ERUSALEM (May. 6)
A well trained, courageous army is not sufficient to guarantee peace and Israel’s security, it must have a well organized and sound economy, Premier David Ben Gurion last night told the opening session of the Zionist Actions Committee meeting here. The Israeli Premier was greeted by a deafening ovation when he appeared on the rostrum.
The meeting of the highest policy making body of the Zionist movement between World Congresses is being attended by delegates from all over the world, but members who are also leaders of the Zionist Organization of America are not present. They refused to attend when a request for postponement of the Actions Committee session was denied. The Z.O.A. leaders made their plea because the annual national convention of the organization, scheduled previously, will be held during the week-end of May 27-30. Other American members are present.
Ben Gurion paid tribute to the efforts of world Jewry in behalf of Israel’s fight for independence and existence, pointing out that while the Israelis shed their blood they were assisted by manpower and vitally needed arms from Jews in 40 different countries. He added that “our greatest worry still remains security,” asserting that the Arabs, who consider the Jews in the same category as the medieval Crusaders, are not apt to forget their defeats at the hand of the Israelis. He also analyzed the common efforts of the Israeli Government and the Jewish Agency in the field of security, foreign policy and immigration.
Dr. Nahum Goldmann, acting chairman of the American section of the Agency executive, warned that this was not the time for handing over all Zionist functions to non-Zionists. This procedure would be a “fatal mistake,” Dr. Goldmann insisted. However, he suggested that the Agency itself might be enlarged to give-non-Zionists a voice in the distribution of funds in whose collection they have assisted.
This problem, he continued, is one that the actions body must discuss, but the final decision will rest with the next World Zionist Congress, which has the authority to deal with this and other organizational matters.
GROUP OF IMMIGRANTS DEMONSTRATES IN FRONT OF JEWISH AGENCY BUILDING
During this morning’s session some 50 newly-arrived immigrants demonstrated for employment and adequate housing outside the Agency building where the meeting was taking place. While the demonstration was in progress, Dr. Israel Goldstein, Agency treasurer, reported on the organization’s financial activities during the past eight months.
He stated that in that period a total of 14 reception camps and 33 new settlements had been established, and that building construction was under way in many abandoned Arab villages to provide accommodations for new Jewish arrivals. In the course of the eight months, Dr. Goldstein explained, expenditures had totalled $57,600,000, chiefly on bringing immigrants to Israel and providing the housing necessary. That expenditure, he said, represented an increase of 30 percent over the total Agency outlay the year before.
Despite the size of that outlay, he continued, it was inadequate. He warned American Jewry of the great responsibility facing the Agency executive and the Zionist movement generally. Be pleaded with American Jews not to “let down” the Agency.