Menu JTA Search

Delegates from 18 European and North African Countries Open Zionist Parley in Paris

SIGN UP FOR THE JTA DAILY BRIEFING

The European Zionist Conference, with 140 delegates representing Jewish communities in 18 European and North African countries, was opened here last night by Eliahu Dobkin, Jewish Agency immigration chief, who called on Zionists throughout the world to aid in the program of mass immigration to Israel and strengthening of the Zionist spirit and Hebrew culture throughout the world.

Mr. Dobkin listed two dangers now threatening Israel–the suspension of immigration to the Jewish state and the reduction in the number of youths proceeding to Israel as pioneer settlers. “Now that we have the land,” he continued, “only eight percent of the immigrants are going into agriculture.” He predicted that 70 percent of all immigrants reaching Israel next year would come from North Africa, the Middle East and the Western Hemisphere.

The Agency official deplored the lack of preparation for life in Israel found among immigrants reaching the Jewish state from North America. He blamed the Zionist movements in that area for this situation, and appealed for an expansion of Hachsharah training farms and the dispatch of a greater number of Israel instructors abroad to prepare Jewish youths for Chalutz life in Israel.

Dr. Nahum Goldman, chairman of the American section of the Jewish Agency, told the delegates that a “state can be proclaimed but cannot be created in one day.” Warning that the dangers besetting the Jewish state are not over, Goldmann asserted that the “solution to our problems concerns big powers and big churches, while the Arab leaders speak of the renewal of the war.”

Dr. Goldmann asserted that the program of mass immigration to Israel will be the main task of the Zionist movement for many years to come. He emphasized the danger inherent in a separation between Israel and Jewish communities overseas, which he said would be “catastrophic.”

Declaring that “I cannot believe that the result of unique Jewish history, persecution and resistance will be the creation of a small state and disintegration of the Jewish people outside it,” Dr. Goldmann urged Jewish communities throughout the world to display loyalty to Israel–“not legal or political loyalty, but moral loyalty.”

NO. AFRICAN JEWS WANT GREATER SAY IN DECISIONS ON IMMIGRATION TO ISRAEL

The presence here of North African delegates attending the European Zionist Conference appears not only to emphasize their problems, but also has given a completely new atmosphere to the whole conference. It is considered likely here that the North African representatives will form a bloc of their own, despite the difficulties already arising from the variety and divergency of opinions among the delegates who represent parties ranging in political extremity from the Mapam to the Herut.

The North African delegates seek not only a greater say in affairs directly affecting problems of Israel immigration and absorption, but also in the political leadership of the Zionist movement. Their desire to create a new group appears to have arisen from the time when a misunderstanding over the unpreparedness of the Yishuv in the Jewish state to receive them.

Maurice Fischer, Israel Minister to France, told the delegates that the chief task of the Zionist movement at present was to facilitate immigration to Israel and reaffirm “the solidarity between the Jewish state and the Diaspora.” Greetings on behalf of the Paris municipality were extended by Pierre Poussin. Greetings were also extended to the delegates by Marc Jarblum, French Jewish leader. A Paris police band played the Marseillaise and Hatikvah at the close of last night’s session. Delegates attending the conference include five from Poland.

NEXT STORY