The Reactions of the Zionist Movement and the Yishuv to the Nazis’ Rise to Power
Controversy raged within Jewish organizations and the Zionist movement over the most effective method of exerting pressure on the German government to halt its anti-Jewish measures. The discussion oscillated between the traditional approach of lobbying and persuading Western governments to intervene, and the mobilization of public opinion. The German Zionists, under threat of retaliatory measures by their government, played an important role in the decision of the Zionist ruling bodies to oppose the declaration of a trade boycott against Germany. Nevertheless, the popular movement for a boycott gained strength, encouraged by the Revisionists and the press. The Zionist Organization avoided participation in protests and boycotts, giving priority to preparation for the possible liquidation of the German Jewish community and mass immigration to Palestine. The remainder of the article gives a detailed account of these preparations and the negotiations leading to the Transfer Agreement.