ATLANTIC CITY (Nov. 14)
The American Government was urged today to pursue “a vigorous policy” of seeking to bring about direct peace negotiations between Israel and the Arab states. The request was voiced at the opening session here of the 31st annual convention of the Mizrachi Organization of America in an address by Dr. Pinkhos Churgin, president of the organization.
President Truman, in a message to the convention, praised the plan of the American Mizrachi Organization to establish the first religious university in Israel. An educational effort which will combine the lessons of the Prophets and scientific discoveries of our own generation can make a significant contribution to the universal well-being, the President said in his message.
Dr. Churgin, addressing the 1, 000 delegates, said that no effort to create a stable democratic pattern in the Middle East can possibly succeed without formal and positive amity between the Arab states and Israel. “Face-to-face negotiations, so long sought by Israel and rejected by the Arabs, offer the most certain way to achieve a harmonious balance,” he declared.
The Mizrachi president criticized the American Jewish Committee and said that its recent resolution opposing the granting by Israel of a special status to the World Zionist movement represented “an unprecedented effort on the part of a single organization to dictate to the Government of Israel and one which seeks to establish the American Jewish Committee as arbiter of the heart and soul of American Jewry.”
In a plea for unity within Israel, Dr. Churgin said that political leaders there can render a great service to the cause of Zionism if they adhere to a policy of not raising any issues where none exist and by steering clear of controversies which only create dissension. Dr. Churgin urged the convocation, in Israel, of representatives of all Jewish communities throughout the world to discuss problems concerning the maintenance of Judaism in lands outside of Israel.
American Jewish leadership was urged by Dr. Churgin to reduce all activities in new philanthropic projects, to concentrate on aid to Israel and to end the “tragic necessity” of maintaining thousands of immigrants in uninhabitable transit camps in the Jewish state.
Dr. Nahum Goldmann, chairman of the Jewish Agency executive, addressing the convention, warned of tendencies toward revised American Jewish isolationism in respect to Israel. Such tendencies, he said, have developed since the last World Zionist Congress. He emphasized that Jewish unity is now more than ever endangered by the Iron Curtain which divides not only the world but also the Jewish people. Another threat, he pointed out, was the gap that might develop between the Israeli and non-Israeli segments of the Jewish people.