THE hundreds of delegates who are attending the Zionist Congress now in session at The Hague have come from every country in the civilized world and from some lands which are still far from the van of human progress. The potential strength of will and of spirit represented by such a gathering makes a strong appeal to the judgment as well as to the imagination. These delegates and the people they represent have long since passed the argumentative stage in dealing with the movement in which they are proud to be enlisted. It is "a condition and not a theory" that confronts them. To many, indeed to the great majority of them, Zionism is a part of their innermost selves. They imbibed its influence from the moment when they were able to comprehend the prayers which they reverently repeat. Their ancestors for eighteen centuries have prayed for the restoration of the glorious state, and the hope has become imperishable in the hearts of an imperishable people. To others the propaganda is only in a minor degree representative of this sentiment. It is rather their response to the ostracism, the bigotry and the proscription, which are not confined to the benighted lands of the East, but have given the lie to the professions of our civilization in nearly every other part of the earth. It is a reassertion, in men whose religious principles are often lax, of the unconquerable spirit that has refused to bow before the might of a host of bigots, of despots and of inquisitors.
The large section led by Ussischkin, one of the leaders of the Russian delegation, is determined to ask the delegates to declare in favor of immediate practical work in Palestine. Nordau and his followers are equally determined to adhere to the original plan of concentrating all efforts towards securing the Palestinian charter so as to secure a legally assured home in that country for the Jews before undertaking extensive operations there. The impatience of the Russian contingent is easily understood when the terrible pressure at home is considered. The danger of embarking on extensive plans without a proper guarantee from the Sultan and his government is so great, however, that impetuosity without foresight is not to be encouraged. Those who are already in Palestine might be aided without danger by the institution of legitimate enterprises. The evils of the Halukah might be done away with, and the entry of the shiftless and the poverty-stricken discouraged. Further than this, practical work is not safe at the present time. Whether the organization can continue its numerical strength in the absence of definite and striking results is a question that has given ardent Zionists much concern. At the present writing there is no reason to anticipate a cessation of interest in the cause.Jewish Exponent.
"A very large gathering of Hebrew citizens assembled in the St. Urbain St. Synagogue, Montreal, on Sunday to hear the official report of the International Zionist Conference recently held in Cologne, and of the program adopted by that conference for immediately proceeding with the work of re-settling the Jewish people in Palestine, in consequence of the Holy Land now being opened by the Sultan to Jewish settlement.
"Mr. Clarence I. de Sola, in his capacity as a member of the Actions Committee, or Chief Executive Council of the Zionist movement, submitted the program of the work in Palestine that had been decided upon at the Cologne conference. He stated that the news that the Turkish government was no longer enforcing those laws which had hitherto militated against Jews settling in Palestine, was the most momentous news which had greeted Jewish ears in a century. In consequence of the lowering of the barriers, a stream of Jewish immigrants from Russia into the Holy Land had now set in, which was assuming large proportions.
"At the very moment when persecution in Russia was driving hundreds of thousands of Jews from the [R4057 : page 276] dominions of the Czar, Mr. de Sola remarked, the gates of Palestine were being opened to them. They could see the hand of divine providence in all this, and it was the paramount duty of every Jew to seize the opportunity which now presented itself of settling, not only tens of thousands, nor hundreds of thousands, but millions of Hebrew colonists in the Holy Land, with the result that they would soon again be in possession of the land that had been promised to their forefathers. It was in order to give practical shape to this idea that the Zionist leaders of the Cologne conference had decided on the program of work in Palestine.
He said that the program arranged was one which must produce such a revolution of conditions in Palestine as to make it rival any country in the West in enterprise and in prosperity. This is what the Zionists are now undertaking, but to carry out the program the Jews of the world must contribute liberally to the funds of the movement. He therefore strongly appealed to them to subscribe to the funds of the Jewish Colonial Trust and the Zionist National Fund, and also to the fund of the Palestine Commission, the committee specially charged with the work, and to the Bezalel Technical Institute of Jerusalem, which was training the new generation in Palestine in arts and handicrafts. These were the financial instruments of the movement, and it was only by supporting them that they could accomplish their work.
"Rabbi Herman Abramowitz was the next speaker. He pictured in glowing periods the happy conditions to which the Jews would be restored if they but took advantage of the opportunities now presented to them for re-settling their people in Palestine.
"Rabbi Meldola de Sola then addressed the audience, and made a most powerful appeal to them to assist in the work now being undertaken in Palestine. He said that the first words that the Prophet Jeremiah uttered in mourning their captivity were words of grief for the destruction of Zion, and that for two thousand years they had never ceased to cherish love for Zion, and to pray for a restoration thereto. The opening up of Palestine by the Turkish Government to the Jews was an event of such tremendous significance that it should be ranked in importance with the edict of Cyrus, King of Persia, when he allowed the Jews to return to the Holy Land after the Babylonian captivity, and with all their hearts should they thank God for having preserved them alive and sustained them to enjoy this season. By many Biblical quotations he showed that it was their duty to assist this work of restoration."Montreal Journal.
We have engaged apartments for all who have notified us, and will have a Bureau of Information at the New York Central R.R. depot, where each can obtain the address of the quarters secured, as per instructions sent us. This will be open the evening of Aug. 29th and all day of the 30th. When closed a similar office will be established at the "Auditorium" of the Natural Food Co., Buffalo Ave., where all the Convention sessions will be held.