NEW YORK (Oct. 3)
A British radio station on the British-controlled island of Cyprus is carrying broadcasts day and night inciting Arabs to attack Israel instead of concentrating on the Suez Canal problem, Dr. Nahum Goldmann, president of the Jewish Agency, revealed here today upon his return to the United States after a six-month absence. He was in Israel for most of that time.
Addressing a press conference, Dr. Goldmann emphasized that the radio station is privately owned, but that one of the principal owners is Harold McMichael, one of the last British High Commissioners in Palestine before the Mandate was abandoned. Although the Cyprus broadcasts constantly tell the Arabs that Israel is their enemy, the British Government which has put the island under military rule, makes no attempt to interfere with these broadcasts, Dr. Goldmann said. “We assume that an island under British rule could be censored by the British,” he added.
Touching upon the Suez situation, Dr. Goldmann said that Israel is watching developments with utmost interest. It is clear, he said, that if Egypt is victorious in the Suez struggle then Arab nationalism will become more violent and Israel will then be greatly affected. Tension, he said, is still high in Israel, but Israelis now feel safer and stronger than a year ago.
Dr. Goldmann praised Premier David Ben Gurion for the calm stand he has taken during the last few months. He pointed out that this is real proof of Israel’s desire for peace. “If Israel were bent on aggression; as the Arabs claim,” Dr. Goldmann said, “the present situation would have been a God-sent opportunity for Israel to attack, since Egypt has withdrawn most of her troops from the Israel border to the Suez area and Jordan is in a state near chaos.”
LAUDS TUNISIA AND MOROCCO ON TREATMENT OF JEWS; REVIEWS EMIGRATION
Reporting on the Jewish situation in Tunisia and Morocco, Dr. Goldmann said that the governments of those two countries refuse to be oriented exclusively toward the Arab League. The Jewish situation, he continued, is nothing to complain about. There is no anti-Jewish violence in these two countries, the Jews receive equal treatment. There are Jews in the Cabinets and Jews are appointed to high government posts.
The problem of permitting Jewish emigration to Israel does not exist in Tunisia, he said. In Morocco emigration was stopped last July, but after the intervention of Jewish organizations the Moroccan Government permitted in recent weeks 8,000 Jews to leave the Casablanca emigration camp and proceed to Israel. This emigration was concluded last week when the last group in Casablanca embarked for Israel.
With regard to further emigration, Dr. Goldmann reported, the Moroccan Government has made it clear that it will not permit any “collective emigration” but Jews will be allowed to emigrate on an individual basis. The problem now, he said, is how to establish an administrative system to assure that individual passports will be issued by Moroccan authorities to Jews desiring to leave. Negotiations on this point have started between Jewish leaders and Moroccan officials, Dr. Goldmann revealed. He estimated that 50,000 Jews in Morocco wish to leave for Israel.
DISCUSSES SITUATION OF JEWS IN THE SOVIET UNION, POLAND, RUMANIA
Touching upon the Jews in the East European countries, Dr. Goldmann said that the situation of 3,000,000 Jews in these countries constitutes the most vital problem for Jewry today. The Jews in these countries do not suffer from anti-Semitism, but–especially in the Soviet Union-they have no opportunity to live a Jewish life although the majority of Jews there still consider themselves Jewish.
The Jewish Agency president expressed the hope that a way would be found to convince the Soviet Government to treat the Jews in the USSR as other nationalities in the country are treated, by permitting them to establish their own schools to teach Yiddish and Hebrew and to conduct their own cultural and religious life as other nationalities are allowed to do. He revealed that he had had talks to this effect with Soviet Ambassadors in European capitals who promised to convey his views to Moscow.
Dr. Goldmann also revealed that he intends to negotiate with Jewish organizations in the United States–Zionist, non-Zionist, religious and others–for the formation of a representative Jewish delegation to be sent to Moscow. The World Jewish Congress, he said, intends to send such a delegation and would like to have other Jewish groups represented on it.
Dr. Goldmann pointed out that in Poland and Rumania, the situation of the Jews is somewhat better than in the Soviet Union because there they are allowed to conduct their own cultural affairs. He stressed that Poland is now permitting emigration of relatives to Israel and estimated that 800 Polish Jews will enter Israel this month. The Soviet Union has also started to permit Jews to join their families in Israel, but so far permits are limited to elderly persons, Dr. Goldmann stated.