Weizmann Says Zionist Executive Erred in Deciding to Shun Palestine Conference
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Weizmann Says Zionist Executive Erred in Deciding to Shun Palestine Conference

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Dr. Chaim Weizmann, breaking the self-imposed silence he has maintained since the close of the World Zionist Congress, today said that the Zionist executive had erred in deciding to shun the Palestine Conference in favor of informal talks.

Speaking to the annual meeting of the Zionist Federation of Great Britain and Ireland, the former president of the Jewish Agency, who is leaving tomorrow for Palestine, pointed out that had the executive participated in the Palestine Conference, it would have been joined by non-Zionist Jewish organizations from whom it could have drawn additional strength. The support of organizations such as the Board of Deputies of British Jews, the Anglo-Jewish Association and the American Jewish Committee is needed and should not be cut off, he stated.

Dr. Weizmann said that abrogation of the White Paper is prerequisite to a new arrangement concerning Palestine, which could be either a return to the spirit and letter of the mandate, or–if the government believes the mandate is unworkable — a new plan which would provide the following: Transfer of European Jews, and a section of Oriental Jewry, to Palestine within 15 years; colonization in an adequate area of Palestine, if all of the country cannot be settled; and assurances from the government that the part of the country given to the Jews will ultimately become a Jewish state.

Dr. Weizmann warned that the present stand of the Jewish Agency executive, which he said was publicly demanding the whole of Palestine, but privately agresing to partition, involved the danger of not getting either, "We must abandon these ‘pilpulistic’ methode," he declared. Public opinion in Britain and the United States favors partition, he continued, but stressed that "we cannot accept limitations to a part without the prospect of statehood." He said he believed the vast majority of Jews favor this program of moderation and warned against terrorism.


An authoritative source here said tonight that Britain has no intention of asking the United Nations to assume the mandate for Palestine, but is likely to ask the U.N. to arbitrate between the Arab and Jewish damands. This source said that the Cabinet has reached no definite decision on the Palestine issue as a whole, but is meeting again tomorrow to hear Colonial Minister Creech-Jones report on the progress of the current discussions with the Arabs and the Jews.

Another source said that while the majority of the Cabinet favors partition, the decision has been left to a committee composed of Creech-Jones, Foreign Minister Bevin and Prime Minister Attlee. The general consensus of opinion in the London press today is that while the Colonial Minister is in favor of accepting the principle of partition and of giving the Jews a larger area than that provided for in the Morrison plan, Bevin wants only a temporary solution along the lines of the federalization scheme with the basic problem being placed before the U.N.

It is understood that Bevin is fighting bitterly to prevent the Cabinet from approving partition. However, it is believed that in a showdown battle between Bevin and Herbert Morrison against Oresch-Jones, the Cabinet will back the former.

The Zionists are disappointed at Bevin’s stand after the Agency’s public bid for partition. It is expected that the Jewish-British talks will break off soon if Bevin continues unwilling to go any further than "federalization." The Arabs too feel that to all practical purposes the Palestine Conference is over, although it is slated to be resumed on Tuesday. The informal talks between the government and the Zionists will be resumed this week, perhaps tomorrow.

Meanwhile, Dr. Nahum Goldmann conferred with H.A. Goodman and Isaac Lewin of the Agudas Israel, and agreed on the formation of a joint committee for the exchange of information in connection with the Zionists’ discussions with the government and for negotiating on matters of immigration, colonization and education in Palestine.

Addressing the Zionist Federation’s convention today, Prof. Selig Brodetsky, president of the Board of Deputies, said that the government has still not given any definite answer to the partition proposal made by the Agency executive following its meeting in Paris last Summer. Dr. Emanuel Neumann, greeting the meeting on behalf of Dr. Abba Hillel Silver, reiterated his previous warnings against "encouraging expectations concerning the outcome of the talks with the government. So far, there is no ground for optimism," he stated.

The convention adopted resolutions reaffirming that only a Jewish state will solve the Jewish problem, regretting the deterioration in relations between the Jewish people and Britain and condemned terrorism as contrary to Jewish ethical teachings. It called on all Zionists to fight the activities of the extremists, and warned that the terrorist outbreaks were fostering anti-Semitism in Britain.

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