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Opinion & Comment
The "Stability of Zionism" -- A Headline That Has Not Become Outdated
by Yisroel Spiegel

Sometimes, even a fifty-year-old headline can make current news. One such headline from over half a century ago read, "The candidate for president, Dr. Weizmann, advises maintaining the refugees in the camps for the sake of `the stability of Zionism in the country.'" These words, which represent a very distorted, even fearsome, attitude with regard to the bitter fate of persecuted Jews, people who survived the devastating Holocaust by the skin of their teeth -- says everything about the Zionist movement, whose centennial was `celebrated' this past year.

Dr. Chaim Weizmann served as president of the World Zionist Organization for many years. As a gesture of appreciation for his services for the Zionist cause, he was chosen to serve as the first president of the State of Israel and this, incidentally, was even before he came here to settle.

This is the same Dr. Weizmann who, at the Zionist Congress of 5697 (1937) declared, "The hope of the six million Jews is concentrated upon it. From the depths of the tragedy I seek to rescue two million of the youth. The old folk will perish; they must await their fate. They are like economic and ethical dust in a cruel world. Only the branch of the youth will survive. The old people must step aside and make peace with this."

R' Moshe Sheinfeld z'l, who cited these words in the second of a series of "J'Accuse -- Min Hameitzar," brings another quotation from a letter of the administrator of the United Jewish Appeal, in a reply to a request from the sea captain who, in Shevat 1940, conveyed a shipful of refugees and asked for money to be able to continue the journey to Eretz Yisroel. "Many of the passengers are old men and women. They are not suited for such a difficult voyage. Young people are needed for the land of Israel who understand the essence of a Jewish homeland. It would be considered a terrible weapon against Eretz Yisroel if it were flooded with unproductive elements; they would undermine our efforts at establishing a state."


The two excerpts are virtually identical in content, in the message they convey. Aliya is good and significant only in proportion to the measure that it serves the goals of Zionism. The goal in 1937 and 1940 was to establish a Zionist state at all cost. The goal in 1948, according to the version of Dr. Weizmann, was to preserve a specific character for the new state, as stated further on, "We must not jeopardize the Zionist stability of Eretz Yisroel in the first two or three years of its independence."

This was no abstract argument about the political, economic or social purpose, but a very risky gamble with Jewish lives, no less. And this, after the bloodbath of the Holocaust, after the extermination of six million Jews which left a mere remnant of survivors -- literally one from a city, two from a family -- which fought bitterly for the right to claim a little corner where it could safely resume the business of life. But the British mandate government in Palestine sealed the gates before the suffering, miserable refugees, survivors of the D. P. camps in Europe or imprisoned by the British in the detention camps in Cyprus.

At this point, up rose the future president of the Jewish homeland and demanded that the gates of the land be opened only to those who fit the image designed by Zionist leadership, those who adapted themselves to their ideals.

At this stage, at the onset of statehood, the Zionist plot to operate a selektzia among the D.P.s who sought to make aliya failed, but it had operated successfully for many years before, when the Zionist parties collaborated to limit to the barest minimum the immigration of chareidi Jews to Eretz Yisroel. Of all the immigration certificates which England issued to the Zionist Organization, only 6 % went to orthodox Jews, and this only after a bitter battle waged by the Agudath Israel World Movement in an assault of petitions and meetings held with different factions of the British government.

Furthermore, the `principle' that was behind the diplomacy of the Zionist movement, to gain control of the land and reserve it only for those who found favor in the eyes of the Zionist leadership, continued to operate even after statehood, albeit with a different method, one which is employed to this very day. What the secular regime failed to avert from the aspect of the right of immigration extended to every Jew, especially after the passing of the Law of Return, it accomplished later through the power setup of anti-religious coercion against the hundreds of thousands of immigrants during the fifties and sixties, and continues to ensure through the immigration of masses of gentiles from Russia, as if from humanistic motives. But the goal is one and the same, to `preserve the stability of Zionism in Eretz Yisroel,' as worded by Dr. Chaim Weizmann.

