W. J. C. Closes Four-day Session; Appeals to Governments to Arms Israel
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W. J. C. Closes Four-day Session; Appeals to Governments to Arms Israel

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An appeal to the governments of the world to supply Israel with arms to defend itself and to make every effort to bring the Arab states into direct peace negotiations with Israel was voiced here today as the four day session of the executive of the World Jewish Congress came to a close in the early hours of the morning. The appeal was incorporated in one of a series of resolutions, most of which dealt with Israel, but some of which also concerned themselves with the problem of relations with Soviet Jewry, German indemnification and other problems of major concern to world Jewry.

Noting that Arab belligerency against Israel is a threat to the peace of both Israel and the world, the statement expressed the unity of opposition of the Jewish people to any efforts which would exact territorial concessions from Israel as a price of peace. “Such concessions “the unanimously adopted declaration said, “can only impair the viability of the small State of Israel and whet the appetite for aggression of those Arab lands which threaten its integrity. “Appeasement of such states can only lead to aggression, the statement stressed.

The resolution expressed the deep concern of the World Jewish Congress that the signatories of the Tripartite Declaration of 1950 guaranteeing the borders of Israel and the Arab states–United States, Britain and France–had “undermined the agreement through impairing the position of Israel by delivering arms to the Arab states. “The Czech Egyptian arms deal has “further intensified the threat” to Middle East peace, it went on. In this context, the Congress called on all governments of which Israel had asked arms to provide them without further delay.

Another resolution made a special appeal to the neutral states of Asia and the Middle East who have proclaimed the “high moral principles of mutual respect and non-intervention as a basis for peace in Asia and the Middle East, “but who have “yielded to demands of the Arab League which belie these principles” to “recognize the legitimate rights of Israel to take its place in their councils and to contribute in full measure to the development of all lands in the Middle East and Asian. It decried the exclusion of Israel from full participation in cooperative efforts of the countries of the East “towards achieving human dignity, human freedom and peace.

The session lashed out at the Arab economic boycott of Israel and pointed up the extension of that boycott program to Jewish citizens of other lands. It called upon all countries committed to the principles of democracy to reject, in their commercial dealings, any discriminatory conditions which the Arabs might seek to impose, conditions which were not in accord with the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. At various points in the resolutions, the Congress expressed the determination of world Jewry to stand by Israel in its current battle for peace and security and noted that the Jews of all the world, not only those of Israel, had a vital stake in Israel’s welfare.


Turning to the Jews of the Soviet Union, the Congress asked that they be given facilities for developing or renewing activities which would “enable them to enjoy opportunities for religious and cultural self-expression.” It welcomed the increase in international contacts which have facilitated the visits of individuals and parties to the USSR and other East European countries, and expressed the hope that progress in this field would lead to contact between the Soviet and East European Jewries and the Congress and communities throughout the world.

On the German question, the session instructed its officers to set up a committee to consider the best means of dealing most effectively and speedily with the problem of unclaimed and heirless property. It called on the West German Government to eliminate negative aspects of the amendments to its indemnification law, and to provide “in clear terms” for German liability for persecution in former satellites of the Nazi Reich. Other resolutions urged Czechoslovakia to release from prison Israeli Mapam leader Mordecai Oren and greeted the tercentenary celebration of British Jewry.

In an address just before the session closed, Dr. Nahum Goldmann, president of the World Jewish Congress, told the 70 delegates from Jewish communities in 64 countries, that there are chances of a peaceful settlement (of the Arab-Israel conflict) without sacrifices which Israel could not accept.

Dr. Goldmann, however, turned most of his attention to the problem of North African Jews noting that a considerable number of them want to and should be permitted to go to Israel. However, he depicted Israel’s “most serious” financial situation which, he underlined might become even more difficult if the United States and France agreed to sell Israel the arms which it has requested to re-establish the military balance with the Arab states.

Since such arms would not be delivered free of charge, he continued, the Israel Treasury would have to continue to spend large sums on armaments making it increasingly difficult to spend more on housing, schools and hospitals for new arrivals, World Jewry only supplied a part of the expense of receiving new immigrants, he noted, and the large deficit of the Jewish Agency was bound to increase. These were facts which could not be ignored in considering the immigration problem, he said, and there was no point in talking about the transfer of 100,000 new immigrants.

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