Dr. Goldmann Urges Joint East-west Guarantee of Middle East Security
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Dr. Goldmann Urges Joint East-west Guarantee of Middle East Security

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Israel will have to cope with five major problems in the second decade of its existence, Dr. Nahum Goldmann, world Jewish leader, said here tonight. He spoke at the Israel Institute, which was established jointly by the Jewish Agency and the Jewish Theological Seminary five years ago to strengthen the spiritual and cultural bonds between Israel and the United States.

“The first and most decisive,” he stated, “is its integration into the Middle East, on the basis of peaceful and friendly relations with the peoples of this area, and its participation, with the other nations of the region, in the great reconstructionist process now commencing in that part of the world. The achievement of this supreme goal of Israel’s statesmanship is impossible without an agreement, or at least a political armistice between the East-West power blocs, the elimination of the cold war from the area and a joint East-West guarantee of the region’s security from threats of aggression and armed conflict.

“This accomplished, the Arab governments will comprehend that they cannot hope to destroy Israel, and the stage will have been set for reconciling the differences between Israel and the Arab states through peaceful negotiations, ” he declared.

“The second major problem facing Israel in its second decade is the need to achieve a reasonable measure of economic independence,” Dr. Goldmann continued. “A number of sources that have fed Israel’s economy will be exhausted some time in the second, decade. The German Reparations Agreement will terminate in another few years, and it is doubtful that American governmental economic aid will continue on the same generous scale as hitherto.

“Thus, ” Dr, Goldmann pointed out, “Israel will be forced to readjust itself to a new, restrictive set of circumstances, and to reduce, if not close, the tremendous gap between income and expenditure in foreign currency. This will not be easy; it will affect all levels and areas of life in Israel and compel serious alteration of its economic and social structure. Failure to make such adjustments shall have grave consequences for Israel’s economic viability.

“The third problem is purely socio-cultural. The great effort to merge the many and diverse human elements that have entered Israel in its first decade of statehood, from environments centuries apart in their culture and conduct, has succeeded beyond expectations, but its ultimate goal, the cohesion of the ingathered diasporas, that first essential for Israel’s existence as a unified nation, is yet to be achieved. This process of moulding a nation is one of the most fascinating social processes of our day, without precedent in history, for never before has there been such a multitudinous and varied convergence of immigrants within so short a time.

“The self-segregation of people according to Landsmanschaften and their countries of origin, the exaggerated loyalty to parties, the inclination to sectarianism on issues of political and social controversy, will have to yield to the higher priority of real patriotism, to pride of membership in a new nation. Unless this is done, the centrifugal tendencies within Israel society may assert themselves more boldly and disastrously, imperilling the nation’s stability and cohesion,” Dr. Goldmann emphasized.


“Israel’s role within the totality of global Jewish life will be determined by its success or failure to work out a sound pattern of relations between Israel Jewry and the Jewish people abroad,” Dr. Goldmann asserted. “This internal problem is no less important and urgent than the external problem of resolving the Arab-Israel relationship,” he stressed. “A satisfactory solution is of decisive importance for Israel’s survival and for the continuity of Jewish communities outside Israel, yet little has been done until now to solve it. The present relationship is unsatisfactory and not too fruitful from a long view.

“Diaspora Jewry’s role is restricted almost exclusively to economic and political assistance, with no provisions for truly sharing responsibilities, with no structural channels for reciprocal influence,” Dr. Goldmann pointed out. “A relationship so restricted is frustrating, must falter, and cannot last forever. Methods must be found, with all due deference to the sovereignty of the State of Israel, to vest in the Jewish people true responsibilities, moral and spiritual, for shaping Israel’s destiny and will convert the ancestral home on the Mediterranean into a focus and repository of our peculiar genius and will establish it as the very center of Jewish moral and spiritual influence and as a fateful instrument in securing the survival of the Jewish people everywhere.


“The final problem may at this time seem remote and unreal. Yet I think that it is a very real problem. It is my sincere opinion that a good possibility exists that Eastern Europe may some day open its gates for Jews wishing to emigrate to Israel. This will test Israel’s capacity to absorb hundreds of thousands of additional Jews.

“Such a turn of events depends, however, on the resolution of the Arab-Israel deadlock,” Dr. Goldmann emphasized. “Arab-Israel peace would improve the nature of Soviet-Israel relations and make the prospects of large-scale East European immigration a definite possibility. This would be the greatest event in Jewish history since the creation of the State. However, it would also impose on Israel responsibilities–economic, social and financial –of astronomic proportions.

“Should Israel succeed, in the initial years of its second decade, in solving, at least partially, these five major problems, each of them complex, each of them forbidding, the Jewish State will have made a tremendous advance toward its final consolidation and the realization of its most ambitious aims, ” Dr. Goldmann concluded.

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