agency issue, ### which there is a secured majority ### party lines. The American del###, consisting of 29 members, of a caucus under the chairmanship ### Louis Lipsky late Saturday night of decided to join the center bloc. ### members of the delegation were ###ed to vote as a unit on the questions concerning the budget, the commotion of the Executive and the election of the Zionist representatives on ### Council of the Jewish Agency. It is understood that the American ### demand that the number of American Zionist representatives on is Agency Council be increased from ### to which they are entitled under ### party key, to 20.


A sentiment of resentment against is attitude of the Right and Left {SPAN}###{/SPAN} parties has crystalized among the American delegation. It was stated {SPAN}###{/SPAN} if the center is majorized, the Americans may perhaps be obliged to are notice to the parties outnumbering them to “carry the burden themselves.” Rabbi Abba Hillel Silver of the Temple, Cleveland, Ohio, epitomized this feeling when he stated that is American Zionists will refuse to be the hewers of wood and carriers of {SPAN}###,”{/SPAN} any longer.


Throughout the week-end party caucus were held and the weaving of {SPAN}###ous{/SPAN} political combinations contrived. Center and Right, Center and left, Left and Right, as possible combinations for the creation of a “coalition executive” were played with in to conversations of the party leaders. A strong feeling against Harry Sacher is a member of the future executive became evident among the Palestine {SPAN}###borite delegation. They declared ### they are determined to overthrow that they called “Sacharism.” It was ### that this point may lead to a crisis in the formation of the new cabinet.{/SPAN}The important question presented for {SPAN}###cussion and decision to the Zionist General Council at its meeting Sunday morning as to whether or not the dele###tes elected by the Zionist Congress to the Council of the Jewish Agency ### to vote as a instructed unit was not ###ded by the Zionist Council. Further discussion of the subject was found necessary.{/SPAN}Party caucuses were continued Sunday night after the close of the first plenary session. A caucus of the General Zionists held through the night under the chairmanship of Abraham Goldberg of New York sought to determine the policy of the Center bloc. It was finally agree upon that all General Zionists are obligated to solidarity on the following four main questions: the budget, the composition of the executive, organization and the determination of the respective number of Zionist delegates to the Jewish Agency Council from the various Zionist federations. The caucus decided to seek to secure the representation on the Council of the Jewish Agency of the smaller Zionist federations in the Zionist part of the Agency. Abraham Goldberg and Dr. George Halpern were authorized by the caucus to negotiate with the Zionist Executive concerning the question of a binding vote for the Zionist representatives on the Jewish Agency. A committee of 30 was chosen at the meeting to outline the principles of the policy to be followed by the Center bloc at the Congress.


Strong dissension developed at the caucus of the Zionist Revisionists, once the die-hard opponents to the extension of the Jewish Agency. It was reported that a considerable group within the Zionist Revisionist League, including the Berlin members, advocated the entry of the Zionist Revisionists in the Zionist part of the Jewish Agency in order to follow there an oppositional course. Other members of the group were said to be categorically opposed to entering the Agency and rumors were even afloat that in case the Congress finally ratifies the Jewish Agency pact, the Zionist Revisionists might consider leaving the Zionist Organization.

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