U.S. Zionists Never Advocated Separation of Jewish Agency from Israel, Neumann Says

Emphasizing that American Zionists have never suggested complete seperation of the world Zionist movement from the state of Israel, Dr. Emanuel Neumann, former president of the Zionist Organization of America, today issued a statement to the press in which he took issue with some of the assertions made at the recent Z.O.A. convention in Chicago by Dr. Nahum Goldmann, chairman of the American section of the Jewish Agency. The statement says:

“1. American Zionists never advocated total separation of the Zionist movement and Jewish Agency from the state of Israel. At the Actions Committee in August 1948, we successfully advocated a constitutional and formal dissociation between the Jewish Agency and the Government of Israel. Close cooporation and coordination was not only assumed as indisponsable, but Mr. Eliozer Kaplan was retained as a member of both bodies for this very purpose.

“2. Prior to that meeting strong support for such formal dissociation had come from eminent counsel retained by the United Jewish Appeal. The legal opinion of U.J.A. counsel dated July 8, 1948, contained the following passage, which was undersecred for emphasis: ‘I believe it to be most important that the dissociation of the Agency or its successer from certain of its earlier activities and from the state be clean, complete and prompt.’

“3. The Joint Coordinating Committee was devised at the recent meeting of the Actions Committee, when the proposal of a ‘charter’ for the Jewish Agency, put forward by the American section of the Agency, had to be abandoned. Dr. Goldmann is only tochnically correct when he says that the Government of Israel has not rejected the ‘charter’ idea. It was in fact dropped because of the strongly expressed opposition of Mr. Ben Gurion and other government leaders.

“4. Dr. Goldmann viclently attacked Dr. Silver for allegedly saying that the setting up of the Joint Coordinating Committee would expose Zionists to suspicion of double leyalty or being agents of a foreign government. What Dr. Silver actually said was: ‘I am not at all sure that this new arrangement will not at some time or another gravoly embarrass our movement in our country or oleowhere, and will not give rise to deplorable situations which we sought to obviate in September, 1948.’

“5. Dr. Goldmann denies that the Israel Government intervened in the regreet-table U.J.A. controversy. The group that precipitated that controversy claimed to be acting in the interest of the state of Israel and in close touch with members of its government. One word from the right person in Tel Aviv would have stopped the agitation, but the disavewal was not forthcoming despite repeated requests by the American section of the Jewish Agency. It has since been established that the issues were discussed at a meeting of the provisional government where strong views were expressed.”

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