This method stands behind the subversive attempt of the Reform and their ilk to insinuate themselves into the fabric of the land and to receive legitimacy and recognition, with the enthusiastic support of the Zionist parties. This is another attempt to preserve Zionist stability. The state is thus the vehicle whereby Zionism can continue to maintain the setup it has established against anyone opposed to its ideology.


A different line of thought characterized the Zionist movement in the past -- and still does: the "preservation of Zionist stability of Eretz Yisroel." In a meeting of the directors of the Jewish Agency with the British High Commissioner in Palestine, Sir Arthur Wokop, which took place in October 1933, Ben Gurion said, "There is a need for a selective immigration. Zionism is not a philanthropic organization; we need here a superior type of Jew who will develop the national homeland."

When Ben Gurion actually delineated who was worthy of immigrating, on the opposite platform could be heard Jabotinsky, who wrote, "What civilian or political, cultural or commercial chance can a bearded and sidelocked Jew, standing before us, have?" (Chadshot Ha'Aretz vol. 69).

This approach of selective immigration was originally presented by the Zionist Workers Union, and found expression immediately after the Balfour Declaration of 1920. During this period it was the British Home Ministry that showed liberalness in immigration, without any limitations. It was the High Commissioner then, Herbert Samuel, who adapted his policies to those of the Zionist regime. This fact was included in a study carried out by Moshe Musak, a member of the Institute of Contemporary Judaism of the Hebrew University, as quoted in Research Chapters in the History of Zionism, published by the Library of Zionism.

Musak titles his work as follows: "Herbert Samuel and the Modeling of the First Standard-Types of the Immigration Policy," and on page 299 he describes the situation of immigration in 1920: "The stream of immigrants was hardly connected to the legal and bureaucratic standards which Samuel created to regulate immigration." Exit visas were plentifully issued by the British consuls without much adherence to the official criteria of their issuance. Samuel, who deliberated, himself, directed his question to the London authorities of whether to limit the size and makeup of the accompanying family members of a given prospective immigrant. The British Home Office decided to adopt the most liberal interpretation of the law and not to establish any limitations in this area. "Samuel had his reservations concerning this directive and wrote to London, `This policy stands in contradiction to the policy which you approved concerning the limitation of immigration, with regard to the economic absorption capacity of the land and the arrangements which were made with the Histadrut concerning the quotas of immigrants and its responsibility towards those people which you will recommend." However, notes Musak, the Home Office employees saw Samuel's demand as an attempt to defend Zionist interests, that is, to limit the immigration of non- Zionist elements to Eretz Yisroel, and therefore, his opinion was not accepted.


On page 300, at the beginning of the chapter, "Attempts of the Histadrut to Limit the Dimensions of Immigration," Musak tells of Leonard Stein, acting diplomatic secretary of the Zionist administration in London, who approached the official British organizations there and asked for a reduction of the quota of immigrants which had been approved for the first year at a figure of 16,500 -- to a mere one thousand people!

On page 301, "In order to restore control of matters to its hands, the Zionist administration developed, if somewhat late, a complex method of supervising the activities of its branches with the aim of effecting a curtailment of immigration. This method included issuing a limited amount of immigration certificates to each branch and an introduction of official recommendation forms which were distributed only by the Zionist administration office in London." On page 302, Musak tells that in November 1920, a circular was sent to the branches explaining that it had been decided to reduce the quota from 16,500 immigrants to a mere 1,000, and that all of these must be unmarried men.

A month later, the Zionist administration sent another circular demanding, among other things, that those in command should encourage immigration "only of those who are young, stalwart of heart, imbued with idealism, of the pioneer spirit, who are undeterred by the prospect of hard physical labor." Towards the end of this piece, Musak quotes from a letter written by Samuel to Weizmann on the 20th of January, 1922, in a conspiratory tone. He writes: "Had I not imposed severe limitations in these past months, thus arousing a great measure of criticism against me from the Zionist world, the Zionist Organization would have had to act on its own in this very direction and raise the same criticism against itself. I hope that you duly appreciate this valuable service of mine."


