Z.O.A. Convention Urges Alertness to International Developments Involving Israel
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Z.O.A. Convention Urges Alertness to International Developments Involving Israel

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A resolution stressing the need for Zionist alertless to international developments involving Israel was adopted here last night at the closing session of the 53rd annual convention of the Zionist Organization of America.

Another resolution deplored the fact that although six weeks have elapsed since the Three Power agreement on a policy for supplying arms to the Middle East, ?o positive action has been taken by the U.S. Government to permit Israel to acquire in this country “the necessary arms with which to defend itself.” The resolution ##alled upon the American Government to intercode with Britain to halt arms shipments ?o the Arab states.

The convention also voted to support the position taken by the Z.O.A. president in opposing at this time an electoral contest among American Zionist groups for representation to the forthcoming World Zionist Congress. “However, in the event that ## general agreement is reached as to a unified slate, and an election is forced upon the movement, the Z.O.A. is resolved to mobilize its full strength to the end that its delegation shall reflect the organization’s preeminent position of leadership in American Zionism,” the resolution said.


Other resolutions called for the elimination of double representation at World Zionist Congresses for Israel parties. They stressed the paramount importance of the United Jewish Appeal drive in this country, and pledged the efforts of the Z.O.A. membership to fund-raising drives in behalf of the Z.O.A. projects in Israel.

The stand taken by the Z.O.A. for maintaining the integrity of the Jewish National Fund was approved in a resolution which also emphasized that it is in the best interests of the Zionist movement that the J.N.F. and the Keren Hayesed continue their activities.

The creation in the United States of an over-all Zionist organization was urged by Rudolf G. Sonneborn, chairman of the Z.O.A. Administrative Committee, addressing the concluding session of the convention. “Israel’s problems, already complicated, should not be further bodeviled by an admixture of a political brew from America,” he stressed.


Dr. Nahum Goldmann, chairman of the American section of the Jewish Agency, speaking at a banquet last night in honor of Benjamin G. Browdy, newly-elected president of the Z.O.A., took issue with some of the statements made during the convention by Dr. Abba Hillel Silver. Dr. Goldmann denied any intention on the part of the Israel Government to liquidate the Zionist movement.

The Government of Israel, Dr. Goldmann said, agreed two years ago that the World Zionist Organization should take over immigration and colonization in Israel. “The difficulties began to arise when the executive of the W.Z.O. could not fully discharge those duties because the funds produced were totally insufficient. The government had to step in and allocate large amounts of money–more money than all the campaigns in the world made available for this purpose–thus increasing the already heavy burden of the Israel population.

“The experience of these two years,” Dr. Goldmann continued, “has shown that neither financially nor administratively could immigration and colonization be organized on the basis of a complete separation between the work of the World Zionist Executive and the Israel Government. For this reason, the last meeting of the Zionist Actions Committee came to the unanimous decision that only by close cooporation between the government and the Jewish Agency could immigration, colonization and development of the country be organized.”


Dr. Goldmann especially criticized Dr. Silver’s argument that cooperation between the World Zionist Organization and the Israel Government through the Joint Development Authority would expose Zionists to suspicion of double loyalty or of being agents of a foreign government.

“This is a real anti-Zionist argument,” Dr. Goldmann said. “As long as the Zionist movement realizes separate funds for its work and coordinates its activities with regard to policy and implementation with the government–which is essential in order to avoid chaos and confusion–no problem of double loyalty can arise. Otherwise the efforts of Jews outside of Israel in the rebuilding of the state of Israel can just as well be classified as acts of double loyalty.”

Dr. Goldmann also denied that the Israel Government had two years ago intervened in the United Jewish Appeal conflict in this country which led to the resignations of Drs. Silver and Emanuel Neumann from the Zionist leadership. He stressed that the Israel Government at no time intervened in this conflict. “The main problem,” he said, “is not if the government wants a strong Zionist movement, it certainly does. The problem is if the Zionist movement can deliver the goods and really mobilize all Jewish forces for the support of Israel, not only claiming to do it.”


A report on the activities of the Jewish National Fund in America was given at the convention by Dr. Harris Levine, its president. Dr. Levine said that “Israel is not underrating the role of American Jewish generesity in upbuilding the land and in facilitating the ingathering of exiles.” He emphasized that the 625,000 dunams of land acquired in one year had all been obtained “by purchase from Arab owners, not by force or seizure.”

An over-all picture of the work of the Jewish National Fund was given by Mendel N. Fisher, its executive director. Due to the decline in the J.N.F. income from the United Palestine Appeal-United Jewish Appeal funds, Mr. Fishor reported that income for the fiscal yar ending Sept. 23, 1949, was $27,507,571.93, compared to $38,680,488.64 for the corresponding period of 1948. The traditional collections for this period amounted to $3,047,243.59, a decrease from the previous year of only $117,634.18. Mr. Fisher attributed this decrease not only to the recession in business but to the discussions both here and in Israel about the future of the J.N.F.

Robert Szold, former president of the Zionist Organization of America, told the convention that the rate of American capital investment in industry during the coming years will play a decisive role in the future development of the Jewish state. Mr. Szold discussed the 25-year record of the Palestine Economic Corporation’s activities in the Jewish state. He pointed out that the P.E.C. has Israel resources amounting to over $19,500,000.

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