Z.O.A. Wants More Effective Legal Status for Jewish Agency

The 55th annual convention of the Zionist Organization of America concluded here today with the adoption of a resolution requesting the kind of a legal status for the World Zionist Organization and the Jewish Agency in Israel which would conform to the decision adopted by the last World Zionist Congress on this issue.

The Congress decision urged the State of Israel to grant legal status to the World Zionist Organization as “the representative of the Jewish people in all matters relating to organized participation of the Jews of the Diaspora in the development and upbuilding of the country and the rapid absorption of the immigrants.” The draft bill now under consideration in Israel “falls short of the terms of the resolution of the Zionist Congress quoted above,” the Z.O.A. resolution said.

Another resolution adopted at today’s concluding session of the Z.O.A. convention favors full participation of the Zionist Organization of America in the World Confederation of General Zionists, and calls upon the representatives of the Z.O.A. in the Confederation to continue “to press for a healing of the rift created in the ranks of General Zionism by the formation of the Progressive Party, and to seek every means for bringing about the unification of the Progressives with the Organization of General Zionists in Israel.”

The convention expressed “sincere appreciation” to President Truman for his “continued friendship and support” and to the Congress of the United States for its “consistent and bi-partisan assistance to the people of Israel in their struggle to solve the critical economic problems confronting their young democracy.” At the same time, it called upon the Government of the United States “to continue to exert every effort to promote by direct negotiations and agreement between the Arab States and Israel an early peaceful settlement and permanent political stability throughout the Near East.”

URGES COORDINATION OF U.J.A. AND BOND CAMPAIGNS

In a resolution of the United Jewish Appeal and the Israel bond drive, the convention emphasized that the Z.O.A. regards the coordination of these two campaigns “as vital for the welfare of Israel and in the interest of harmonious and dignified community activities in Israel’s behalf. We call upon the incoming administration of the Zionist Organization of America to foster constructive efforts to achieve such coordination, and to give its full support to the exertions of the Jewish Agency in this direction,” the resolution said.

“In keeping with the decision of the World Zionist Congress, full priority is to be given to the United Israel Appeal, as a major beneficiary of the United Jewish Appeal, over all other fund raising efforts for Israel,” another resolution stated.

Rudolf G. Sonneborn, national chairman of the United Israel Appeal, reported it today’s session of the convention that the United Jewish Appeal’s five-month cash total this year is $39,000,000 with another $1,000,000 expected this month. The sum of almost $23,000,000 received by the Keren Hayesod, now the sole fund of the World Zionist Organization, from the United Israel Appeal, during 1951, was reported by it vice-chairman, Jacob H. Cohen.

Dr. Israel Goldstein, speaking at today’s session, warned that “a new regime in American political life may mean a new orientation with regard to Israel. “The general moral-spiritual climate in American life shows signs of deterioration which may accrue to the disadvantage of our cause,” he continued. “It is a situation which needs to be watched. The Zionist of America are facing a period which will test their zeal and their capacity for leadership on the political front. The Z.O.A. should prepare itself for the important role which it can play.”

So vital to the survival of the Zionist movement did Dr. Goldstein consider the problem of reorientation that he suggested the calling of a special conference of all the former presidents of the organization together with the incoming head immediately following the convention.

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