Dr. Goldmann Stresses Link Between State of Israel and Jews Abroad
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Dr. Goldmann Stresses Link Between State of Israel and Jews Abroad

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Winding up the debate in the Zionist Actions Committee session, Dr. Nahum Goldmann, president of the World Zionist Organization, voiced strong disagreement with speakers who conceived of Jewish life in two distinct entities, Israel and the communities abroad.

This viewpoint, he said, meant abandonment of the central point of classical Zionism, that the solution of the Jewish problem and the possibility of a full Jewish life lie in Israel. While the Zionist movement must work for a maximum Jewish life in the communities outside Israel, Zionism without a program of immigration and pioneering is “unthinkable and untenable.”

The Zionist movement cannot be responsible for, nor can it determine foreign policy of a sovereign Israel, he declared. But that does not mean that the movement nor its members should not be interested in Israel’s foreign policy, he emphasized. There is no reason why it should not be discussed, he said, though there cannot be any binding decision nor any real dealing with political questions except where the state asked for support in specific cases or in defense of the rights of the state.


In reference to criticism that he had expressed his personal opinions about Israeli policy, the president of the WZO noted that this was everybody’s right and that he would not accept a decision which forbade his stating his position on matters be regarded as vital for Israel if that position were not in full accord with Israel Government policy.

On the question of non-Zionist being represented on the Jewish Agency, Dr. Goldmann recalled that the last meeting of the Zionist Actions Committee had adopted a resolution proposing the establishment of an advisory committee to the Agency as a first step in the direction of including non-Zionists in the Agency. The purpose of asking non-Zionists to serve is not only to increase contributions but to use the resources and potential of the Jewish communities and their leadership to help solve the great problems of Israel’s development and to give them a feeling of responsibility.

Referring to the Jewish Agency charter from the Israel Government, he insisted that a “real partnership” could not exist if one partner was unwilling. Dr. Goldmann noted that the Agency-government coordinating board had never really functioned, though it was one of the foundations of the charter. The government undertook many projects in many countries abroad without prior consultation with the Agency, he stressed.

An attempt was being made to reorganize the coordinating board but, he pointed out, its success will depend on the attitude of the government. Most important, Dr. Goldmann maintained, was the attitude of Premier David Ben Gurion in this matter, and on that would depend whether the attempt to revive the coordination board was successful or “abortive.”


Mrs. Rose Halprin, acting chairman of the American section of the Jewish Agency executive, asserted that not immigration but “redemption of a lost generation” which has drifted away from the Jewish nation and which is no longer imbued with a spirit of Judaism is the major problem of American Jewry. She pointed out that immigration from the United States demands conditions other than those which affect immigration from Morocco and asked that this “perennial” demand for American Jewish immigration be removed from the discussion once and for all.

Mrs. Halprin also criticized the effort to persuade American Jewish youth that it is in “galuth” and has no place in America. “Nobody will take notice of such an explanation,” she assured her listeners, and it “is only liable to alienate them.”

Mortimer May of Nashville, Tenn., former ZOA president, commenting on the 211,000,000 pound budget proposal before the meeting, saw no reason to anticipate a decline in United Jewish Appeal contributions. He expressed confidence that the United States would be able to stay the recession. He called the composition of the American

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