NEW YORK (Dec. 2)
The United Jewish Appeal concluded today is two-day annual national conference with a decision to conduct a nationwide drive for a $100,000,000 Emergency Rescue Fund over and above its regular 1957 campaign.
The unprecedented decision was taken by more than 1,200 American Jewish communal leaders in the light of mounting evidence that a minimum of 100,000 endangered Jews will require assistance in the next twelve months in moving to Israel and other free countries.
In creating the Emergency Rescue Fund, the Jewish leaders declared in a resolution that “this is an hour of consummate peril for hundreds of thousands of Jews overseas and for the free and democratic people of Israel, who are threatened by naked and rampant totalitarianism to a degree unmatched since the days of Hitler.”
The delegates drew special attention to Egypt’s treatment of its 50,000 Jews, asserting that “Nasser daily reveals himself as the spiritual their of Nazism.” They scored Egypt’s threat of mass expulsion of Jews, the fact that it is now subjecting Jews to persecution, confiscation of property and the sequestering of Jewish communal institutions “in the manner of the infamous Nuremburg Laws.”
“The very right of Israel’s people to exist as a free and independent State,” they charged, “has been challenged by Israel’s belligerent Arab neighbors into whose hands the Soviets have put vast quantities of the most modern weapons of war, including jet bombers planes, tanks and guns.”
As a result, the delegates declared. Israel’s people are “in no position to bear any part of the huge costs of the humanitarian work of rescuing, receiving and absorbing” tens of thousands of “endangered and threatened Jews.” They also noted that Jewish refugees reaching other countries will need transportation, relief and welfare aid.
In the light of this the delegates stressed American Jews must act at once in providing all the funds for emergency rescue and resettlement, as well as for the regular welfare and rehabilitation programs of the UJA constituent agencies. They took special note of the fact that “several thousand Jews are among the multitudes who fled Hungary during the course of the recent violent revolt, and are now in Vienna and urgently require food, clothing and resettlement aid.”
ROSENWALD REELECTED UJA HEAD; REGULAR $105,000,000 BUDGET ADOPTED
The 1,200 Jewish communal leaders reelected William Rosenwald as UJA general chairman for a third successive term. They named Samuel Rubin chairman of the $100,000,000 Emergency Rescue drive and elected Senator Herbert H. Lehman honorary chairman of the UJA. Rabbi Herbert A. Fridman was reelected UJA executive vice chairman. All 1956 UJA officers were reelected for the coming year.
Joseph Meyerhoff, chairman of the National Campaign Cabinet, reported the budgetary needs of the United Israel Appeal, Joint Distribution Committee and New York Association for New Americans. He pointed out that in addition to funds for the rescue program, they require of American Jews a sum of $105,000,000 to meet all other needs. This is the same regular amount they required in 1956. The conference adopted the budget as presented by Mr. Meyerhoff.
Rabbi Friedman sounded the keynote of last night’s session with the statement that “American Jews must rescue every Jew in every area of crisis that can be reached.” The UJA executive head stressed that American Jews could do no less at a time when “Israel’s dangerously encircled people have refused to forsake Jews who may be in greater danger than themselves.”
“At a time when Israel’s people are taking in all those who can get out of lands of oppression,” he declared, “American Jews must join in this inspiring work of rescue by an unprecedented outpouring of funds.” He referred to Israel Premier David Ben Gurion’s description of the Egyptian treatment of Jews as “a reign of terror” and said that the developments of recent days had proved this description “far too mild.”
He cited the sequestering of Jewish property in Egypt, the promulgation of nationality laws aimed at depriving Jews of Egyptian citizenship, the holding of one hostage per family in the case of families being expelled, mass deportations and other tactics which, he said, “are methods so similar to what Hitler used before World War II as to stun the minds of free men.
Avraham Harman, member of the Jewish Agency executive in Jerusalem, told the delegates that events and developments in the Middle East show “beyond all doubt the permanence and durability of Israel,” and that the crisis in Hungary gives sharp proof of “the persistent need of large and growing numbers of Jews for rescue.”
“The Jews of Israel,” he declared, “and the free Jewish communities of the world, have made themselves the instrument of Jewish rescue and they have it in their power to insure freedom for many thousands of Jews in need of it.”
He recalled for the delegates the events of the past decade, beginning with the liberation of the Hitler concentration camps. The Jews of the free world, he stated, made possible both the regeneration of those who survived the Hitler period and the reconstruction of the land of the Bible.
“Today, new dangers assail Jews in many lands,” he asserted. “It must be our major concern at this time to protect the great achievements which have been made and to press forward with an even greater sense of urgency the historic effort of rescue and rehabilitation.”
GEN. YADIN WARNS OF POSSIBILITY OF SOVIET-ARAB ATTACK ON ISRAEL
The delegates heard also last night from UJA president Edward M. M. Warburg, who presided; UJA general chairman William Rosenwald; Morris W. Berinstein and Dewey D. Stone, national chairmen of the UJA, and from Gen. Yigael Yadin, former Commander of Israel’s Defense Forces.
Gen. Yadin declared that the “introduction into Syria and Egypt of 300 trained Soviet pilots, 500 experienced Soviet tank corpsmen and a few hundred other Soviet men trained in the use of mechanized war machines that Moscow has delivered or might deliver, would be all the personnel needed to make possible a full-scale Arab attack on Israel, and start hostilities which could spread beyond that country.”
“There is no use in waiting until large numbers of these ‘volunteers’ come in,” General Yadin said, “before the free world becomes concerned. A big fire can come from a small spark.” He pointed out that the small number of men required for such tactics could slip into any Arab state by twos or threes without attracting much attention.
Referring to Israel’s recent Sinai action, he said that Israeli troops had “definitely heard Russian spoken by the operators of Egyptian tanks communicating by radio.” He said that the clash of Israel’s troops with Egyptian forces in the Sinai had punctured two Middle East myths, the myth of Arab unity, and the effectiveness of Nasser’s attempt to turn Egypt into a military nation. “The Egyptian officers exhibited a shockingly low morale,” he stated.