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Improvement in Prospects for Arab-israel Peace Seen by Dr. Goldmann

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The Zionist Actions Committee started its two-week session here today with an address by Dr. Nahum Goldmann, president of the World Zionist Organization, in which he expressed the opinion that “we are entering upon a period where the possibility of an Arab-Israel peace is becoming more practicable than at any other time before.”

At the same time, he warned that the very improvement in peace prospects in the Middle East holds a new danger–that of an imposed solution unacceptable to Israel. He held that there are two reasons for his impression that the possibility of an Arab-Israel peace is now becoming more visible:

1. The Arab leaders, although they do not admit it, are beginning to accept the fact that Israel is here to stay and are beginning to adjust their thinking to this fait accompli.

2. The Big Powers are beginning to realize the danger to the peace of the world posed by the chaotic situation in the Middle East, and are ready to deal with it more effectively than ever before.

Dr. Goldmann insisted that the major powers do not want war, not even the Soviet Union which has been unfriendly toward Israel and has encouraged extreme Arab nationalism. This is particularly true, he added, “after the changes which have taken place in its (the USSR) leadership.”

In predicting that an attempt may be made to impose a peace settlement unacceptable by Israel and detrimental to the future of the Jewish State, Dr. Goldmann said: “This means that more than ever the Jewish people, Israel’s most reliable ally, will have to be ready to defend Israel’s vital interests and the Zionist movement will have to continue to mobilize the people for this work.”

He noted that the all-out support of Jews throughout the world of Israel during the Sinai campaign “justifies the conviction that it will continue to live up to its historic responsibilities in any future political crisis.”

CALLS FOR ACTION ON THE SITUATION OF JEWS IN COMMUNIST COUNTRIES

Turning to the question of immigration, which he called the second most important development of the current period after the Sinai affair, Dr. Goldmann said that the renewal of mass immigration from Europe had an “extraordinary historical meaning.” Not only does this bring to Israel “elements which are badly needed for the building of the country” but it opens up the prospects of “bringing back to the fold of Jewish life those Jewries which have seemed to be lost to our people.

No longer is it a Quixotic illusion, “he said, “to hope that other countries, including the Soviet Union, will open the doors for Jewish immigration to Israel.” He stressed that the time has come for the Jewish people to deal more actively and publicly with the problem of the life and future of Eastern European Jewish communities which represent the main remnants of the Nazi holocaust. “They are in danger of spiritual disintegration and of being lost to our people,” he said. “It is primarily the problem of their ability and their right to exist as Jews.”

Dr. Goldmann charged that Jews were being discriminated against in the Eastern European countries, especially in the Soviet Union where they do not enjoy equal facilities and rights which other national minorities enjoy. The Jewish people. he went on, cannot give up its vital interest in these three and one-half million people and the time has come to put this problem “on the agenda of international public opinion.”

The tragic situation of Jewish life in Russia is not, Dr. Goldmann insisted, the result of a social ideology on which the Jewish people cannot and does not take a position. It stems from the specific anti-Jewish policies of the Stalinist regime which “unfortunately” have not been changed by his successors.

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