Goldmann Sees Peace with Arabs As Test for Israel Statesmanship
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Goldmann Sees Peace with Arabs As Test for Israel Statesmanship

“One of the most vital problems for Israel’s survival is peace with the Arab world and Israel’s integration in the Near East as an equal and integral partner,” Dr. Nahum Goldmann, head of the world Zionist movement and chief negotiator of the $822,000,000 reparations settlement between Germany and Israel, asserted here tonight at a dinner tendered in his honor by over 60 leading Jewish organizations and communities.

Stating that “Israel has no desire to be a permanently beleaguered fortress in a hostile Arab world,” Dr. Goldmann said that “the real test of Israel statesmanship will be its ability to solve the problems of its relations with the Arab world.”

The chairman of the Jewish Agency and president of the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany was honored at the dinner in recognition of his role in bringing about the German-Israel settlement and, earlier, his contribution towards, obtaining Big Power endorsement of Palestine partition. Sponsors of the dinner were the Jewish Agency in cooperation with the American Zionist Council, which speaks for all Zionist groups in this country; the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, speaking for nearly 30 leading Jewish organizations throughout the world; the World Jewish Congress, representing 65 Jewish communities across the globe; the American Financial and Development Corporation for Israel (Israel Bonds); and the United Jewish Appeal.


Dr. Goldmann dealt in his speech with “the unfinished business” of the Jewish people and Israel. He said that although the classical Jewish quality of “stiff nakedness,” as described in the Bible. “Has been responsible partly for Jewry’s survival through centuries of persecution, it has also been responsible for permanent disunity and an incapacity for joint action.”

Scoring the “fanaticism which is the birthmark of contemporary world history,” Dr. Goldmann said: “Jews, more than any other people, must combat this trend towards absolutes and against compromise; both in Israel and outside Israel, Jews must strive to set an example in tolerance and good will and do away with the disastrous inclination to carry over political conflicts into personal relationships.”

He advised the Jewish people not to review past achievements, but “to take stock of its unsolved problems.” As the “top priority item of Israel’s unfinished business” he listed its need “to build one people, to forge a united community and imbue this community with the supreme ideals of Zionism, which has always sought more than the establishment of a new nation among nations, and whose goal has been the creation of a community worthy of the eternal ideals of the Jewish spirit and Jewish history.”

Dr. Goldmann listed peace with the Arab world as next, in importance, among “unfinished business.” The third item, he said, is “the need to regulate the relations between the Jewish people as a whole and Israel.” This relationship, Dr. Goldmann said, “will have to be primarily of a moral and spiritual character, based on reciprocity and give-and-take,” and cannot be outlined in blueprints and formulated in dogmatic theories, but must be achieved pragmatically.


In a cable to the dinner, President Izhak Ben Zvi of Israel praised Dr. Goldmann’s “broad vision, his understanding of the larger outlines of Jewish destiny, his mastery of the exigencies of Jewish life and his versatile service to the Jewish people.” In a message read to the meeting. Ambassador Eban expressed his regret at being unable to attend and conveyed “my admiration and affection for a good friend, a great Jewish leader and an outstanding Zionist spokesman, whose contribution to the emergence and consolidation of Israel’s independence has been immense and irreplaceable.”

Rose L. Halprin, member of the Jewish Agency executive and its acting chairman in Dr. Goldmann’s absence, presided. Speakers were; Dr. Israel Goldstein, president of the American Jewish Congress; Jacob Blaustein, president of the American Jewish Committee and senior vice-president of the Jewish Claims Conference; Rudolf G. Sonneborn, chairman of the United Israel Appeal; Edward M.M. Warburg, general chairman of the United Jewish Appeal; the Hon. Henry Morgenthau, Jr., chairman of the board of governors of the American Financial and Development Corporation for Israel; Levi Eshkol, Finance Minister of Israel, and Louis Lipsky, chairman of the American Zionist Council. Gottlieb Hammer, executive director of the Jewish Agency, presented on behalf of a group of friends a bust of Dr. Goldmann by sculptor Robert Berks.

Dr. Israel Goldstein said that Dr. Goldmann “more than any one man” is to be credited “for the dignity and prestige” of the Zionist movement and “the successful culmination of the negotiations with Western Germany for the settlement of Jewish material claims.” Mr. Warburg praised Dr. Goldmann for “his unique ability to bring together in agreement forces of a most divergent nature, to the common end that the cause of freedom and justice of the Jews overseas be advanced or that some great wrong against his fellow-Jews be righted.” Mr. Blaustein stressed Dr. Goldmann’s “highly important contribution towards the success of the negotiations with Germany.” which he called “a great victory.” Mr. Sonneborn called Dr. Goldmann “the architect of the Jewish Agency’s program of rescuing and redeeming Jews” in an imperiled world.

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