American Jewish Conference Rejects Proposals to Widen the Scope of Its Activities
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American Jewish Conference Rejects Proposals to Widen the Scope of Its Activities

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The three-day meeting of the second session of the American Jewish Conference adjourned tonight after rejecting proposals to enlarge the scope of its activities to take in the American scene.

The delegates overwhelmingly approved a report submitted by the General Committee, headed by Louis Lipsky, which stated that resolutions presented to it by various groups urging extension of the Conference’s activities were opposed to the terms agreed upon when the body was established.

The Conference adopted a resolution calling for cooperation in the establishment, for the period of the peace settlement, of a joint working body designed to achieve, as far as possible, combined representation of Jewish bodies before international conferences, councils and agencies of the United Nations. This joint body would seek to cooperate with the Jewish Agency for Palestine with due consideration of the Agency’s special international status. The resolution also authorized the Conference’s executive body to designate, when the need arises, the representatives of the Conference to the joint working body and to international conferences, councils, and agencies of the United Nations.


The Palestine resolution adopted by the Conference greeted President Roosevelt and hailed his assurances on the formation of a Jewish Commonwealth. “The American Jewish Conference,” it said, “urges in accordance with the solemn commitment made in the Balfour Declaration and in the Palestine Mandate, and in the face of the mounting tragedy of the Jewish people, that the White Paper be immediately abrogated and that unrestricted immigration and land settlement of Jews in Palestine be facilitated.

“We call upon the United Nations in their program of reconstruction to make possible the transfer to and the rehabilitation in Palestine of all who seek to rebuild their lives there,” the resolution continued. “The American Jewish Conference further urges that through the responsible intergovernmental agencies of the United Nations, in cooperation with the Jewish Agency for Palestine, all necessary financial and technical assistance to help meet the problem of transportation, feeding, supplies and reconstruction be provided. The execution of this program is an essential element in the fulfillment of the pledge to create a world of justice, security and freedom.”

The Conference regretted, that “so little has been done” and again appealed to the United Nations “to avail themselves of the opportunity for the rescue of Jews from imminent death in ghettos, internment, concentration and labor camps by exchange of these Jews for Germans held by the Allies.” It expressed thanks to the United Nations for easing the food blockade which enabled the sending of food to internees in German camps, and voiced its appreciation of the efforts of Sweden, Spain, Portugal and the Vatican to assist the Jews in Hungary and elsewhere.

In another resolution the Conference urged that “the governments of those liberated countries whose Jewish citizens are being held by the Reich as forced laborers in Germany and other Axis-dominated countries, demand through all appropriate channels that these Jewish forced laborers be accorded the same treatment as their non-Jewish citizens in the same category.” It asked that these governments as well as the International Red Cross use every possible effort for the repatriation of these Jewish forced laborers, who are in constant danger of extermination. It expressed appreciation of the efforts of the Red Cross and urged that it take steps to secure civilian prisoner of war status for Jews interned in German camps in occupied territory.


The Conference welcomed the “organized cooperation established between its Rescue Commission and some of the functional agencies in the field of rescue,” and instructed the commission to continue its efforts to extend the area of cooperation so as to include all the Jewish bodies working for the rescue of our brethren. The Conference also urged that the American Jewish communities be made aware of the pressing need for action to rescue the Jews of Europe and that these communities be urged to cooperate with the Rescue Commission of the Conference.

The meeting also appealed to the American Jewish communities to make available increasing funds to rescue agencies, at the same time recommending that the Rescue Commission of the Conference continue to discharge its functions in the field of rescue so long as it is necessary. The Conference expressed its thanks to the War Refugee Board for its “untiring efforts to rescue the Jews of Europe” and appealed for extension of the term of the Board.

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