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Lipsky Backed by Three Leading Zionists; Disagree with Z. O. A. Stand

June 27, 1955
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Three prominent Zionist leaders today issued a joint statement supporting the charges made by Louis Lipsky against the present administration of the Zionist Organization of America. The statement, signed by Louis E Levinthal Ezra Z. Shapiro and Dewey Stone, reads:

“The undersigned members of the joint committee appointed by Dr. Emanuel Neumann in advance of the Washington convention of the ZOA, desire to associate themselves with the statement by Mr. Lipsky in its analysis of ZOA affairs and in his summary of the proposals made by our group at the joint committee’s meetings. In our view, Mr. Lipsky’s analysis represents the views of a large sector of Zionists enrolled of the ZOA, whether they be liberals or progressives or just plain, ordinary, every day Zionists.

“Mr. Mortimer May’s reply is a crude patchwork of evasions and self-serving encomiums. But most shocking and revealing is the manner of reference to the personality of Mr. Lipsky, dean of American Zionism. Not a word is uttered in recognition of his 55 years of exemplary services to the Zionist movement, and more particularly, to ZOA; nor to the more recent record that from 1947 to 1954 he gave distinguished service to the movement as chairman of the American Zionist Council and until his resignation, as chairman of the American Zionist Committee for Public Affairs; but reference is made to his non-attendance at routine meetings of the inner, or office, committee of the ZOA to which he was appointed without his knowledge or consent.

“Mr. May does not hesitate to refer to his ‘self proclaimed liberalism and his negative approach.’ From our experience in the meetings of the joint committee, we testify to the fact that the criticisms of Mr. Lipsky were balanced by highly constructive proposals. We pass over the opportunity to discuss Mr. May’s letter from the level of controversy he has chosen. He evades the basic issues and contents him self with personal allusions.


“The negotiations as everybody knows, were initiated, not by us but by Dr. Nahum Goldmann as leader of World Zionism and by Dr. Neumann for the ZOA administration. The purpose was the recovery, if possible, of a united front in the ZOA, to bring back leaders and members who are participating in other major Zionist enterprises but who for various reasons, had lost their interest in the ZOA; and, of greater importance, to consider a revision of the functions and programs of the ZOA. No such agreement on any points was arrived at, and the conclusions of the ZOA administration representatives were reported definitely only two days before the opening of the Washington conference.

“As to Mr. May’s statement about a power-seeking organized minority, it is a non-disputed fact that, since 1952, when the identification resolution was adopted, the minority at that convention has not acted as an organized group. It has made no public statements. It has joined in no debates. It did not function as a group in 1953, in 1954, and had no intention of functioning as a group in 1955 until the discussions leading to possible achievement of unity were initiated through the intervention of Dr. Neumann some eight months ago.

“Mr. May indulges himself it dangerous self-deception. He exaggerates the significance of the speeches made at the convention by distinguished visitors. The high US officials and the Israel Ambassador made complimentary remarks about the ZOA in their speeches, which were intended, basically, for the entire Zionist movement. Yet Mr. May accepts these neutral, although complimentary, remarks as endorsement of the vim and vigor of the ZOA. He is incredulously naive when he says of the Saturday night session, however distinguished its speakers, that it alone ‘would already have been a significant event on the American scene.’

“What is, however, most significant in Mr. May’s letter is the complete failure to discuss, let alone reply, to the three points that were made by our group, which were intended to serve as the basis for reinvigorating the ZOA in its program, policies and operations. We have no desire to prolong this controversy. Nonetheless, Mr. May’s statement suggests obvious conclusions to our group and to other like-minded Zionists.”

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