First U.J.A. Conference in Israel Ends; Ben Gurion Outlines Objectives
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First U.J.A. Conference in Israel Ends; Ben Gurion Outlines Objectives

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The first national conference of the United Jewish Appeal ever to be held outside the United States concluded here today as the challenging overtones of Premier David Ben Gurion’s fighting speech still reverberated among the 700 delegates and guests who heard him last night.

The three-day parley formally concluded this morning with a memorial ceremony at the Jerusalem military cemetery and the laying of a wreath on the Herzl tomb by Adolph Kiesler, national campaign committee chairman. The memorial meeting also heard Col. M. Peled, military commander of Jerusalem, and concluding remarks by Avraham Harman, member of the Jewish Agency executive.

Mr. Ben Gurion’s speech, which highlighted the three-day session, ranged over the whole field of Israel’s future development. Speaking first in Hebrew so that “my countrymen will know about the United Jewish Appeal,” the Premier described it, not as simply a charity but as “an unprecedented expression of the unity of the Jewish people.”

To the UJA delegates and to his fellow-citizens, the Israel Premier declared that their objective in Israel must be a twofold one: to “build here a safe, free and independent homeland for every Jew who wishes to or needs to come here,” and “to build a great civilization which will be the pride of all Jews everywhere.”


Mr. Ben Gurion warned his audience that “we must prepare ourselves for the great day when the gates of Russia are opened and hundreds of thousands of Jews will come to Israel from the Soviet Union. His emphatic assertion, “and come they will!” was greeted with prolonged applause.

The Premier passed in review the revolutionary transformation wrought upon immigrants to Israel social and cultural fields and the problems of the immediate future. Among these he listed the reclamation of the Negev, the southern desert, by bringing the waters of the Jordan southward to the arid areas, the finding of an Inexpensive method of desalting sea water and the utilization of the mineral wealth of the Negev.

Israel, he said, would continue to work to utilize atomic energy as a source of in expensive power and to continue its successful efforts to tap solar energy. He reminded his audience that Israel alone possessed the possible alternative to the Suez Canal and promised that Israel would build a pipeline from the Gulf of Akaba to the Mediterranean that would liberate Europe from Col. Nasser’s iron grip on its oil supplies. Israel, too, will become a great maritime nation, Mr. Ben Gurion predicted.

Recapitulating briefly to the delegates some of the facets of Israel’s scientific activities, Mr. Ben Gurion expressed the determination to make Israel a great world center of learning and research.

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