World Jewish Congress Parley Opens in Paris; Discusses Worldwide Jewish Unity
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World Jewish Congress Parley Opens in Paris; Discusses Worldwide Jewish Unity

A call for a worldwide assembly of representatives of all Jewish communities and international Jewish organizations to consider fundamental problems facing the Jewish people was voiced here today at the session of the World Jewish Congress executive, which opened its meeting last night.

Acting president of the W.J.C., Dr. Nahum Goldmann, emphasized in his opening remarks that the principal task of the Congress was to “symbolize the unity of the Jewish people throughout the world”. He emphasized that this unity was endangered by the present world cleavage. He also pointed up that the creation of Israel necessitated a strengthening of worldwide Jewish unity.

Declaring that Jews are now passing through a period of “forced readjustment,” Dr. N. Barou, British leader of the World Jewish Congress, asserted that anti-Semitism is increasing everywhere as a result of the rise of the new German state. The fight for peace and the strengthening of the United Nations are the fundamental political tasks of world Jewry and all progressive forces, he said. He also urged “vigorous Jewish cooperative action in the cultural and social fields.”

Dr. Barou then outlined the following four-point “Program of Jewish Action”: 1. The fight against anti-Semitism and fascism; 2. The fight for peace; 3. Cultural revitalization; and, 4. Coordination and cooperation in social relief work.

Dr. Arieh Tartakower, Congress leader representing the organization in Israel, stated that the “future of the Jewish people is bound up in the relationship between Israel and communities in the Diaspora”. Israel, he said, is an important part — “but only a part” — of the Jewish people. He warned against the “danger of certain sections of the Yishuv underestimating the national interests in the Diaspora,” and also cautioned these forces of “their own duty to strengthen national and democratic forces.”


Dr. Israel Goldstein, former Jewish Agency treasurer who is en route home to the United States from Jerusalem, said the task of the W.J.C. is “to tell the Jewish people and the non-Jewish world that in East-West conflict, Israel must remain neutral”. Those who pressed for the inclusion of Israel in the Marshall Plan, he declared, were doing the young state no service and were “inviting danger of tremendous consequences”. He added that the attention of the Jewish people must be directed to the fact that Israel is not yet beyond danger.

Dr. S.S. Levenberg told the parley that although the “central Jewish problem today is the up building of Israel, it would be a grave mistake to neglect the problems of the Diaspora”. He stressed that assimilation and the disintegration of Jewish life were serious dangers for the Jewish people in Israel and in other parts of the world. “It is impossible to ignore the fact that more than half of the Jewish people is now concentrated on the American continent,” he asserted. Although declaring that there is a “pressing desire for cooperation with Jewish communities in Eastern Europe,” Dr. Levenberg strongly condemned the persecution of Zionists in Rumania and Hungary.

G.M. Rich, observer of the South African Board of Jewish Deputies, said that the Jewish community which he represents is “eager to play a role in the wider Jewish field, just as South African Jews have played in the fields of relief and Zionism.” He pointed out that although South African Jews have special problems, their problems “are in no wav different from those of other Jewish communities.” African Jewish community wishes to see all Jewish organizations united in defense of Jewish rights and Israel.

Dr. Moshe Sneh, Mapam leader in Israel, rebuked the World Jewish Congress for its “failure to admit a Communist to the American executive.” He also criticized the American Jewish Congress for the recent expulsion of two left-wing groups from its ranks.

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