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assisting the "Haganah," for the border settlements and additional security matters. In 1946, the Jewish National Council was behind that publicized hunger strike of the heads of the Yishuv for the Holocaust survivors who were stopped on their way to the La Spezia Port in Italy (see this book, pp. 115-116). Over the years, it organized numerous conferences and mass demonstrations against the hostile policies of the British.
Twice in a ten-year period, in 1929 and in 1939, the Jewish National Council was headed by a person from the outside and with a special status - Pinhas Rutenberg, Director of the Electric Company, who was behind many actions of the Mandate Government and the British Government in London. He arrived to strengthen the Council at two crisis points: after the events of 5689-1929 and after the outbreak of World War II in 1939.
The Jewish National Council deviated from its narrow confines several times. Although foreign affairs were usually handled by the Political Department of the Jewish Agency, the Council would sometimes carry out initiatives of its own, both practical and symbolic. Thus, after the official end of World War II in August 1945 (following Japan's surrender after the dropping of two atom bombs on it) the Jewish National Council sent a congratulatory telegram to British Prime Minister Clemente Attlee, to United States President Harry Truman, to the ruler of the Soviet Union Joseph Stalin and to the Prime Minister of China Chiang Kai-shek, in these words:
On behalf of the Jewry of the Land of Israel, we hereby present our heartfelt blessing on the victorious end to the war. Along with all of the united nations, the Jewish People pray that this day is the beginning of an era of lasting peace, founded upon international justice and cooperation for the good of all mankind.
The Jewish National Council demanded its right to represent the Yishuv in international forums. Its representatives appeared before the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry that toured the Land of Israel in 1946, and before the UN Committee of Inquiry, UNSCOP, which came to the Land of Israel in the summer of 1947.
In early 1945, following the elections to the Assembly of Representatives that were held in August 1944 (after a break of almost 13 years!) and the new executive assumption of power, structural changes were made and a position of permanent president was established, which was filled by the old Chairman, Izhak Ben-Zvi. Later on, the relationship with the Jewish Agency was discussed extensively and it was proposed that a Political Department be established. The proposal was not approved for the reason that "the Executive of the Jewish National Council is in fact a Political Department."

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