PARIS (Mar. 24)
Three hundred delegates from 17 countries in Europe and North Africa started hammering out an international fund-raising program at the largest “aid to Israel” conference ever held in Europe. French Premier Guy Mollet took the occasion to reiterate support of Israel’s position on the Middle East situation.
Dr. Nahum Goldmann, president of the Jewish Agency, told the parley that barring unforeseen developments, Israel will remain the foremost problem on the international agenda for some time. But that fact, he warned, “has its dangerous side as well as its good aspect. It is good because it creates the hope that the great powers will search for a policy which will end in a settlement of Arab-Israel issues. It is dangerous because a solution might be sought which would demand concessions from Israel and thus menace its future and its development.”
By the time Israel celebrates its tenth anniversary in 1958, he said, it will, in accordance with present indications, receive its millionth immigrant. Already, said Dr. Goldmann, 875, 000 immigrants have arrived in Israel. Jewry’s “historic task,” he declared, is not only to complete bringing into Israel the million immigrants who are on the way, but to prepare Israel to receive still another million Jews. In Central and Eastern Europe and in the Middle East alone, he asserted, there are still about 900, 000 Jews, of whom an estimated 400, 000″ are eager to come to Israel.”
Levi Eshkol, Israel Finance Minister, declared that while the Israelis “bear the full brunt of struggling for their security,” paying high taxes and manning their armed services while at the same time developing their internal economy, they must have help from world Jewry to meet the “increasingly heavy burden imposed by immigration.” “Israel is not building a refugee camp,” said Mr. Eshkol, “but a nation which is the result of a partnership between the people of Israel and the Jewish people the world over.”
Eliahu Dobkin, a member of the Agency executive, praised the Polish Government for permitting Jews to leave that country, for Israel and expressed the hope that the doors might be opened for similar emigration of Jews from the Soviet Union and Rumania.
The statement read for Premier Mollet reiterated the French Government’s stand that Israel is entitled to freedom of shipping through the Suez Canal and the Akaba waterway as well as to security on the border of the Gaza Strip. Israel, declared Mr. Mollet, “has the greatest right to complain of lack of consideration at the United Nations where, while it is the smallest nation, it is the State which has been most threatened.”