Z.O.A. National Executive Holds All-night Session; Urges Zionist Unification in Israel
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Z.O.A. National Executive Holds All-night Session; Urges Zionist Unification in Israel

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A declaration calling for the unification of both General Zionist factions in Israel–the General Zionist Party and the Progressive Party–was adopted here today by the national executive committee of the Zionist Organization of America following an all-night session attended by leaders of the Z.O.A. from all parts of the country.

The declaration, presented by Dr. Abba Hillel Silver, emphasized that the unification of both General Zionist groups in Israel is imperative for the strengthening of the Zionist movement “as the great representative of world Jewry and its chief instrument for mobilizing its moral and material resources for the upbuilding of the Jewish state.”

Dr. Silver also called upon American Zionists to give whole-hearted support to the aims of the National Planning Conference for Israel, which will be held in Washington this week-end. He appealed for ever greater support in behalf of an enlarged United Jewish Appeal and for the projected Israel bond issue, if and when such a loan drive is launched.

Benjamin G. Browdy, Z.O.A. president, termed the split in the General Zionist front in Israel–which took place more than two years ago, prior to the first elections–as “nothing short of a misfortune, both for the state of Israel and for General Zionism.” He asserted that the political situation in Israel and General Zionism the world over could be different today, had it not been for the split in the General Zionist ranks, which in turn sent into the electoral campaign in Israel two or even three General Zionist groups, instead of one united General Zionist party.

“The poor showing made in the elections and the consequent coalition government, resting largely on a combination of the leading political party with the Religious Bloc, was due primarily to the disorganization in the General Zionist ranks in Israel,” he said. Dwelling upon the Cabinet crisis in Israel, Mr. Browdy voiced the hope that the difficulties will be resolved as speedily as possible “for there is no denying that the solution of many an important problem in Israel must await the formation of a strong and established government.”


The declaration presented by Dr. Silver and adopted by a large majority emphasized that the governmental crisis during the past fortnight in Israel should give no cause for alarm as to the stability of the Jewish state. “We have complete faith in the capacity of the people of Israel to resolve by customary parliamentary methods such crises which are normal and inevitable in any democracy. But the nature of this crisis underscores and demonstrates once more the importance to Israel of a strong General Zionist Party of the center, sufficiently large and influential to serve as a stabilizing force between groups and classes committed to conflicting ideologies,” the declaration says.

“In these circumstances, we believe that a great new effort, based on General Zionist principles, is required today more than ever, in order to extricate the movement from its present situation, to reinvingorate it and restore its full capacity for effective service to Israel and moral leadership in the diaspora. We therefore resolve to do what lies in our power to strengthen General Zionism throughout the world.

“We have consistently deplored the rift in the ranks of General Zionism in Israel caused by the formation of the Progressive Party–a division which is spreading to other countries which is harmful to the cause, and which is not warranted by any substantial difference in the official platforms of the two groups. We shall continue to urge and press for their complete unification.

“We strongly urge the World Confederation of General Zionists, of which we are a member and which we helped to create, to use all its influence to the same and in order to terminate the anomaly of two rival parties in Israel, both affiliated with the Confederation. We shall strive to give renewed validity and effectiveness to the principles upon which the World Confederation of General Zionists was based at its inception.

“We look forward to the convening of the World Zionist Congress no later than the summer of 1951. We shall work to ensure that General Zionist opinion be adequately and properly represented at the Congress,” the declaration states.

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