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Zionists at Berlin Actions Session in Heated Discussion over Agency Recommendations for Palestine

July 23, 1928
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Fight Centers Around Executive’s Resolution to Adopt American Proposals with Slight Amendments: Laborites and Die-hards Charge Weizmann with ‘Surrendering:’ ‘Social Reaction’ Seen by Labor Spokesman in Recommendations (Jewish Telegraphic Agency)

–The proposals of American and German non-Zionists for formulating a constructive program of Palestine upbuilding work on the basis of sound business principles, as embodied in the recommendations of the Commissioners of the Joint Palestine Survey, recently arrived at the London conference, were the center of a heated struggle among the members of the General Council of the Zionist World Organization in session here. The General Council is the body of the Zionist World movement holding the power of review of Zionist matters between the Zionist Congresses which meet bi-annually.

Strong opposition to the proposals of the American non-Zionists came to the fore during the discussion which was started at the Friday session of the General Council, the Laborites and the die-hard Zionists taking a leading part in the fight which, as was rumored, may bring about the resignation of Dr. Weizmann’s executive if its recommendation is defeated.

The discussion centered around a resolution submitted by the Zionist Executive that the General Council adopt in principle the recommendations of the Jewish Agency Commission consisting of Felix M. Warburg and Dr. Lee K. Frankel of New York, Lord Melchett (Sir Alfred Mond) of London and Oscar Wassermann of Berlin, recently submitted to Louis Marshall, President of the American Jewish Committee, and to Dr. Chaim Weizmann, President of the World Zionist Organization. The Zionist Executive did not ask for a full endorsement of the program outlined by the Commissioners for a five year period with an annual one million pound budget, but suggested that the General Council accept the report in principle although it offers its suggestions for changing some of the recommendations. The representatives of the conservative and progressive elements in the Zionist movement were pitted against the Laborities and radical Zionists and Revisionists in the discussion.

Moses Suprassky of Tel-Aviv, representative of the Palestine middleclass, criticised the Zionist Executive for its failure to exert influence with the Palestine Government. The Palestine authorities, he charged, are hampering the economic growth of the Jewish community in the country.

Dr. Leon Reich of Lemberg, Poland, staunch supporter of the Weizmann policy, defended the attitude of the Zionist Executive and urged that the General Council adopt the recommendations of the non-Zionist Commissioners. “It is established by now that the Zionist movement as it is constituted now cannot by itself achieve the upbuilding of Palestine. The limit of the financial cooperation of the Jewish masses for this purpose has been reached. The General Council must accept the report of the Jewish Agency Commission although some changes should be made,” he urged. Deputy ##### of Warsaw, ## reprsentative of the Orthodox Zionist Organization Mizrachi, cruticised the recommendations of the Jewish Agency Commission, alleging that they are contrary to decisions adopted by the Zionist Congress. Nevertheless, he stated the Mizacan ceiegates will vote for the adoption of the recommendations if amended.

Dr. ##elix Rosenbineth, speaking in ## of the Zionist executive, stated that the recommendations of the joint Palestine Survey Commission do not cons## a document of the Jewish Agency proper, but they provide the ### for cooperation between the ### for cooperation between the Zionists and non-Zionists. He urged that the resolution of the Zionist Executive allowing for amendments, be acepted.

M. Sprinktak of Jerusalem, representative of the Jewish Socialist party Hitacodult, led the attack against the recommendations of the Agency Commission. The report, he stated, is perm### with a spirit of “social reaction.” Cooperation between Zionists and non-Zionists through the Jewish Agency will be possible only if the conditions laid down by the Zionist Congress are fulfilled.

M. Kaplansky of Jerusalem, representing the Socialist party Poale Zion, charged the Zionist Executive with “surrendering the ideals of the Zionist movement to the desires of a group of novables.” The resolution introduced by the Zionist Executive asking authority for the appointment of a pro### Jewish Agency committee to negotiate with the American non-Zionists is an attempt to usurp the power of the Zionist Congress, he said.

Deputy Isaac Gruenbaum of Warsaw, embittered ## of the idea to extend the Jewish Agency to include non-Zionists predicted that the recommendations will be defeated and together with them the Zionist Executive. “Take your choice between the ### of ### and the recommendations of the non-Zionists.” be exclaimed.

M. M. Ussishkin. Jerusalem head of the Jewish National Fund, whose land leasing system was not endorsed in the Commissioners’ recommendations, expressed his lack of confidence in the Jewish Agency idea. “Those who are alien to the ideals of Zionism do not understand the spirit of the Jewish National Fund land policy,” he stated.

M. Dizengof, former mayor of Tel-Aviv, pleaded for the adoption of the recommendations. “A flat refusal would be a political crime,” he stated. He suggested that the Palestine work under the Agency plan be divided along the following lines: the neutrals being in charge of the credit work while the Zionists administer the other funds.

Dr. Arthur Ruppin, former member of the Zionist Executive, stated that the experts’ report contained many shortcomings which are responsible for the failure to notice the main problems. The recommendations however, were made with good mention and if amended the report is to be accepted, he stated.

Richard Lichtheim, Berlin, a Revisionist, asked the General Council to reject the recommendations. An understanding between the Zionists and non-Zionists is impossible, he stated. Since the Zionist Executive has failed to carry out the resolutions of the Zionist Congress, the General Council must stop the effort to extend the Jewish Agency.

Ben Gurion, Jerusalem, speaking for the Jewish Socialists party Achduth Ha’-A## urged the rejection of the report. As Socialists we are not afraid of the capitalistic conservatism, but as Zionists we must reject the attempt to impose upon us a foreign will, he stated.

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