Israel Claims Right to Seek Emigration of Jews from Soviet Russia
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Israel Claims Right to Seek Emigration of Jews from Soviet Russia

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The problem of securing emigration of Jews from the Soviet Union to Israel is a cardinal point in the policy of the Israel Government, Foreign Minister Moshe Sharett declared here addressing the convention of the American Zionist Labor Organization which is scheduled to close tomorrow. The convention elected Rabbi James Heller of Cincinnati national president of the organization.

Declaring that the efforts on the part of the Israel Government to induce Moscow to allow Soviet Jews to leave for Israel may require time, Mr. Sharett asserted that the Israel Government feels it “has a claim” in view of the fact that the Jews are the only national minority in the Soviet Union whose problems have not been solved territorially within the frame of the Soviet regime as was the case with other minorities.

Estimating that Israel will be able to absorb 4,000,000 Jews within the next 10 to 15 years, Mr. Sharett said that of the 10,000,000 Jews now living in various countries of the world, about 6,000,000 reside in the Western Hemisphere. The question is whether the Western Jewish communities will not have to be tapped for increasing the number of Jews in Israel which now number about 1,500,000, he said.


The Israel Foreign Minister, who during his present stay in the United States visited many large and small Jewish communities, emphasized that the misery which has driven Jews from other countries to emigrate to Palestine before and after the war does not exist among Jews in the United States. Nor is there any basis to predict that American Jews will be driven to emigrate to Israel by oppression as was the case with Jews in other countries, the Israeli statesman declared.

Stating that he was happy to establish that what happened to Jews in Europe cannot happen to the Jews in the United States, Mr. Sharett at the same time emphasized that his trip throughout the United States has convinced him that American Jewry, in its great majority, is greatly interested in helping Israel in all possible ways. The question to what extent American Jewish youth and intelligensia will go to Israel to strengthen the country is, therefore, a challenge to the American Zionist movement, he said.

In a message of greetings to the convention, Premier David Ben Gurion similarly appealed for American Jewish youth and ingelligensia and expressed hope that American Jews will understand the need to comply with his appeal. The convention was addressed also by S. Shazar, former Israel Minister of Education; Eliahu Dobkin, member of the Jewish Agency executive in Jerusalem, Dr. Hayim Greanberg, member of the Jewish Agency executive in New York; Melech Neu, Mapai leader in Israel and others.

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