Dr. Goldmann Urges Full Rights for Jews in the Soviet Union
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Dr. Goldmann Urges Full Rights for Jews in the Soviet Union

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Dr. Nahum Goldmann, president of the World Zionist Organization, asserted today that "one of our primary objectives" is to bring about an altered attitude by the Soviet Union towards the three million Jews residing in that country who, he said, had not been accorded the same facilities "to pursue their own national and cultural existence as all other minorities."

The newly elected world Zionist president spoke at a rally of Zionist leaders, held in the Hotel Roosevelt under the sponsorship of the American Zionist Council, representing all national Zionist organizations in this country. This was his first public address following his return to the United States since his election to his new post by the World Zionist Congress in Jerusalem last spring. Rabbi Irving Miller, chairman of the American Zionist Council, presided. Mrs. Rose Halprin, a member of the Jewish Agency who serves as acting chairman of the Agency during Dr. Goldmann’s absence, extended greetings.

Declaring that the fate of the Jews of Eastern Europe, especially in the Soviet Union, constitutes a major problem of great consequence, Dr. Goldmann said; "More than 3,000,000 Jews live there, and for decades they have been isolated from the main stream of Jewish life and denied the facilities of living and performing within the tradition of Jewish continuity. "This is not anti-Semitism in the usual sense. Jews individually are now treated on the basis of equality.

"However," Dr. Goldmann continued, while all other minorities in Soviet Russia are provided with facilities to pursue their own national and cultural existence, within the framework of Communist doctrine of course, the Jewish community has not been accorded similar accommodations. Soviet leaders have contended that the Jewish minority in the Soviet Union is treated differently because it is not territorially concentrated. We cannot accept this as a justification for the denial of the Jews’ right to their own schools, newspapers and books, their right to the fullest possible opportunities for religious education and religious worship, their right to maintain contact with the Jewish communities of the world.

"No people, "he said, "is more deeply interested in co-existence and in diminishing international tensions than the Jewish people, always the first to be martyred when nations fall out and when society is thrown into chaos. However, the Jewish people, with its keen interest in true co-existence, shall never cease to demand for itself equity and justice, the elementary right for Soviet Jewry to absolute equality with all other minorities in the development of its culture. To bring about an altered attitude by the Soviet Union on this point becomes one of our primary objectives. The happiness, the self-realization of 3,000,000 Russian Jews depend on the results of our preoccupation with their status."


Touching upon the situation of the Jews in North Africa, Dr. Goldmann said that not-withstanding difficulties, there has been until recently considerable immigration into Israel from Morocco and other North African countries. "Whether this will be possible in the future we cannot say, "he declared. He added that while the North African nationalist leaders "have kept their promise to treat the Jews as equals, and to prevent anti-Jewish violence, only their conduct will test their acceptance of the principle that every Moroccan, whatever his faith, has the right to emigrate if he so desires."

"The Jewish people has demonstrated sincere sympathy for the desires of the North African people for independence. It has the right to expect the Moroccan leaders to create no artificial difficulties for the tens of thousands of Jews in Morocco whose only future, economically and spiritually, lies in their resettlement in Israel," he said.

Speaking on current developments affecting the Middle East, Dr. Goldmann voiced the view that Israel’s security situation has improved greatly. "During the past six months Israel has obtained additional arms as the result of a concentrated effort by Western Powers who realized how truly precarious her position has become." He further said that "the United States, supplying only little of these arms, concurred in the effort, however."

Maintaining that "the morale of the Israel army and its technical proficiency have never been better," he voiced the view that "it can be assumed that the swashbuckling Arab states are informed of this situation and will hesitate before attacking Israel." He stressed the peaceful intentions of the people and government of Israel, and cited as convincing proof the fact that Israel, notwithstanding provocations, had done nothing to militarily embarrass Egypt and the Arab states during the Suez crisis.

Dr. Goldmann urgently stressed the need by the Jewish people in the years immediately ahead to "undertake a maximum effort to assist Israel in coping with a financial dilemma not of her making." He pointed to the disastrous effect of the mounting and unhappy burden which Israel has assumed and as revealed in Israel’s economic and financial situation which he termed as "far from satisfactory, although Jewish communities throughout the world, and especially American Jewry, have made an extraordinary effort to help Israel cope with its tremendous financial problems. Israel is still far from becoming economically self-supporting."

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