AMSTERDAM (Jan. 26)
In the second decade of the State of Israel, the Jewish people may be “privileged” to save 1,000,000 Jews from Eastern European countries who will soon begin leaving their present homes in large numbers, Dr. Nahum Goldmann, president of the World Zionist Organization, declared here last night. He was addressing 150 delegates from 12 European countries called together in an emergency session by the European office of the Keren Hayesod, fund-raising arm of the Zionist movement.
Dr Goldmann underlined the significance of agreement of the Rumanian Government to permit mass emigration of Jews from Rumania. In this next decade, Dr. Goldmann said, Israel’s population-under the impetus of the new immigration, might well reach 3,000,000 Jews.
He noted that while Israel had accepted nearly 1,000,000 immigrants in its first ten years of existence, the majority of the newcomers were still waiting to be absorbed into the economy of the country. Transit camps for immigrants still existed, he said, and 400 agricultural villages still had to have their economic underpinnings shored up. He said he was “embarrassed” during a recent trip to new settlements to see how hard the people worked to eke out a living. In some cases, he said, even 12 year old children had to work.
Dr. Goldmann pointed out that the Jewish Agency could have balanced its budget in the past decade, if it had only helped half a million Jews enter Israel. But, he said, the “other half a million would have been lost to us forever.”
Discussing the sources of revenue supplying Israel’s immigration needs today, he said two were non-Jewish-United States Government aid and German reparations payments-while the other two were Jewish. Though the non-Jewish sources were of prime importance-German reparations alone had provided more in a decade to Israel’s Treasury than the total of all appeals-they would soon dry up, he said.
This left only the Jewish people to take up the slack, he said, warning that if contributions remained “static” the Jewish people would fail in their duty. “The slogan must be to revolutionize contributions in proportion to the gigantic problems that face us.” The next decade of Israel’s existence could be greater than the first not because of military victories or laws enacted by the Knesset, but because the continuity of the Jewish people would be ensured, Dr. Goldmann concluded.
Leon Dultzin, head of the Jewish Agency’s economic department and a member of the Keren Hayesod executive, insisted that the question in reference to the new migratory wave was not how many Jews “could be saved,” but rather how many “must be saved.” Mr. Dultzin, who recently visited a transit camp in Vienna where immigrants from Rumania were awaiting transportation to Israel, said that one-third of the immigrants were children and youths up to the age of 19.
In a series of unanimously adopted resolutions, the parley sent messages of solidarity to the President and people of Israel, expressed again the gratitude of the Jewish people to the Queen of the Netherlands for her assistance to the Jewish people in “a critical hour; and, recommended the establishment of a European board to direct United Israel Appeal activities on the Continent. During the debate, it was suggested that Jewish communities in each European country establish a system of self-taxation.
Earlier, the delegates went into closed session to discuss the emigration of Rumanian Jews. During the meeting Rumanian Jews expressed the gratitude of their fellow-countrymen for the help of the Keren Hayesod and said that many Rumanian Jews wanted to go to Israel to rejoin their relatives.