Israel Favors Granting of Special Status to Jewish Agency, Dr. Goldmann Reports

Israel Government and party leaders, including Prime Minister David Ben Gurion, will urge the Parliament to grant special status to the Jewish Agency for Palestine as the instrument through which world Jewry can continue to participate in the country’s immigration, absorption and colonization programs, it was stated here today by Dr. Nahum Goldmann, chairman of the American section of the Agency, who last night returned from a trip to Israel.

Dr. Goldmann said that appropriate legislation would likely be submitted in time for parliamentary approval before the convening of the World Zionist Congress, scheduled to take place in Jerusalem some time this summer. As at present contemplated, the bill would specifically define the powers and responsibilities of the Jewish Agency; set up an enlarged Joint Development Authority, on which the Government and Jewish Agency would be represented; provide means for assuring that the work of other Jewish organizations in Israel would be coordinated with that of the Jewish Agency.

Declaring that the name of the Jewish Agency will be changed to “Jewish Agency for Israel,” Dr. Goldmann said: “I must emphasize that the Agency’s proposed special status would not impinge one iota upon the loyalty of Jews to the country of their present citizenship. The proposed status involves no more than cooperation in a non-political, humanitarian task of great magnitude–the absorption of hundreds of thousands of homeless human beings into Israel–and would leave the Government of Israel with absolutely unimpaired sovereignty over the political affairs, internal and external, of the state.”

Dr. Goldmann said it has not yet been decided whether the “status bill” would be presented for approval to the present parliament, or would be held over for submission to the new parliament to be chosen at Israel’s national elections, now scheduled for July. He added that the Zionist Congress would open a fortnight after the elections took place.

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