Israel Cannot Consider U.S. Zionists As Representative of U.S. Jewry, Ben Gurion Says
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Israel Cannot Consider U.S. Zionists As Representative of U.S. Jewry, Ben Gurion Says

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American Zionists cannot be considered by the Israel Government as the representatives of all of American Jewry, Israel’s Premier David Ben Gurion said last night at a dinner tendered him by the American section of the Jewish Agency executive. He emphasized that the Jewish state needs the financial and political aid of Jews in the United States who are not Zionists and who do not want the Zionist movement to stand ” as a wall between them and Israel.”

Mr. Ben Gurion said that his current visit to the United State has convinced him that all elements of American Jewry–with the exception of the American Council for Judaism and the Communists–are eager to support Israel. He advised American Zionist leaders to undertake the task of bringing all these elements together.

Declaring that his allegiance to the Jewish people comes before his allegiance to the State of Israel, the Israeli Premier said that the Jewish state has voluntarily yielded its sovereignty to the Jewish people by stipulating in its Constitution that every Jew wishing to immigrate to Israel must be admitted into the country. If peace prevails, he declared, the task to be accomplished within the next ten years must be the bringing of 4,000,000 more Jews to Israel. He estimated that more than $7,000,000,000 would be required to carry out this task. This, he emphasized, could not be achieved without the aid of American Jews.

Mr. Ben Gurion made it clear that he does not expect mass emigration of Jews from the United States to Israel. However, he urged American Zionists to mobilize technological aid and skilled workers for Israel, declaring that the development of Israel depends to a considerable extent on American “know how.” He also criticized American Zionist leaders for failing to develop the Chalutz movement in the United States.


The Israeli Premier also asked that at least ten percent of American Jewish college students come to the Hebrew University in Jerusalem to take additional courses in Hebrew language and literature so as to became a living link between Israel and the American Jewish community. He urged that the American Zionist movement should also a range mass tours of American Jews to Israel.

Mr. Ben Gurion flatly refused to share Israel’s sovereignty with the world Zionist movement. Only a state can have sovereignty, he pointed out. Some Zionists, he said, have not as yet recognized the State of Israel. It is high time they should, he added. He denied that there is a crisis in the Zionist movement. “There is a crisis in some Zionists,” he commented sarcastically. American Zionists, he declared, can advise and oven criticize Israel, but have no right to issue orders to it.

The Israeli Premier told the 200 prominent American Zionists at the dinner that the Jewish state was not the fulfillment of Zionism and declared that since the estab- lishmont of the state the Zionist movement is needed more than ever before. ###nism, he explained, embraces ### Jews everywhere, while the sovereignty of the Jewish State is limited to its citizens within its border. He made a strong plea to the American Zionist movement to expand Hebrew education among children in this country.Dr. Nahum Goldmann, who presided, stressed the need for a decision on the future role of the Zionist movement in the light of Israel’s achievement of statehood, Dr. Emanuel Neumann made a passionate plea for recognition by the Israel Government of the Zionist movement as a movement representing world Jewry vis-a-vis the Jewish State. He said that is was Israel’s duty to strengthen the Zionist movement. Leaders of the Mizrachi, Revisionists and other Zionist groups also participated in the discussion.

In the afternoon, at a Zionist Youth Council reception in his honor, Premier David Ben Gurion said that his travels about this country had convinced him that although he could expect no mass immigration from the United States there was more than enough “raw material” for an effective Chalutz movement among American Jews. He asserted that Chalutzim are more needed now than ever before in Israel because the establishment of the state has created opportunities that did not exist before.

In the morning, he attended a memorial meeting at the Israel Consulate in honor of the late David Remez. In a speech in Hebrew he recalled that the life of his associate of many years was a mirror of the history of the Jewish community in Israel. Dr. Nahum Goldmann also joined in the tribute to the late Israeli Education Minister.

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