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American Jewish Committee Criticized by Louis Lipsky

A statement criticizing the American Jewish Committee for its resolutions on issues concerning the relations between American Jewry and Israel was issued here today by Louis Lipsky, chairman of the American Zionist Council.

Taking issue with the Committee’s objections to the Government of Israel giving “political” status to any non-Israel organization or non-governmental body, Mr. Lipsky declared that “the Zionist Congress did not ask for, nor is the government expected to grant, the Jewish Agency or any other ‘non-governmental’ body any special or exclusive status with respect to the activities of Jews and Jewish communities in the United States or elsewhere.”

The question on the agenda was what kind of legal recognition–not “political” or “diplomatic” status–should be given to the World Zionist Organization, which continues its half-century old program of developing the Jewish homeland within an agreed, limited program, he explained.

Referring to the Committee’s complaint that the “ingathering of the exiles” must not refer to American Jewry, Mr. Lipsky declared that it is but natural that Israel should issue a call for the return home of those who feel themselves in exile for whatever reason it may be. From a practical view Israel has more than it can bear to facilitate the return of those who must leave the lands where they have been living and now find themselves displaced; and there is no need for mass, immigration from any free; democratic land. But the principle of the right of the individual to return must be maintained.”

As for the Committee’s declaration that American Jews should be protected against “foreign invasion,” Mr. Lipsky maintained that the American Zionist organizations are responsible for Zionist education in the United States, “but they feel free to accept the co-operation of like-minded Zionists from other lands. It is fantastic to imagine that any group of American Jews will heed for a moment the plea of the American Jewish Committee for exclusive American jurisdiction over education and propaganda in the United States in the narrow sense indicated by the Committee.”

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