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Originally, the World Zionist Organization was designated as the Jewish Agency in the mandate for Palestine given by the League of Nations to Britain and ratified in 1922. According to Article IV of the mandate, the World Zionist Organization was the appropriate Jewish agency “for the purpose of advising and cooperating with the Administration of Palestine” in matters concerning the establishing of the Jewish national home. In order to speed the work of building, a movement began among Zionists in 1923 to obtain the support of all Jews, including non-Zionists, for the national home in Palestine. To achieve this aim, it was suggested that an extended Jewish Agency be created with 50 percent non-Zionist representation. This idea, actively supported by Chaim Weizmann, had many opponents who feared that Zionism would be weakened by the non-Zionists. The discussions lasted until 1929 when at the 16th Congress in Zurich, the enlarged Jewish Agency was launched, and its constituent assembly met immediately. Among those who took part in it as non-Zionists were Louis Marshall from the U.S., Sir (later Viscount) Herbert Samuel and Lord Melchett from England, Albert Einstein and Oscar Wasserman from Germany, and Leon Blum from France. After the death of the two outstanding non-Zionists, Louis Marshall and Lord Melchett, many of the non-Zionists drifted away and the Jewish Agency Executive became almost identical with the World Zionist Executive. (See Zionism.)

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