NEW YORK (Aug. 22)
A special drive to collect immediately $10,000,000 in outstanding pledges was started today by the United Jewish Appeal of Greater New York at a luncheon attended by mors than 300 leaders of the U.J.A. campaign. A check for $500,000 was presented at the luncheon to Israel’s Ambassador Aubrey S. Eban, who was one of the principal speakers.
Edward M.M. Warburg, chairman of the Joint Distribution Committee, addressing the audience, said that the increased international tension of recent weeks is spurring large numbers of Jews to seek immediate emigration to Israel. As an example, he cited the fact that since the outbreak of hostilities in Korea an additional 2,000 Jews in Austria alone have sought permission to go to Israel. These additional demands on its resources have come at a time when J.D.C. ‘s emigration program has been increased far beyond its original budget for 1950 to meet other emergency needs, Mr. Warburg stated.
Some time during September the emigration figure of 120,000, which the agency had originally planned for in 1950, will be passed, Mr. Warburg reported. For the month of August alone, emigration will total 18,000, he said. This tremendous spurt has been caused by several factors, including the granting by the Governments of Rumania and Iraq of permission to leave to Jews desiring to emigrate to Israel, he explained. Emigration from Rumania which has a Jewish population of some 360,000, totalled 6,000 during July, 7,000 during August, and is still rising. The J.D.C. is conducting a large-scale air lift to evacuate to Israel tens of thousands of Iraq’s 130,000 Jews before the March 1951 deadline on their emigration.
JEWS IN MANY AREAS OF THE WORLD SEEK EMIGRATION. WARBURG SAYS
“We are met at a time when Jews in many areas of the world are desperately anxious to emigrate,” Mr. Warburg told the campaign leaders. “Not only persecution, not only emigration deadlines are now whipping them on. As if these things were not enough, the tension in the world situation today has given them added impetus to emigrate. “Will the Jews who breathlessly await their chance to escape from lands where they know only danger, oppression and homelessness get their chance in time?” he asked. “The answer depends solely on the amount of funds we make available to the United Jewish Appeal, and the speed and generosity with which we do it,” he stated.
Ambassador Eban said that Israel was in a state of economic and political siege for three reasons: 1. The refusal of its Arab neighbors to come to a peaceful settlement; 2. The current tense world situation; and 3. The tremendous influx of “dateline immigrants” into the country. The responsibility for solving the problems of immigration and Israel’s consolidation rests on the Jews of Israel and world Jewry, especially in the United States, he emphasized.
“If immigration has to bring the state of Israel down, the state of Israel will go down,” he continued. “It will seek no salvation for its existing population at the expense of those for whom the state was created by the collective will of the Jewish people as a whole.” Talk that Israel could get along without outside aid was completely without any basis of fact, especially at the present time, he said.
Jack D. Weiler, general chairman of the New York U.J.A. campaign, pointed out that in Israel during the first five months of 1950, the United Palestine Appeal, which disburses U.J.A. funds there, spent $55,000,000 in meeting the needs of new comers, borrowing $16,000,000 of that amount because not enough cash was made available to the United Jewish Appeal. He made an urgent appeal for immediate remittances by U.J.A. contributors.