Conference on Palestine Opens Tomorrow; Jewish Leaders May Still Discuss Participation
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Conference on Palestine Opens Tomorrow; Jewish Leaders May Still Discuss Participation

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Leaders of the Jewish Agency may still discuss the Palestine issue with British Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin within a few days, it was disclosed here today on the eve of the opening of the conference on Palestine, from which the Agency is abstaining thus far.

A spokesman for the Foreign office said today that although no conversations between Bevin and Jewish Agency members are definitely scheduled, it is very likely such talks will take place.

The hope that the Jewish Agency will reconsider its decision and will join in the discussions in the middle of the week was expressed in the London press today. The newspapers indicated that Bevin and the Jewish Agency members may meet tomorrow following a meeting of the Cabinet at which the Jewish Agency plan for the partitioning of Palestine will be brought up by Bevin for final decision.

A joint meeting of leaders of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, the Anglo Jewish Association and the Agudas Israel–the three non-Agency groups invited by the British Government to attend the conference–will take place tomorrow. The meeting was convened by Acting Chief Rabbi Harris M. Lazarus, who has been invited by Britain to attend the conference as and individual.


Leaders of the Agudas Israel will visit Colonial Secretary George Hall on Tuesday in an attempt to end the deadlock between the Jewish Agency and the British Government with regard to the conference. It is understood that leaders of the Anglo-Jewish Association will also meet with the Colonial Secretary on Tuesday.

The Aliyah Hadasha, Jewish progressive party of Palestine which claims a member ship of about 10,000, mainly among Jews who immigrated to Palestine from Germany and Central Europe, today urged the Jewish Agency to attend the conference. In a cable addressed to Dr. Chaim Weizmann by Dr. Felix Rosenbluth, president of the group, the attitude of the Aliyah Hadasha was expressed as follows:

“In our view the wide frame of the British invitation to the Jewish Agency affords a possibility to conduct negotiations and an opportunity for us to present our demands. Refusal to participate in the conference will be regarded within and outside the Zionist movement as an unjustified policy of prestige.”

The views of the Agudas Israel regarding the conference were given today by Rabbi I.M. Lewin, chairman of the world executive of the organization. He announced that his group “will not take part in the London conference if the Jewish Agency and other major Jewish organizations will not be there.”

In making the announcement, the Agudah leader added: “The meeting of our executive, recently held in Paris, decided that in view of the present tragic situation of the Jewish people, it is essential more than over before to preserve the unity of the entire Jewish people. We are convinced that the Jewish Agency, too, would not go alone to the conference.”


The SundayTimes today predicted that the Jewish Agency might be prepared to accept the Morrison “federalization plan”as a basis for discussion, provided its application is limited to a definite period after which federalism would be replaced by partition.

The Sunday Observer urged the British Government to impose its own solution of the Palestine problem upon both the Jews and the Arabs with the aim of establishing a “self-government Arab-Jewish Palestine.” The paper opposed the type of partition which would lead to the formation of a Jewish state.

Meanwhile, elaborate police and security precautions were reported today to have been taken to safeguard the participants in the conferences which will be opened formally by British Prime Minister Clement R. Attlee. Scores of detectives from a special branch of Scotland Yard have been assigned to duty at Lancaster House where the conference will be held. All entrances of the building will be guarded day and night Plain clothes men have been posted at the hotels where the delegates from the Arab states staying.

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