NEW YORK (Nov. 15)
The three-day National Assembly of American Zionists today issued a declaration, predicting that “the day will come when Israel will achieve a self-sustaining economy and live secure and at peace with her neighbors.”
Meeting at the Statler-Hilton Hotel here, on the eve of the 25th World Zionist Congress–to be convened next month in Jerusalem–more than 1,000 delegates to the Assembly called upon American Zionists to meet the “fresh challenges with faith and courage” and to make Zionism “again the great adventure that it was for Herzl and the forerunners of our movement.”
The declaration referred to the Zionist idea as “the oldest living, historical force in the Jewish people” and called the establishment of Israel “the product of centuries of human endurance ennobled by faith–the instrument of the unification of the Jewish people and the ingathering of exiles.”
The declaration termed Israel “the beginning and not the end of fulfillment” and said “it would endure and grow in stature and content to serve new and old nations with its material skills.”
“The Zionist movement,” the delegates declared, “while it stands in the forefront of those who are preparing that blessed day, looks beyond it. The Zionist movement keeps alive those Jewish values which give everlasting force and significance to the existence of the State of Israel. As the Zionist idea echoes the Jewish millenia which are past, so it shapes the purpose of Jewish millenia to come.”
AMBASSADOR HARMAN GIVES VIEW ON RE-EVALUATION ON ZIONISM
Zionism must be re-evaluated “not because it has been a failure, but because it has been a success,” the delegates to the American Zionist Council’s Assembly were told last night by Avraham Harman, Israel Ambassador to the United States.
With the growth and development of Israel, the Ambassador stated, “the world is witnessing the flowering of the Jewish spirit in free soil.” Pointing out that, through the Nazi period, the centers that have served Jewish culture and learning for centuries had been destroyed, Mr. Harman declared that Israel now, has created new centers of Jewish learning. “The Jewish people,” he continued, “inspired by this evidence of its remarkable recuperative powers, would proceed to utilize the new opportunities for Jewish creation which the establishment of Israel has brought into being.”
“The trend in Israel today,” he said, “is toward flexibility of policy and action. We are seeking a pragmatic approach to our problems, and to the need for further pioneering. The problem of new immigration is being approached in the same spirit. The new immigrant in Israel receives priority in employment, priority in housing, and priority in opportunities over the country’s older, established citizens.”
Turning to the future of the Zionist movement, Mr. Harman declared: “What is important in Zionism today is the standard of conduct and quality of performance. Zionism has been accepted by world Jewry as a permanent idea. It must now induce among its members the readiness for such qualitative performance. It must turn from the theory of Zionism to the positive actions required to make Zionism an effective force.”
Dr. Emanuel Neumann, honorary president of the Zionist Organization of America, warned of the tendency of American Jews to seek identification solely in religious terms. “There lurks here,” be declared, “the danger of retreat into a form of ecclesiasticism insufficient in itself. Judaism is neither a church nor a state but a common historical experience.” American Jewry, Dr. Neumann concluded, cannot preserve and develop its Judaism without the new flowering of Jewish life and culture in Israel. Nor can Israel preserve its historical experience without regard to the currents of Jewish life and thought outside its borders.
Label Katz, international president of B’nai B’rith, declared that the “logic of the American position on Red China, also requires our country to vote against the seating of the United Arab Republic on the Security Council of the United Nations.” Addressing the Zionist Assembly, he asserted that only “Red China and Egypt, of all of the governments of the world, have flouted a decision of the Security Council.”
He declared that Egypt’s continuing “refusal to open the Suez Canal to the shipping of all nations” is “in contemptuous disregard of the recommendation of the UN Security Council.” Mr. Katz addressed the Assembly as spokesman for the Presidents Conference of Major American Jewish Organizations.