JERUSALEM (Aug. 29)
The Zionist Actions Committee, policy making body of the Zionist movement between world congresses, concluded its general debate today following a two-hour summation by Dr. Nahum Goldman, chairman of the Jewish Agency executive.
Attacking the North African immigration problem, Dr. Goldman said he did not believe that the situation had yet reached a “catastrophic stage,” noting that if it had the members of the Actions Committee would not be sitting here talking but would be taking emergency measures. Within the next few days, he said, the situation should be clarified and might become calmed.
Under such circumstances, he stressed, he would favor giving top priority to the economic stabilization of Israel. Redemption is a Zionist principle, he continued, but this must not necessarily be accomplished on a specific date. “We must guard the new and young state” which has just “survived with difficulty one mass immigration.”
Turning his attention to the debate which raged for several days after he introduced his plan for revamping the Zionist movement and giving non-Zionists a greater part and more responsibility for immigration and absorption work in Israel, Dr. Goldman took cognizance of the widespread criticism which his proposals had evoked. He pointed out that the critics had neither liked his plan nor offered any concrete substitutes, in effect leaving the status quo. He warned that only ten years after Hitler and seven years after the establishment of Israel the Zionist movement was losing its enthusiasm and leadership.
Mrs. Rose Hairpin, member of the Agency executive in New York, said a movement of return to Jewish life had developed in the United States side by side with the tendency toward assimilation, against which Dr. Goldman had warned. She insisted that Jewish education was of importance to all elements of the Jewish community, not only to the Zionists, and that there was a need for more all-day Jewish schools. She also opposed “conquest” of the Jewish communities by the Zionists, insisting that the Zionists should be partners with other sections of the Jewish community.
Jacob Shaman, leader of the left wing Ma’am Party of Israel, credited American Jewry with financial efforts in Israel’s behalf the like of which had never before been seen in history. This is not enough, he continued, demanding “the social strength” of American Jewry and warning that the day may yet come when Israel will save American Jewry from assimilation. He called for American Jews to provide manpower as well as cultural and spiritual force to help conquer the Negev.