JERUSALEM (Jul. 11)
Dr. Nahum Goldmann, president of the World Zionist Organization, charged the Israel Government last night with failure to cooperate on broad matters of policy with the Zionist movement.
Speaking at the Zionist Actions Committee session, he said that while there is cooperation between the government and the Zionist movement on “small, day-to-day matters,” there is no progress on improving cooperation on a high level–“joint planning, joint consultations about major problems facing the state.”
Without “such fundamental cooperation,” he continued, “it is hard to regain the necessary prestige and authority of the world Zionist movement. The responsibility for this situation,” Dr. Goldmann told Zionist leaders from many countries, “lies with the leaders of Israel and the representatives of parties who do not implement their pledges of loyalty to the Zionist movement.”
On the question of establishing Zionist territorial federations, he told the leaders of the world Zionist movement that the discussions of this Actions Committee meeting would be a test of whether the Zionist parties throughout the world “mean to implement or sabotage decisions of the World Zionist Congress on reorganization.
Emphasizing that within the organizational sphere of the world Zionist movement “not much has changed and little has been achieved” since the last World Zionist Congress, he blamed this state of affairs on the Sinai campaign which required the full-time attention of Zionist groups abroad, the reluctance of Zionist groups and parties to change the movement’s organizational structure, and the Israel Government’s failure to enhance the Zionist organization’s prestige by making it more of a partner on major problems facing the Jewish State.
STRESSES DANGER OF ASSIMILATION; WANTS NON-ZIONISTS IN JEWISH AGENCY
Jewish problems in the world at large, Dr. Goldmann declared, are not primarily those of physical and political security, but that of “safeguarding Jewish identity.” As the political and economic situation of Jews abroad improved, he warned, the internal danger of assimilation increased.
The essential work of preventing assimilation, the Zionist leader continued, must be done by the Zionist movement and through a deepening of ties between Israel and Jews abroad. While the majority of the worlds Jews have a deep feeling of solidarity with Israel, this feeling must be cultivated, he said.
“This central issue of Israel’s public relations is more important than the problem of relations with foreign powers, “Dr. Goldmann stressed. He also said that the enlargement of the Jewish Agency executive through the inclusion of non-Zionists is “vital” to the insurance of continued Jewish solidarity.
Dr. Goldmann had kind words for the governments of Morocco and Tunisia which, he pointed out, had kept their promises of protecting their Jewish citizens from attack and of treating them as equal citizens. However, he reported, there are thousands of Jews who want to emigrate from these countries for religious or other reasons and because of the economic situation but who are in fact “prevented from doing so.”
Premier David Ben Gurion, in a message outlining the momentous developments in Israel during the 15 months since the Actions Committee last met, said that it would be a delusion as events along the Israel-Syrian border demonstrate-to believe that complete tranquillity will prevail. However, he said, as a result of the Sinai victory, Israel will be able to devote a considerable part of her energy to constructive absorption and development.
Mr. Ben Gurion’s message provoked considerable criticism among the members of the Actions Committee who noted that the Premier failed completely to mention the word “Zionist” in his letter. They also noted that the Premier referred to the Actions Committee as ”representatives of the Jewish people” instead of “representatives of the Zionist movement” or of the World Zionist Organization.
Another development that caused a stir among the members of the Actions Committee was the fact that Israel’s radio broadcast, in summarizing Dr. Goldmann’s speech, dealt exclusively with the positive aspects of the address but omitted all reference to the severe criticism levelled by Dr. Goldmann against the Israel Government for the relationships between the State of Israel and the Zionist movement.
As the general debate developed today, speakers representing various groups within the Zionist movement failed to offer support to Dr. Goldmann’s proposals that non-Zionists be included in the Jewish Agency executive and that the Zionist movement be reorganized through the establishment of territorial federations. Most of the speakers demanded that the world Zionist movement should concentrate its energies on emigration to Israel.