French Zionists Set Up United Territorial Organization

A national conference of the French Zionist Federation, called to work out structural changes designed to unite both members of Zionist political parties and non-party Jews involved in aiding Israel, today adopted a program and constitution designed to attract the widest membership among French Jews.

One provision of the new charter sets aside 40 percent of the membership of the governing body of the organization for representation of non-party members. The conference concluded after adopting the program, which is chiefly aimed at reaching the youth and pressing cultural and educational activities.

The importance of the meeting as a forerunner of structural changes in other national Zionist set-ups outside Israel was underlined by the presence at the opening session Sunday of Joseph Sprinzak, Speaker of the Israel Parliament, who came here especially for the meeting, Dr. Nahum Goldmann, co-chairman of the Jewish Agency executive, and Yaacov Tsur, Israel Minister to Paris. Some 250 delegates from all parts of the country and another 1,500 guests attended.

Mr. Sprinzak, who made the keynote address, told the delegates that what was being attempted for the first time in France — the organization of all friends of Israel in a single group–was an outgrowth of discussions in the Zionist Actions Committee and elsewhere seeking a “dynamic new direction” for world Zionism.

He said that the new forces which could be united as a result of this conference could give “great energy to Zionism in France and set an example to the world.” The precedent set here, if successful, “will create a renaissance in world Zionist activities,” he predicted.

Dr. Goldmann stressed the need for a vigorous Zionist movement at this point in history. He asserted that the goal of Zionism had never been the creation of a state, but rather the survival of a people. He pointed out, however, that until the state is secure no one can safely predict the future for Israel.

Mr. Tsur announced that an Israeli warship would call at Marseilles some time this Spring to receive for reburial in Israel the remains of the Baron Edmond de Rothschild, French Jewish philanthropist who in the 1880′s saved a number of Palestine settlements from financial disaster and helped develop the Palestine wine industry.

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