MONTHEUX, Switzerland (Jun. 27)
The second plenary conference of the World Jewish Congress opened here today with 260 delegates from 64 countries throughout the world attending and with diplomatic representatives of the Israeli, British and American Governments and many other national present. The last convention of the Congress was held in Geneva in 1936.
Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, president of both the World and American Jewish Congresses, told the delegates that “we have faith that the state of Israel will prove equal to the prayers, challenges, hopes and dreams of the Jewish people. To the nations of Christendom, we appeal to maintain peace and secure justice for the Jewish people,” the head of the 40-member American delegation said. “To the Jewish people, be strong, united and inspired by the achievements of our sons and daughters.”
Alluding to the slaughter of a third of the Jewish people of Europe by the Nazis, he added: “we owe our survival not to the friendly intervention of any group, race or church, but to our own faith, our unshakeable trust in Divine mercy and our faltering will be reinforced by the collective, united purpose.”
Speaking as an American, Dr. Wise said he was happy that the United States had adopted a position toward Israel which “earned her an honored place in our memory. I pray only that for Israel’s good and America’s it will continue by its acts to maintain this position. Declaring that the state of Israel was recognized by all men of good will and understanding everywhere, Dr. Wise called on Britain to follow suit.
JEWS MUST UNITED AND FIGHT ANTI-SEMITISM, DR. GOLDMANN DECLARES
Dr. Nahum. Goldmann, chairman of the Congress administrative committee, addressing the opening session,, called for a “revival of the fighting spirit” of the Jewish people. He declared that world events since 1939, with 6,000,000 European Jews murdered by the Nazis, Justified the Zionist analysis that the Jewish situation in the world must remain tragic so long as the Jews do not have an independent, sovereign state of their own. Normal Jewish existence, he said, means having the “state of Israel at the center and a strong, creative diaspora at the periphery.”
He stressed the difficulty of maintaining national identity after the destruction of the European communities and warned of the danger increasing as a result of major upheavals in the world “Whenever the world is in a state of instability, flux, dissension conflict and chaos, minorities are bound to suffer first,” Dr. Goldmann said, and none is so vulnerable as the Jews.” He called for United Jewish action in cooperation with liberal and progressive forces in the world to combat anti-Semitism.
The Congress which is meeting to discuss, among other major issues, the relationship between the Jews outside of Israel and the Israelis, received a message from the Israeli Government. The greeting, signed by Premier David Ben Gurion and Foreign Minister Moshe Shertok, pledged support to all Jewish organizations in Israel and Jewish rights.” A message of unity was also received from Israeli Chief Rabbis Isaac Herzog and Ben Zion Uziel.
David Rimes, Israeli representative at the parley, received a thundering ovation when he was introduced to the delegates. Special services were held to honor the memory of the 6,000,000 Jewish martyrs murdered by the Nazis. The delegates from the Soviet zone of dermany have not yet arrived, having been delayed by red taps. Alex Easterman presided at today’s morning session.