Menu JTA Search

Rose Halprin Decries Lack of Unity Among American Zionists

The American Zionist movement is “in a dreadful position,” because it lacks unity, Mrs. Rose Halprin, co-chairman of the World Confederation of General Zionists, told the worldwide convention of the confederation here yesterday.

Seventy delegates from 28 countries are attending the convention, which is mapping plans for the Confederation’s platform to be presented at the next World Zionist Congress, to be held next December in Jerusalem. Dr. Israel Goldstein, of New York, is the other co-chairman of the Confederation.

Mrs. Halprin staunchly defended the tasks which, she said, the Zionist Organization still has to fulfill, and emphatically disagreed with some of the views expressed by Israel’s Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion.

“We say, ” she told the delegates, “that Ben-Gurion’s views about the Jewish people are mistaken because the Jews lack the necessary ingredients to stand by Israel in times of stress. Only the Zionist Organization has these ingredients.”

Mrs. Halprin outlined what she called “the Trinity of Zionism”–Jewish education, the wants of the Jewish people, and the centrality of Israel. She declared herself in favor of increased immigration to Israel from the United States, but warned that this will not occur unless Israel is ready to do its share to facilitate the absorption and housing of these immigrants.

Dr. Goldstein warned that a possible consequence of worsening international relations may be “the prospect of a harder lot for the 3, 000, 000 Jews in the Soviet Union. ” He reminded the delegates that it has been an invariable rule in the past that, when the cold war resumed, life for people inside Russia generally became more oppressive, and the Jews were the first to suffer. Even in those Communist countries in which Jews were not overtly oppressed, conditions were such, Dr. Goldstein said, that the likelihood of Jewish survival in the long run was slim.

Dr. Goldstein expressed the hope, however, that day may come in a period of relaxation of world tensions, and of greater stability in the Middle East, when Jews in the Soviet Union may be permitted to emigrate to Israel.

NEXT STORY