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Silver Criticizes Ben Gurion; Takes Sharp Issue on the Premier’s Definition of Zionism

Sharp issue with Premier David Ban Gurion’s definition of Zionism was taken at a press conference today by Dr. Abba Hillel Silver, American Zionist leader, now on a mission for the Jewish National Fund here. Dr. Silver also emphasized that “it is inconceivable that a World Zionist Congress would be held without the participation of the Israeli General Zionists and Mizrachists. He stated that some form of representation will have to be found and he advised to avail the results of the parliamentary elections in which are scheduled to take place on July 30th.

Referring to Mr. Ben Gurion’s statement in New York that a Zionist and Mizrachist who settles with his family in Israel, Dr. Silver said: “I do not think that this was ever the definition of Zionism and I do not see any need for a new definition now. A Zionist has always been one interested in helping towards the establishment of the Jewish State. Never was it a part of the Zionist credo that a Zionist must settle in Israel. I do not have to accept the new definition of Zionism by Mr. Ben Gurion. There was adequate definition before Ben Gurion.”

The American Zionist leader said that within the Zionist organization of America all sections today feel “a sense of outrage” at the way the Zionist movement is being treated.” Take the visit of Premier Ben Gurion to the United States,” he said, “one would expect him to express appreciation for what American Zionist have done for Israel. Mr. Ben Gurion uttered: no word of appreciation for their work. He even failed to mention the word “Zionism” during his visit, except in a farewell speech to the American Zionists when he said that they cannot speak for American Jewry and that they should confine themselves to educational work and to the sending of Chalutzim.”

He added that he later saw a message sent by Ben Gurion to the Z.O.A. convention “and the contrast was no sharp that I publicly suggested that this message was a reversal of Mr. Ben Gurion’s position.”

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