World Zionist Congress Resumes Political Debate; Compromise Ends General Zionist Crisis
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World Zionist Congress Resumes Political Debate; Compromise Ends General Zionist Crisis

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Two American Zionist leaders today appealed for participation in the London conference on Palestine and support of the Jewish Agency partition plan, as the World Zionist Congress’ political debate continued, following its resumption last night after a Sabbath recess. The debate, which was originally scheduled to end tonight, will continue through tomorrow, when Dr. Weizmann is to speak.

Hayim Greenberg, leader of the American Labor Zionists, who was the first speaker today, came out strongly in support of partition. He said that there were three alternative solutions of the Palestine problem without partition, but none of them was feasible.

They were, he said, immigration of at least 1,000,000 Jews; forced evacuation of the largest part of the Palestine Arab population to another country; or establishment of a Jewish state with Jews to be granted the status of a legislative majority. Since the last two were obviously not feasible, and the first required either assistance from Britain or the United Nations, which would not be forthcoming, the only practical solution was partition, he said.

Greenberg told the delegates that in some historical situations the part is sometimes greater than the whole, and all Palestine without a Jewish majority is less than a partitioned Palestine under Jewish control. He warned that the Zionists would have to put up a fight even to secure partition.


Louis Lipsky, a past president of the Zionist Organization of America, said that refusal to participate in the London Conference might set in motion forces which would jeopardize everything achieved by the Zionist movement in the last 50 years. Addressing himself to Dr. Moshe Sneh, one of the bitterest opponents of both partition and participation in the London parley, Lipsky asked why he was so determined “to reject an opportunity to test Britain by a new presentation of the Zionist case.” By joining in the conference, the Zionists would help retain the support of the U.S. Government, Lipsky said, declaring that “it would be the height of folly to accept British wrongs against us as the final form of Britain’s relations with us.”

The crisis which had been brewing among the General Zionists was resolved last night when Dr. Abba Hillel Silver stated at a meeting of the General Zionist Confederation that party discipline should not apply to political questions, and that every member should be free to vote as he thought best on the basic political issues before the Congress.

Dr. Nahum Goldmann welcomed the statement, and Dr. Isaac Gruenbaum and Prof. Selig Brodetsky added that in line with this principle, General Zionist members of the World Zionist and Jewish Agency executives are not responsible to the party, since they are elected by the Congress as a whole. Appointment of a committee to draft a resolution defining the General Zionist stand on participation in the London talks was announced by Emanuel Neumann.


Speaking this afternoon, Zerubavel, leader of the Left Poale Zionists in Palestine, called for a Jewish state with a Socialist orientation, stating that the chief hope for establishing a Jewish state lay with the workers of the world, including the British and Arab workers who, he said, do not approve the anti-Zionist policies of their rulers. Warning the Congress not to depend on England, he said that it was anti-Zionist because Zionism opposed imperialistic interests. He opposed partition and attacked Revisionism as “political adventurism based on fascist ideas.”

An attack on partition and on those who speak “eloquently” of resistance was made by Eliezer Bentov of the Hashomer Hatzair who warned the exponents of violence that Britain has a long standing tradition of imperialistic oppression and its anti-Zionist policy would not be undermined by spectacular deeds. He called for constructive work in the country and arousing progressive public opinion to help the Jews achieve their aims.

Aron Zisling, of the left-wing Achdut Avoda, attacked the Agency demanding that the Congress bar the Agency from attending the London conference and from agreeing to partition. He said only an undivided Palestine can solve the Jewish problem, and a Jewish state will be achieved only by strong resistance to the present British policy.

William B. Ziff, American Revisionist, called upon the delegates to “cross the Rubicon and take a firm position in behalf of a provisional Jewish government for Palestine.” Declaring that America must be convinced that her true interests lie with a Jewish state in Palestine, Ziff attacked the advocates of partition and those who favored participation in the London conference and denounced “anti-Semitic bureaucrats in Whitehall.”


Speaking last night, Dr. Gruenbaum defended the Agency action on partition and said that he believed that now was the time for more conversations on Palestine, because Britain must report on Palestine’s future statue to the United Nations. He insisted that the creation of a Jewish state in the whole of Palestine was not possible at this time and that there must be more than a million Jews in the country before there is a solid base for a Jewish state in the whole country. If the Jews were given the whole country, they could not defend it at the present time, he said.

Rabbi Philip S. Bernstein, adviser on Jewish affairs to U.S. forces in Europe, reported to the Congress that the 250,000 displaced Jews in the American and British zones of Germany and Austria and in Italy were in danger of a breakdown in morale unless a quick decision concerning their future was made. He also stated that British suggestions to make the displaced Jews work in German industry and to place them under the jurisdiction of the German courts were being discussed on the highest levels.


Delegates to the World Zionist Congress visiting the Three Kings Hotel, where Dr. Weizmann, Dr. Silver, Ben Gurion and other prominent Zionists are staying were startled today to discover literature which they picked up on a table near the hotel entrance was a collection of Sternist pamphlets in English, French, Italian and Hebrew.

Among the host of official and unofficial observers at the Congress are representatives of the Hebrew Committee for National Liberation and affiliated groups as well as spokesmen for the Irgun Zvai Leumi and the Stern Group. The representatives of the two Palestine terrorist groups are not identified officially as such. They are following the activities of the Congress closely and are conducting a widespread whispering campaign warning that the British seek not only the liquidation of the extremists but also of the entire Zionist movement.

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