Chicago Sentinel Article: Partition Issue may divide Agudath Israel
National Library of Israel
Chicago Sentinel, 26.08.1937, page 33
Partition Issue May Divide Agudath Israel
Marienbad, Czechoslovakia, Aug. 23 (JTA) – A serious split last week threatened the world congress of the Agudath Israel, orthodox Jewish organization, on the issue of British proposals to partition Palestine and establish a Jewish State.
A report was awaited from the Rabbinical Council, which was examining the problem from the viewpoint of Hebraic law. The council was divided, it was learned, but the anti-partition sentiment was expected to prevail.
Stormy scenes occurred on the floor when Yankelevitch, Palenstinian leader of the Poale-Agudah, orthodox workers’ group, attacked the Agudath Israel Executive for negotiating with Vladimir Jabotinsky, head of the New Zionist Organization, for a united front to oppose Palestine partitioning.
No one in Palestine takes the New Zionists seriously, he declared, charging they were the first to violate the Jewish Sabbath at the Haifa harbor.
H. A. Goodman, political secretary of the organization, replied: “We do not care whether Jabotinsky is kosher or not, the Agudah must end the criminal monopoly of the Zionists and conclude pacts with anyone having the same ends.”
Rumanians for, British Against.
The group favoring the partition is led by Rabbi Zirelson of Kishinev, Rumania, and the group opposing the division of Palestine headed by Dr. Jacob Rosenheim, of London, president of the Agudath Israel.
Prof. Akzin, representative of the New Zionists, left Marienbad after long negotiations with members of the Agudah Executive. It was learned the Agudah refused to participate in a Jewish assembly suggested by Jabotinsky because of proposed women’s suffrage in election of delegates, but agreed to a joint conference with the New Zionists Organization.
Dr. Rosenheim charged before the congress that Zionism “brought confusion to the Jewish people and robbed the Jewish people of its soul,” He told the 720 delegates and more than 2,000 spectators that the establishment of the organization twenty-five years ago was “a reaction against the Zionist racial principle of organization.”
It is understood here that Jabotinsky was invited to Zurich by Zionists opposing partition to re-join the Zionist Organization to ensure an anti-partition majority at the next Zionist Congress. However, he declined the offer, it was reported.
Dr. Isaac Breuer, of Jerusalem, declared at the opening session of the congress last night that “the ideas of the Agudist movement are the ideas of our time.” The congress is being held in the Kursalon.
Rabbi Zirelsohn, of Kishinev, Rumania, was elected president of the congress. A presidium of 25 was also elected, including Rabbi Schreiber, of Bratislava, Czechoslovakia; Dr. Rosenheim, Rabbi Eliezer Silver of Cincinnati, Ohio; Rabbi Lewin of Rzeczow, Poland; Senator Jacob Trockenheim of Warsaw; Deputy Dubin, of Riga, Latvia; Deputy Minzberg, of Lodz, Poland; Rabbi Moshe Dushinsky, of Jerusalem; Rabbi Horowitz, of Jerusalem, and H. A. Goodman, of London.
Many renowned orthodox rabbis were on the platform when the congress opened. Greetings were given by representatives of the Czechoslovakian Government, the Polish Embassy, the British Embassy and the Marienbad Municipality. Messages were sent by the Board of Deputies of British Jews, the Reich Representation of Jews in Germany, and the British Foreign and Colonial Offices.