JERUSALEM (Jul. 6)
The expansion of the Jewish Agency by inviting several outstanding non-Zionists to join the Agency’s executive was advocated here today by Dr. Nahum Goldmann, addressing the plenary session of the Jewish Agency in which the presidents of all Zionist groups in the United States are participating.
Premier Ben Gurion, addressing the same session, advocated the merging of all Zionist parties into territorial Zionist federations into which all persons who support Israel could be organized, while the Zionist organizations would continue to represent only organized Zionists.
The Israel Premier emphasized the “personal responsibility” of every individual Zionist to Israel, indicating that every Zionist must ultimately strive to settle in Israel and to contribute to the upbuilding and consolidation of the state. He also urged intensified Zionist and Jewish traditional education in order to prepare — psychologically and morally — every Jew for ultimate settlement in Israel.
SPRINZAK OUTLINES REORGANIZATION PLAN FOR ZIONIST MOVEMENT
Joseph Sprinzak, Speaker of the Israeli Parliament, told the meeting that in order to meet new conditions it is necessary for the Zionist Organization to convert its structure to include not only the Zionists but all of the hundreds of thousands of Jews who assist Israel. Such an organization, he added, must fulfill three functions:
1. It must assist politically and economically in Israel’s consolidation and prosperity; 2. It must work for Jewish education throughout the world; 3. It must strive to make Hebrew the language of world Jewry.
According to the proposal outlined by Mr. Sprinzak, every purchaser of a shekel as well as contributors to drives for Israel would be eligible to participate in elections for the World Zionist Congress and the Congress would elect the executive bodies of the Zionist movement.
Mr. Sprinzak said that there was a reason for the continued existence of the Zionist parties and trends in that they could deepen their ethical and ideological values without having any special rights or organization status within a larger Zionist organization. This, he asserted, was a natural development of the Zionist organization after the establishment of the state.
Last night, Levi Eshkol, Israeli Finance Minister and head of the Agency’s colonization department, gave the executive a detailed report of the agricultural picture. He reported that some 4,000,000 dunams (1,000,000 acres) of land could be cultivated in the near future and that after a while the hilly regions and the Negev would yield an additional 1,000,000 cultivable dunams.
A total of 3,400,000 dunams are now under cultivation, including 1,700,000 dunams of irrigated land. Some 1,500,000 dunams are being farmed by recent immigrants, Mr. Eshkol said. He reported that the Agency had planned to establish 50 new colonies this year but that the plan could not be carried out because there were too few candidates for settlement.
FOUR-YEAR PLAN FOR COLONIZATION OF HILLY REGIONS PROPOSED
In a special section of his report, Mr. Eshkol outlined a four-year plan for the colonization of the hilly regions. He said the total cost of the plan would be 81,515,000 pounds, of which the Agency would provide 71,315,000 pounds and the government, 10,200,000.
At a press conference this afternoon, Dr. Goldmann told newsmen that Israel had entered a state of consolidation. Israel has accomplished more than any other state would or could have done in the field of immigration and more than she herself was able to do, he declared, therefore the present decreases in immigration can bring only good results.
“Naturally, if an emergency arises anywhere, the Jewish Agency will do everything humanly possible to save those who are threatened,” Dr. Goldmann pointed out. In the meantime, the present situation is good for the state in that it will be able to fully absorb the previous immigration, he said, emphasizing that the system of selective immigration must remain.
At the Agency plenum Dr. Emanuel Neumann was congratulated by all the members on his 60th birthday.