PARIS (Jun. 23)
Dr. Nahum Goldmann, president of the World Zionist Organization, said tonight that it was premature to judge what effect the existence of Israel will have on anti-Semitism and on attitudes of non-Jews toward Jews but that some trends were already clear.
Speaking at a dinner marking the 100th anniversary of the Alliance Israelite Universelle, the leading organization of French Jewry, Dr. Goldmann said that one effect would be that the Jewish people will lose “its Godlike” status in the eyes of those who do not know what Jews are really like. This, he explained, would follow from the fact that Israel “has established an understanding” of what a Jew really is.
Another effect, he said, was the evolvement in Israel of a “new Jew,” who is not clever but who is hard-working and courageous and free of persecutions because he forms the majority of the population in his own country.
A negative effect of the restoration of Israel, the world Jewish leader said, might be charges by anti-Semites of too much loyalty for Israel by Jews living in other countries. Asserting that Jews have the right to be “emotionally, culturally and religiously” attached to Israel, Dr. Goldmann urged Jews not to be impressed by such accusations. He emphasized that Israel must become the principal spiritual center for Jews everywhere.
Jacob Blaustein, honorary president of the American Jewish Committee, told the dinner guests that the fate of Jews everywhere was closely tied to the fate of democracy. He rejected the idea that the attractions of democratic ways of living might lead Jews to abandon their ties with their religion, tradition and culture.
“Those who harbor such anxieties propose one or both of two drastic remedies,” he said, “both consisting of withdrawal. The first is that Jews withdraw to a country of their own; the second is that Jews, wherever they now live, should withdraw into a life of their own, a voluntary ghettoization.”
He warned that “if the Jews have no future in the democratic countries to which they belong, they have no future anywhere–and that goes for Israel also.”
Amory Haughton, the United States Ambassador to France, praised the Alliance for its application of democratic principles and said it was making a contribution to the cause of world peace.