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Electric Company, as well as to hold political discussions with British Government officials. Except that there too, his star began to dim. The British, from the High Commissioner in Jerusalem to the Government in London, had quickly learned that the bulldozer named Rutenberg cannot realize his abilities in the political realm.
Upon returning from London in June 1940, he renewed his work in the Jewish National Council, but not for long. He himself was exhausted and had fallen ill – an illness that would claim his life a year and a half later. The criticisms against him aggravated him and certainly he asked himself, more than once, as the poet JLG (Judah Leib Gordon) put it: For whom am I laboring? On August 27, 1940, he convened the Plenum of the Jewish National Council and read a brief letter of resignation before them. First, he told them of his illness, which impaired his ability to work (it seems no one believed this reason, although it was completely true). Afterwards, he thanked all those who worked alongside him and concluded with a warning:
It is my duty to warn you again – the method that has taken root in the management of the Yishuv's affairs that makes any enterprise and any action dependent upon the party structure – makes any effective management impossible. For ten months I tried to consolidate the Yishuv into a single entity as is suitable in an emergency, so that we may survive the trials of the times. I did not succeed.
Rutenberg himself had therefore admitted his failure. It turns out this "strong man" failed to bend the system. And there will be those who say that you should not bend it but rather work with it.
A Visit to the High Commissioner
In the years prior to the establishment of the state, the National Institutions Building served as "the Government House" of the Jewish Yishuv. The Yishuv's two governing institutions resided therein and they conducted – jointly and separately – discussions concerning political matters in general and anything concerning relations with the British in particular. Because we must remember: The government then was British and at its head was the High Commissioner. The decision to meet with the High Commissioner was decided in the National Institutions Building as well as who would go to meet with him. After 1935, it was mostly one of three people: Chairman of the Executive David Ben-Gurion, the Head of the Political Department Moshe Shertok (Sharett) and the Chairman of the Jewish National Council Yitzhak Ben-Zvi. On quite a few occasions, Chief Rabbi Herzog met with the High Commissioner, either alone or together with the representatives of the Jewish institutions.
Ben-Gurion and Shertok (as well as other members of the Executive) were often absent from the Land of Israel for short and long periods, during which other members of the executive met with the High Commissioner, for instance the Head of the Finances Department Eliezer Kaplan and the Jewish Agency's Legal Advisor, Bernie (Dov) Joseph (Yosef), the "Minister of Austerity" after the establishment of the state.

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