We attribute special weight to these quotes, and the names of those who stated them, for these are harsh facts which did not prevent, nor do not prevent to this day, the Zionist propagandists, some of whom crown themselves as `expert historians,' from carrying on a smear campaign against chareidi Judaism, headed by Torah leaders. "The prohibition which they issued against immigration to Eretz Yisroel," so they claim, prevented the rescue of countless Jews from the Nazi extermination machine. The culprits who curtailed immigration and exhibited the true cruelty against Orthodox Jewry who converged in masses before the immigration offices in Poland and other eastern European countries, begging for certificates, are the very ones who blame the Orthodox Jewry and its leadership for the death of millions of Jews in the Holocaust, because they opposed immigration to Eretz Yisroel!

We were privy to this circular reasoning recently, when Amnon Shapiro, from the Kibbutz Hadati movement, brazenly lashed out at Torah and chassidic leadership, and especially against Admor R' Aharon of Belz ztvk'l and his brother, the Admor of Bilgorai ztvk'l, with the despicable slanderous accusation that they were to blame for the non- rescue of masses of Jews from the Nazi death camps -- simply because "they forbade their followers to emigrate to the land." The quotes cited above are only a small fraction of the studies and documentation which prove the very opposite, but these are blithely dismissed by that writer and others who continue to propagate these false accusations. (In our issue of parshas Tetzaveh, 5758, we carried a detailed discussion of the remarks of the Belzer rabbonim that these writers refer to.)

The shocking deeds and shortcomings of the Zionist leaders, which reached their zenith during the worst times for European Jewry when they silenced reports of the atrocities and prevented any possible action which could have saved a remnant -- do not concern this devotee of Zionism, who continues to present the myth of Zionism as the rescue movement of Jewry rather than the narrow self-serving political entity which it was, and whose very small number of its own people it was interested in saving. To this day, Zionism serves its own concentrations, through its various branches and arms, with only the underlying purpose in mind of maintaining the secular domination in this land, with no holds barred in reaching this goal, including the mass import of gentiles from the C.I.S. countries, or in its battle to gain recognition for the Reform, whose ranks include a huge percentage of gentiles as well.


These distortions against Orthodox Jewry have one purpose: to present Torah Jewry as a non-legitimate side element, as opposed to the `truly franchised,' to whom they are prepared to extend recognition and membership, even though they be the a-Zionist Reform, who have systematically removed all mention of Zion from their ritual Temple `services.'

Orthodox Jewry has always been strongly bound up with its love of the Land, even when in the historic background it was at strong odds with the Zionist movement. It did not hesitate to state its clear position regarding the settlement of Eretz Yisroel according to the laws of the Torah. This is the only `blame' they can cast on us -- our opposition to the goal of Dr. Chaim Weizmann and all of the Zionist leadership to establish a Zionist Land of Israel. This, and this alone -- nothing else.

This was the official policy of Agudath Israel, as was publicly stated in an official announcement of its World Executive Committee, issued on 8 Cheshvan, 5691 (1930), signed by its three chairmen, in Vienna, Warsaw and Frankfurt: R' Dr. Pinchos Cohen, R' Yitzchok Meir Levine and Moreinu R' Yaakov Rosenheim. Following are the paragraphs relating to a fervent endorsement of the immigration and settlement of Eretz Yisroel:

* World Orthodox Jewry organized through Agudath Israel, which stands in a negative position to the Zionist movement and its organization, due to its cultural platform which denies the true character of the Jewish people, saw in the Balfour Declaration from the beginning, a possible realization, on a very broad basis, of the duties of the people as sanctified by Torah law: the settlement of the Holy Land and its fruitful development.

* Agudath Israel is, therefore, deeply hurt and disappointed by the new fundamental premises which were recently publicized in blatant opposition to the spirit of the Mandate regarding the immigration policy and the acquiring of lands, which in effect leads to a prohibition of immigration and settlement for Jews on holy soil, their ancestral heritage, and which virtually nullifies the general spirit of the Balfour Declaration and thus calls for a sharp protest.

* Agudath Israel builds its relationship to the Holy Land upon eternal foundations which are not dependent upon the vagaries of passing government diplomacies. Under whatever conditions that may arise, it will continue its positive efforts for the spiritual and material construction of the Holy Land in the greatest measure possible. It invites the Jewish people not to lose hope, and like our ancestors, it shall concretize its love for the land in greater measure by devoting itself to its practical implementation.

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