GENEVA (Aug. 9)
Rumors that the World Jewish Congress and the World Zionist Organization may amalgamate were denied here today by Dr. Nahum Goldmann and Dr. Israel Goldstein, leaders of the WJC and members of the WZO executive.
Such a merger is not possible, Dr. Goldmann declared, because the Zionist Organization representation is based on parties while the WJC representation is based on communities. Dr. Goldmann repudiated charges that his suggestion to strengthen the World Jewish Congress was camouflage for making it an annex of the Zionist movement and the State of Israel.
“It is contradictory to my whole concept,” he affirmed, “that world Jewry become an annex of the Zionist movement or of the State of Israel. I have said, again and again, Israel is the means to secure the survival of the Jewish people, and not vice versa. I stressed in my speech that world Jewry must support Israel and Israel must care deeply about the future and well-being of the Jewish communities outside Israel.”
Dr. Goldstein said that “the suggestion heard occasionally that the World Zionist Organization take over the functions of the World Jewish Congress is not well thought out and is fraught with danger to the Zionist Organization.” He pointed out that the task of winning support for Israel and of seeking to protect local Jewish rights require two separate organizations.
EXPANSION OF WORLD JEWISH CONGRESS ADVOCATED
At the same time, both leaders expressed the opinion that the WJC should be expanded by the addition of major groups to form an all-embracing international organization to concern itself with Jewish problems of common concern. Replying to a query whether such an organization might not become too unwieldly and break up as a result, Dr. Goldmann stated:
“There must be no numerus clausus as to membership in the WJC. Every effort should be made to strengthen the Congress by improving its position within the various Jewish communities of the world and add to its representation so it can effectively fulfill its responsibilities.”
Dr. Goldstein, who sought to allay the fears of some of the delegates that an enlarged organization, or a successor to the WJC, might eliminate “an ideological-based organization such as the WJC,” insisted that there was room and need for an organization based on the principle of the oneness of the Jewish people, devoted to the cultural and moral implications of that struggle, and dedicated to the centrality of Israel in the struggle for Jewish survival.