WASHINGTON (Nov. 4)
The two-day national conference of the United Palestine Appeal concluded here today with resolutions pledging the support of American Jewry to Israel in its determination to keep the gates of the Jewish state open for the immigration of Jews from countries where they are in danger.
Responding to a cabled warning from Israel’s Prime Minister David Ben Gurion that immigration might be “drastically limited” dus to a serious shortage of funds, the conference last night adopted a budget for the fiscal year totalling $145,600,000 in order to help cope with the emergency.
At the concluding session today, the conference also adopted a resolution urging President Truman “to exert the weight of his office and the influence of the United States as a member of the United Nations to promote a formal and durable peace between Israel and the Arab states so that a stabilized Middle East may embark on a program of productivity and peace.”
Addressing today’s session, W. Stuart Symington, Administrator of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, told the 1,000 Jewish leaders who attended the conference that Israel has established “a strong outpost of enlightened free enterprise” in one of the most troubled areas of the world. He expressed his belief that “if the people of Israel were called upon to fight again for the preservation of their homeland, they would be just as ready as they were to fight for its creation.”
Rudolf G. Sonneborn, national chairman of the United Palestine Appeal, told the delegates that the U.P.A. budgetary needs are based on an immigration during the next twelve months of 150,000 Jews. He stressed, however, that this is the “minimum expected provided that the funds are available,” and pointed out that a crisis in the Moslem and Eastern European countries could easily increase the influx to well over 200,000.
EBAN HAILS ISRAEL’S INCLUSION IN MUTUAL SECURITY PLAN
Israel’s Ambassador Abba Eban told the delegates that the inclusion of Israel in the U.S. mutual security defense program “is a notable event in American-Israel relations.” He emphasized that “at this stage the foundations of security and progress in the Middle East can best be strengthened by reinforcing those areas in which democracy has a firm foothold.” He added that “the workers of the U.P.A. may feel satisfaction in the thought that your policy of assisting Israel in the absorption of its immigrants and the consolidation of its economy is now the official policy of the government and people of the United States.”
Benjamin G. Browdy, president of the Zionist Organization of America, said that “without President Truman’s warm concern and practical co-operation, Israel might have foundered and fallen by the wayside.” The Jewish communal effort to help Israel through support of the U.P.A. and the U.J.A. represents an important extension of American foreign policy, he said.
Dr. Harris J. Levine, president of the Jewish National Fund of America, a U.P.A. constituent, in outlining the projected plan for reorganization of the United Palestine Appeal as adopted by the World Zionist Congress last summer in Jerusalem, explained that his organization would receive operating funds either from the Zionist Congress or its Actions Committee rather than from the Appeal. Under this plan, which has not been implemented but which was the subject of conference discussion, the U.P.A. will represent in this country only the Palestine Foundation Fund.
Dr. Levine explained that “the Jewish National Fund retains its full independence in the disbursement of its funds, its scope of activities remains unimpaired, and the traditional collections, which for 50 years have been its preoccupation and the main source of its importance as a fund-raising and educational agency throughout the Jewish world, continue unrestricted.”
GOLDMANN WARNS AGAINST IDEOLOGICAL REGIMENTATION OF U.S. JEWRY
Dr. Nahum Goldmann, co-chairman of the Jewish Agency, addressing the conference last night said: “No group has the right to make its co-operation with the United Palestine Appeal or the United Jewish Appeal dependent upon the acceptance of its ideas by others, nor has any group the right to force other groups to give up their convictions and beliefs. Co-operation of American Jewish elements is possible only on the basis of mutual respect and tolerance and understanding.”
He pointed out that “it would be a misfortune were American Jewry to be regimented and streamlined ideologically,” and “if all political and social differences among American Jews were to disappear” it would mean the end of the intellectual and spiritual development of the American Jewish community, he warned.
Ellis Radinsky, U.J.A. executive director, reported that U.P.A. agencies in Israel spent, during the last fiscal year, a total of $134,201,000 for the transportation, rehabilitation, and partial settlement of 203,000 immigrants. He stressed that the expenditures were $40,000,000 less than the budget set for this year due to the drastic shortage of funds which made it possible for the U.P.A. agencies to provide “only the most minimum of needs.”