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Dr. Neumann Lauds “harmonious Spirit” in Zionist Actions Committee

The “cooperative and harmonious spirit” which prevailed at the Zionist Action Committee session in Jerusalem was lauded here today by Dr. Emanuel Neumann, president of the Zionist Organization of America, upon his return from Israel where he attended the session.

“I am particularly gratified by the close cooperation which developed between the ZOA and Hadassab delegations, which worked together effectively on some of the controversial issues, notably on the question of territorial federations,” Dr. Neumann said in a press statement. “Largely as a result of Hadassah-ZOA cooperation, the American point of view was accepted, providing for flexibility and considerable latitude to each country regarding the form which the territorial federations would take. In the United States, the American Zionist Council will gradually evolve into a federation in a manner to be determined by the American Zionist organizations.”

With regard to the split in the World Confederation of General Zionists, Dr, Neumann announced that his group intends to call an extraordinary session of the World Conference of the Confederation “for the purpose of strengthening the Confederation and dealing with the situation created by the announced withdrawal of certain groups.” He claimed that the “progressive block” within the administrative committee of the Confederation announced its intention “to secede and form a new body to include organizations and groups not now affiliated with the Confederation.”

“While the two groupings in the Confederation have their sympathies — the one leaning toward the General Zionists and the other toward the Progressives — neither is politically affiliated with any one of them,” Dr. Neumann stated. “So far as the ZOA is concerned, we have made it crystal-clear that we are wholly independent and conform to no ‘party line.’ We do regard the General Zionists of Israel and other countries as closest to us ideologically within the framework of the world Zionist movement; and any expression of such ideological kinship is invariably the product of free discussion and democratic procedures in our organization.”

Dr. Neumann said that the debate between Premier David Ben Gurion and Dr. Nahum Goldmann at the Actions Committee meetings on the relations between the Government of Israel and the Jewish Agency “was a continuation of the old debate” which started soon after the State of Israel was established. “Ben Gurion’s position was stated in even more radical terms than in the past,” Dr. Neumann emphasized. “Dr. Goldmann’s reply effectively asserted the view we have consistently expressed, that the vital interest of Israel calls for an effective partnership and mutuality of relations between the State of Israel and the Zionist movement.”

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