Zionism Pre: 1934 Part III

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Post-War Conditions:

Internally the movement split in 1920, at the London Conference over the platform of economic effort submitted by Justice Brandeis, and rejected by Weizmann. This was accentuated in 1921 by the visit of a Zionist Commission to America, which led to the defeat of the Brandeis group, and the establishment of the Keren Hayesod as the financial and operating instrument in Palestine. From 1922 to 1925 the policy of acquiring land in Palestine through the Jewish National Fund was stressed, and the Emek and Acre Bay lands were purchased.

Subsidies were granted to agricultural cooperatives and the labor and radical views accentuated in the Palestine land settlement policy. In 1924-25 the fourth Aliyah, of Polish Jews, led to a temporary boom and the more rapid development of Tel Aviv and Haifa. The collapse of this boom was injurious to development in the immediate succeeding years. Meantime, however, the school system, the hospitalization, the founding of new colonies, and the rise of cultural and art interests of every type were creating a new Palestine, and the efforts of the Palestine Economic Council (formerly Palestine Cooperative Corporation) the British Economic Board, the Ruthenberg electrification works, and scores of new enterprises were changing the Palestine scene. The agitation was started in 1924 for the establishing of the Extended Jewish Agency. A commission of experts was sent to Palestine, and the Agency consummated Aug., 1929, by the sessions in Zurich, with Louis Marshall as the presiding officer.

A setback was given the movement in Aug., 1929, by the riots in Jerusalem, Hebron and elsewhere in which many Jews lost their lives and many were wounded, and which began over a protest by the Arabs against the use of the Wailing Wall "for regular" service. The Shaw Commission, which undertook to investigate the cause of the riots, reported more definitely on the dubious phraseology of the Balfour Declaration. This was followed by the dispatch by the mandatory power of Sir John Hope Simpson to Palestine to investigate the position of the "landless Arabs," and the area available for cultivation. The culmination of adverse political conditions came in October, 1930, with the issuance of the Passfield White Paper which emphasized the views expressed in the Shaw Commission report, and was provoked by the attitude of the Permanent Mandates Commission of the League of Nations which expressed its views of the mandatory policy in Palestine in critical terms. Apart from the relief fund raised for the victims of the 1929 massacres the movement showed a decline succeeding the 1929 Congress, and at the 1931 Congress the Revisionists, led by Vladimir Jabotinsky, who had been largely called into existence by the separation of Trans-Jordan from Palestine in 1922 and the Agency policy, supported by all other anti-Weizmann factions, prevented the re-election of the latter and chose as leader Nahum Sokolow, and a combined executive in which, however, the Revisionists did not serve. The congress disapproved of the Mac-Donald letter of 1931 which sin some respects Verbally modified the Passfield White Paper.

By October, 1931, a resurgence of settlement in Palestine was in process. The country not only escaped the world depression, but made clear economic headway, and since early in 1933 the stream of immigrants and settlers, swollen by the refugees from Germany has been one of the interesting as well as conspicuous phenomena of Jewish world affairs. The Zionist Congress of 1933, which was held in Prague, continued with some hesitation the alliance with the Extended Jewish Agency. Whilst Nahum Sokolow remained at the head of the organization, the executive elected was dominated by the Left Wing, forcing a consolidation of the groups in the movement which heretofore constituted the center, or Allgemeine Zionists. A breach in the Revisionists ranks led to the formation of the Jewish State Party. Since the congress to the early winter of 1934 the problem that has confronted the organization has been that of opening Palestine to those seeking to enter, and although the ideological differences have far from disappeared they are less adumbrated than the political and economic phases of the movement.

The Palestinean development during the decade ending 1934 has materially changed the world Jewish outlook in some respects. In the practical sense Palestine has been the only land of permanent settlement for 10,000 German-Jewish refugees, and the growth of Jewish population has thrown into the forefront such questions as the opening up of Trans-Jordan and Syria to Jewish settlement. On the other hand the rapid advance of Hebrew as a living tongue in common use in Palestine has had an effect on Jewish cultural life everywhere. In Palestine itself wholly new ideas, such as Labor Zionism, and the Religion of Labor have found expression, exciting the interest of those who have otherwise little in common with any aspect of Judaism or Zionism, but who are interested in new social phenomena. The repercussion of 35,000 Jews living in Palestine by agriculture and a larger number engaged in handicrafts have affected the attitudes of those German-Jewish leaders who are attempting reconstructive work for Germany Jewry in Germany.

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Website: The History Box.com
Article Name: Zionism: Pre: 1934 Part III
Researcher/Transcriber Miriam Medina


BIBLIOGRAPHY: From my collection of Books: The Encyclopedia of Jewish Knowledge In One Volume, Edited by Jacob De Haas; in collaboration with more than 150 scholars and specialists. Behrman's Jewish Book House New York, 1934.
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