NEW YORK (Sep. 20)
Leaders of all branches of American Zionism pledged tonight increased assistance of their combined memberships to the rescue of threatened North African Jewry through immigration to Israel and, at the same time, called for the reinforcement of the Zionist movement as a bulwark of strength for Israel and the cultural survival of Jewry everywhere. The Zionist leaders, who recently returned from the Jerusalem sessions of the World Zionist Actions Committee, the supreme body of the World Zionist Organization, spoke at a public rally at the Hotel Commodore, convened by the American Zionist Council.
Reporting that the plight of North African Jewry was the major item on the agenda of the Jerusalem sessions, Mrs. Rose Halprin, acting chairman of the Jewish Agency, revealed that the number of Jews from Morocco scheduled to emigrate to Israel this year under Jewish Agency auspices is 36,000, double the number that entered the country last year. The total from North Africa this year will be 45,000, of whom 10,000 will be transferred in the next two months.
Mrs. Halprin also touched on the plans for the reorganization of the World Zionist movement proposed by Dr. Nahum Goldmann, Jewish Agency chairman, at the Jerusalem sessions. Dr. Goldmann urged the inclusion of non-Zionists in the Jewish Agency executive, which is the supreme body of world Jewry dealing with the problems of immigrant absorption in Israel. Dr. Goldmann also proposed the establishment of Zionist territorial unions or federations to which members will affiliate directly, while retaining the right to affiliate within the federation to the various Zionist parties if they so chose.
“Dr. Goldmann’s proposal constituted a spur to our thinking,” Mrs. Halprin said, “although there has been considerable dissent on the issue of territorial unions.” She reported that she came away from Israel impressed with the Israelis’ calmness and pursuance of their tasks without alarm despite the tense border situation.
Mrs. Halprin also reported on Israel’s reaction, as she observed it, to the Dulles proposals for peace in the Middle East. The Israelis appreciate, she said, that Mr. Dulles’ proposals reflect serious deliberation and sincere intent. Nonetheless, they would like to obtain further clarification of some points. They maintain that the proposals would lose their affirmative significance if a security pact between Israel and the United States were made conditional on Arab-Israel agreement on permanent borders.
ASKED TO CONTRIBUTE ADDITIONAL $25,000,000 TO U. J. A.
Dr. Emanuel Neumann, member of the Jewish Agency executive, appealed to the Zionists of America “to ensure an additional sum of $25,000,000 in the coming months, over and above the normal contribution of the community to the United Jewish Appeal” in order to help the resettlement of North African Jews in Israel. He said that the Zionist Actions Committee, as the supreme governing body of the Zionist movement, “has laid upon us Zionists a new and heavy obligation which we accept.” It is a challenge, he declared, to the devotion of American Zionists, their sense of responsibility and their Zionist discipline. Every American Zionist is “honor bound” to meet this challenge, he emphasized.
Rabbi Irving Miller, chairman of the American Zionist Council, reported that the Actions Committee decided to convene the forthcoming World Zionist Congress in Jerusalem July, 1956. “This Congress, the first to be held since 1951, will determine the targets for the World Zionist movement for years to come. It poses a great challenge to Zionists everywhere, but particularly to those in the United States, to revitalize the movement, strengthen their partnership with Israel, and re-invigorate Jewish life throughout the world.”
Other speakers included Louis Segal, general secretary of the Farband-Labor Zionist Order; Rabbi Mordecai Kirshblum, chairman of the Mizrachi Organization of America; and Dr. Joseph B. Schechtman, chairman of the World Party Council, Revisionists-Herut World Union.