JERUSALEM (May. 22)
The Zionist organization “was a scaffold to aid the construction of Israel,” Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion declared today at a meeting of the central committee of his Mapai Party, “but scaffolds are taken away when the building has been completed,” he added.
“The Zionist Organization scaffold does not move,” Mr. Ben-Gurion continued,” and some tend to forget that the Zionist movement has no objective of its own but to build up the Jewish Stae.”
The Israeli leader stressed during the four-hour debate, that the time has arrived to recruit all the Jewish people, on the basis of special conditions prevailing in each country, on behalf of work for Israel. “The spirit that develops in Israel,” he stated, “is the only sound tool to bring about a revolution in Jewish life the world over. This spirit would not only raise support and love, but would also give the Zionist movement its content.”
Moshe Sharett, former Prime Minister, who opened the discussion, said that the alternatives were either to decide on the continuation of the movement and in that case the question was what content should be given to it; or elimination of the movement in which case the question would be: What can replace it? He said he favored the first alternative but he added he agreed that the movement must be given more content.
He noted that only in the United States had the Zionist organization failed to become the central organization of American Jews even though “American Jewry has a vivid communal life.” In almost all other countries, he said, the Zionist organization was the center of Jewish life. He proposed that the Mapai Party should support the extension of the Zionist movement to include other national and world Jewish organizations prepared to agree to the Jerusalem platform.
Mr. Sharett said that Mapai stressed that in addition to Zionist organization efforts in connection with aid to Israel and fostering Hebrew education, Zionist organizations also must imbue their members abroad with the obligation of individual self-fulfillment of the Zionist mission by investing in Israel enterprises and by sending their sons to Israel as well as by migrating to Israel themselves.
The Prime Minister, saying he agreed, declared he would add another suggestion that Mapai favors the organization of the Jewish people in a general Jewish framework for bringing Hebrew education to the younger generation and for strengthening Israel. He said the second objective could be obtained by Halutzic immigration, investments and visits by Jewish youth to Israel.