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Geneva Conference Approves Call for World Jewish Congress in Summer of 1934

August 18, 1932
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The world Jewish conference, attended by 130 delegates from 20 lands, which opened its three days sessions here last Sunday amid the opposition of influential groups in the United States, Great Britain and Germany, concluded its deliberations this evening with approval of a resolution submitted by a special committee calling for the establishment of a world Jewish congress in the summer of 1934.

The central bureau of the Congress is to be situated in New York City, while a branch of the organization will be established in Berlin.

An executive committee of 20 was named by the conference to carry out plans for the establishment of the world Jewish congress.

For the first time in the history of Jewry, general elections will be held wherever Jews reside for the naming of Jewish deputies to the world congress.

The members of the Executive committee include Dr. Stephen S. Wise, honorary president of the American Jewish Congress, initiator of the conference; Judge Julian W. Mack, Zionist leader and honorary president of the American Jewish Congress; Baruch Zuckerman, vice president of the American Jewish Congress; Dr. Joseph Tenenbaum, chairman of the Executive Committee of the American Jewish Congress; Abraham Goldberg, vice president of the American Jewish Congress and Meyer Dizengoff, Mayor of Tel Aviv, the all Jewish city of Palestine.

Two representatives of labor parties will have seats on the Executive as well as a representative of the Palestine Jewish Economic Council. Dr. N. Kreinin of Paris, head of the Emigdirect and Dr. David Jochelman of London, head of the Ukrainiain Jewish Federation, were co-opted as Executive members as representatives of the non-Zionists.

A deadlock with the Polish non-Zionists developed regarding their representation on the Executive. Raphael Shereshevski of Warsaw, leading Jewish industrialist, refused a seat on the Executive because of the dispute, despite the fact that a second seat was offered to the Polish non-Zionists subsequently.

Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, chief protagonist of the world Jewish congress idea, closed the sessions this evening with a fervent plea for unity among all groups of Jewry.

He called upon leaders of Jewry to set aside petty party quarrels in the service of a great cause.

He lauded the high level maintained throughout the debates, which he said, have shown that Jews are capable of having their own Parliament no less than other nations of the world.

His last words dealt with the situation of the Jews in Germany and he concluded his peroration dramatically : “Our only reply to ‘Perish Judaea!’ is “The Jews are an eternal people and will survive their torturers.”

Before the close of the conference, members of the praesidium were received by the Acting Secretary of the League of Nations, Edmond Avenol.

M. Avenol informed the delegation that the League of Nations is greatly interested in the formation of an organization for international co-operation. He conveyed the best wishes of the League for the success of the effort.

M. Avenol made inquiries of Dr. Leo Motzkin concerning the status of the Jewish minorities in various countries and of Mayor Dizengoff regarding the situation in Palestine.

Rabbi Wise was the guest of honor at a luncheon today at the International Club where he delivered an impressive address regarding anti-Semitism in various countries of the world.

The last work of the conference was to issue two manifestos one addressed to the civilized world and a second to the Jewish world specifically.

The manifesto addressed to the world at large referred to the postwar changes when the Jews were recognized among others as a nation with equality and citizenship rights. These rights have frequently turned illusory the manifesto says, owing to administrative practices in various countries, where the Jewish youth is systematically barred from approaching institutions of learning; where the natural human right to work is denied to Jews, where Jewish artisans and Jewish merchants are placed in positions of disadvantage by unfair competition sponsored by the authorities; where Jews fail even to receive equal protection of their lives and property.

“In addition to these practices, efforts are made to legally withdraw equality rights from the Jews and to confiscate their belongings,” the manifesto points out.

“The representatives of the Jewish world assembled in Geneva protest against the return of brutal domination, against indulgence shown to open or concealed demands against the Jews,” the manifesto states.

The second manifesto calls upon the Jewish people to unite as the only effective means of averting danger. The Jews, it says, must rely on their own power with the assistance of such enlightened sections of the world which have not yet been saturated with poisonous anti-Semitism.

“The World Jewish Congress,” it maintains, “does not aim at weakening any existing organizations, but rather to support and stimulate them.

“The Jewish conference appeals at this historic hour to the Jewish masses not to lose hope but to stand together to save the Jewish people,” the manifesto concludes.

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