NEW YORK (Sep. 20)
The economic conference in Jerusalem attended by more than 40 American Jewish leaders “made it clear that American Jews will have to think in terms of billions, rather than millions, in any program of aid to Israel,” Dr. Nahum Goldmann, chairman of the American section of the Jewish Agency, said today at a press conference following his return from Israel.
The “great constructive result of the Jerusalem conference,” Dr. Goldmann declared, “was a revelation to American Jews of the true magnitude of the task ahead.” Calling upon a “united Zionist movement to spearhead all segments of American Jewish life to meet the challenge,” the Agency leader said:
“In taking upon itself this great and difficult task, the Zionist movement will have to be united more than ever before. Within this program, there is room for everyone and a place for every group within the Zionist movement to make its contribution.”
Dr. Goldmann said a “great step” towards helping resolve the problems Israel faces today will be the Washington conference beginning October 24, which “will not be restricted to the normal functions of a United Jewish Appeal conference.” He added that although details have not yet been worked out, the “conference will be truly representative of all sections of American Jewish life, non-Zionist as well as Zionist.”
The “primary function” of the Washington conference, he explained, “will be to swing American Jewry behind the four-point program laid out at the Jerusalem conference: 1. Strengthening of the United Jewish Appeal; 2. Encouragement of private capital investments in Israel; 3. Support of an Israel bond issue, if the Israel Government decides to float such an issue; 4. Direct aid by the United States, through bank loans, etc., to Israel.”
In connection with the latter point, Dr. Goldmann emphasized that “this help is deserved more than ever in the light of the Israel stand on Korea, here demonstrated loyalty to the United Nations and the fact that her people have already clearly indicated their loyalty to the democratic ideals of the Western world.”
“It became obvious as a result of the Jerusalem conference,” he said, “that in order to provide the vast amounts of money needed, the whole approach of American Jews to Israel’s problems must be radically changed. The approach can no longer be purely philanthropic; the program must be conceived as a joint undertaking for the building of a nation.
“It was to this end that the four-point program of the Jerusalem conference was designed. Only with implementation of this program within the next three or four years can the initial phase of the consolidation of Israel be considered terminated. Only then may one reasonably expect Israel to stand economically on its own feet.”