ZOA Convention Asks United Nations to Discuss Palestine Problems with Jewish Agency
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ZOA Convention Asks United Nations to Discuss Palestine Problems with Jewish Agency

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A resolution appealing to the leaders of the United Nations to initiate, without delay, discussions with the Jewish Agency for Palestine “in order to determine the role which Palestine is to play in meeting the desperate needs of the dispossessed masses of the Jewish people and to secure its rightful place in the post-war world,” was adopted by the 46th national convention of the Zionist Organization of America which closed its sessions here today.

The resolution rejected the Palestine Government’s post-war reconstruction plan, stating that this plan is based on the White Paper of 1939 and is calculated to stifle Jewish development and “freeze” the Jewish Homeland into a ghetto.

The resolution also condemned the “arms trial” now taking place in Palestine. “We condemn the vilification of the Jewish Agency brought about by the transformation of a military police court into a propaganda forum to impugn the Palestine Jewish war effort,” the resolution reads. “We also deplore the censorship which has prevented a fair report of the magnitude and significance of the Palestine Jewish contribution to the winning of the war.”


Hailing with gratification the declaration of the American Jewish Conference which called for the establishment of Palestine as a Jewish Commonwealth, the resolution called on American Jews “to preserve and safeguard the unity of American Israel achieved at the Conference.” It appealed for the mobilization of American public opinion “for the attainment of our just demands, so vital to the existence of our people.”

The resolution demanded the “immediate termination of prevailing policies of the Mandatory and the Palestine Administration” and insisted on the abrogation of the White Paper and the opening of the gates of Palestine to large Jewish immigration under the control and direction of the Jewish Agency.

“In the rebuilding of the Jewish Commonwealth,” the resolution declares, “we pledge full regard for the religious, linguistic and cultural rights of the Arab population of Palestine and the civil and religious equality of its inhabitants before the law. The inviolability of the Holy Places of the various religions shall be guaranteed.

“We pledge all our resources to the end that the Jewish Commonwealth may be rebuilt on the foundations of a sound economic basis, of an enlightened world opinion and of a world order which will restore and safeguard the political rights of all peoples.”

A resolution on the situation of the Jews in Nazi Europe deplores “the lack of an active and positive rescue policy on behalf of the United Nations commensurate with the magnitude of the catastrophe.”

“We plead with leaders of the United Nations to act quickly on the immediate rescue of the remnants of European Jewry,” the resolution asked. “It is our conviction that concrete steps can be taken to save large numbers of European Jews — new. In this connection we call especially for the immediate withdrawal of all regulations which restrict Jewish immigration into Palestine and ask for the opening of its gates to all those who may be enabled to escape there.

“We urge the active cooperation of the United Nations to provide the political, technical and financial instruments required for the transfer of the maximum number of Jewish refugees into the one country where they will find an immediate haven and a permanent home.”


A resolution attacking the American Council for Judaism and calling on American Jews to combat its activities was adopted by the Convention. The resolution reads:

“Formally and officially repudiated by their own colleagues of the Central Council of American Rabbis, a small number of rabbis who founded the American Council for Judaism are new proceeding with help of laymen as officers to pose as a body representative of the American Jewish community, to organize communities against Zionism and to conduct propaganda against it among statesmen.

“This convention condemns the destructive work of this self-appointed group. We Zionists assert that the American Council for Judaism resting upon ignorant and un-Jewish assumptions as to the history and character of our people, has no program except that of unreasoning hostility to a great ideal, a hostility that stems from selfish fear and a willful disregard of the plight of the mass of the Jewish people. We call upon American Jews to repudiate and combat unremittingly the divisive activities of these men who speak for no one but themselves.”

The convention adopted a resolution, expressing satisfaction at the fact that Dr. Abba Hillel Silver has been elected to the co-chairmanship of the American Emergency Committee for Zionist Affairs and to the chairmanship of its executive committee.

“At this juncture in the history of the Zionist movement,” the resolution says, “when the realization of our political objectives constitutes the only guarantee for the establishment of Palestine as the Jewish Commonwealth, the Z.O.A. confidently looks to the Emergency Committee for far-sighted, energetic and effective political leadership and pledges to it its fullest moral and material support. The Z.O.A. will give most favorable consideration to and take the initiative in consultation with other Zionist bodies toward securing the adoption of such measure as will strengthen the authority and effectiveness of the Emergency Committee in this critical hour.”


Dr. Israel Goldstein, newly-elected president, in his acceptance speech outlined a seven-point program of activities for the ZOA for the coming year. The program includes: 1. Maximum aid for the achievement of speedy Allied victory;


The afternoon session today was devoted to a political discussion on Palestine with Louis Lipsky, Dr. James G. Heller and Dr. Solomon Goldman as the principal speakers. Dr. Heller addressed a passionate appeal to President Roosevelt and Premier Churchill asking them to facilitate the establishment of a Jewish Palestine. Emphasizing the Arabs will enjoy equal rights in a Jewish Palestine, Dr. Heller suggested that Palestine be placed, for a period, under international protection.

Mr. Lipsky severely criticized the Palestine Government and stated that the Jewish Agency is being “ignored and oppressed” by the Palestine administration. The White Paper, he said, has been chosen as an instrument for the betrayal of a wronged people at a time when they are unable to resent betrayal because of their vital interest in winning the war. He charged that officials of the British Government in Cairo and elsewhere are inspiring anti-Jewish reports in the world press in order “to nullify Jewish hopes.”

Dr. Solomon Goldman pointed out that “just because we are England’s friends we are not to stifle or suspend our righteous demands.” He charged the British Government with never trying to make the Balfour Declaration work. “We would curdle our misery with hypocrisy if we did not avow our apprehension regarding Palestine, and did not condemn the evasions of moral duty of which the British continue to be guilty there,” he said.

Mendel N. Fischer, executive director of the Jewish National Fund, reported that $4,310,000 has been mobilized by the Jewish National Fund of America in the last eleven months for the redemption of land in Palestine. Of this amount, $2,835,000 represents the traditional income of the J.N.F. and its share of the proceeds of the United Jewish Appeal through the United Palestine Appeal, in the eleven month period from October 1, 1942 to September 1, 1943. A total of $1,475,000 represents the amount realized from the sale of 10-year 4% Note Issues. This is the largest annual income in the history of the Fund since its inception.

Reporting that for the first time the million dollar mark has been reached from the traditional collections, Mr. Fisher announced that $1,075,000 has already been raised during the eleven month period under review as compared with $738,349.41 for the twelve-month period ending September 30, 1942.

The J.N.F. share of the proceeds of the United Jewish Appeal through the United Palestine Appeal was $1,760,000 as compared with $1,180,992 for the previous twelve-month period, Mr. Fisher said. The sum of $3,460,000 has been transmitted to Palestine during the period under review as compared with $1,978,986.60 for the last fiscal year, he added. American Jewry has provided $17,538,600 for the Jewish National Fund since its inception in 1910, he concluded.

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