ZOA Convention Asks Lend-lease Aid for Palestine
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ZOA Convention Asks Lend-lease Aid for Palestine

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A plan to have Palestine, benefit from the American Land-Lease arrangement with Britain was formulated today by the 44th annual ZOA convention meeting here, while its political committee declined the suggestion to pass a resolution on Soviet Russia as a British ally in the present war.

The central issue today was still the question how to subordinate the United Palestine Appeal to the control of the Zionist Organisation of America. A resolution to this effect ordered by the resolution comittee provides that the directors of the United Palestine Appeal, who are members of the Zionist Organization of America, are to consider themselves responsible to the ZOA. In this way the ZOA will have a direct voice in the administration of the UPA.

Edmund I. Kaufmann, retiring president of the ZOA, in his speech last night voiced the outspoken demand that the ZOA should assume entire control over the VPA and other Zionist fund-raising organisations in this country coupled with criticism against those Zionists in America “who don’t do things in the American way.” This provided the first fireworks at this 44th convention.

A stormy general debate on these issues followed. The Mizrachi and Poaleizion delegates issued a joint statement signed by A. L. Gellmen and David Wertheim declaring that Kaufmann’s recommendation that the ZOA be sole controller of the Zionist funds and should carry sole responsibility for all Zionist political activities in America “is entirely in contradiction to the legal structure of the World Zionist movement of which the American Zionist movement is an integral part.” Emphasizing that all Zionist groups consider themselves equal partners in World Zionist activities the joint Mizrechi-Poaleizion statement declares that Mizrachi and Zionist laborites in America “will take all possible measures” to combat the tendency for ZOA monopoly which they see expressed in Kaufmann’s demand.

Parallel with his request that Zionist work in America “be centralised, coordinated and built for a definite purpose” Kaufmann stated that the restoration of Palestine for large scale immigration must be considered one of the major post-war problems. He addressed a strong plea to the British Government “to remove the appeasement stigma of Munich from the Palestine administration,” and asked for nullification of the White Paper and for organisation of a Jewish army “to aid Britain in a real military way.”

Louis Lipsky addressing the same session voiced concern over the fact that Roosevelt and Churchill avoided mention of the tragedy of the Jewish people at a time when Jews actively participate in the anti-Hitler war. “It is disconcerting, to say the least, to find a studied avoidance of reference not only to the status of the Jewish people, but also a reluctance even to express sympathy with the suffering of the Jewish people,” Lipsky said, stating that this constitutes actually a denial of equality to Jews. “It is unfair to ask us in the interest of war to postpone consideration of Jewish demands in order to relieve friendly governments from political embarrassment,” he pointed out.

Rabbi Wise addressing the evening session said that out of the second world war must come amplification of the Balfour Declaration and establishment of a Jewish Common-wealth in Palestine.” “Jews who were the first to suffer from Nazism and the war cannot be shut out from a rightful place in post war democratic world,” Wise stated.

The session today passed a resolution to participate in the “Land for Victory” campaign which the Jewish National Fund in America has proclaimed to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Jewish National Fund. The resolution obligates the ZOA to contribute to the JNF a sum sufficient for the acquisition of 10 thousand dunams of land in Palestine toward a general objective of 40,000 dunams, funds for which the J.N.F. will undertake to raise funds in the United States.

The entire morning session was devoted to various symposiums. Dr. Hahum Goldmann addressing the political symposium spoke of the role which a Jewish Palestine will have to play in a federation of Arab states, if such a federation were established. Dr. Barnett R. Brickner of Cleveland addressing the same symposium stated that the Zionists in America are working hard to make clear to the United States and to Great Britain that “if they really desire peace in Europe they can no longer shilly-shally with the Jewish problem.” Dr. Emanuel Neumann told the symposium that there is great sympathy for Zionism and for Palestine among the American people and that this sympathy for Zionism and for Palestine among the American people and that this sympathy could become effective if the effort is made. “Americans,” he said, “are sick of appeasement. They will never condone throwing the Jewish National Home to the wolves.”

Addressing the banquet for the delegates last night Dr. Solomon Goldman said, “I would like the British Government to speak to the Jews in 1941 with more clarity than the Balfour Declaration which was issued to the Jews as a pledge in the last world war. Prof, Rheinold Niebuhr of the Union Theological Seminary of New York, addressing the same banquet, declared that “Jews and Gentiles, Americans and Europeans face a common problem.” The diners also heard Judge Louis E. Levinthal of Philadelphia, Rabbi Maurice Perlzweig of London and Robert T. Goldman, president of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, Mr. Kaufmann and others.

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