NEW YORK (Dec. 15)
Two American members of the Jewish Agency executive, Dr. Emanuel Neumann and Louis Segal, today issued separate statements “dissociating” themselves from Mrs. Rose Halprin’s statement at a press conference yesterday in which she questioned the agreement reached between Israel’s Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion and Dr. Nahum Goldmann, president of the World Zionist Organization, on topics to have priority at the forthcoming World Zionist Congress which takes place in Jerusalem at the end of this month.
Dr. Neumann said in his statement that many agreement between the Prime Minister and the President of the World Zionist Organization in the critical areas under discussion, is to be welcomed.” He emphasized that he “dissociates” himself from Mrs. Halprin’s statement and added that he wanted to make it clear that the statement “was made on her own personal responsibility and not on behalf of the American section of the Jewish Agency executive, whose members were neither consulted nor informed that such a statement was to be made and released to the press by the Acting Chairman.”
“It is unfortunate that this should have happened at this point when we are leaving for Israel to attend plenary sessions of the Agency executive,” Dr. Neumann continued. “The executive as a whole will undoubtedly review and discuss matters relating to the forthcoming Zionist Congress, its program and agenda. We are all interested in assuring a positive, constructive outcome of the forthcoming Congress and a maximum of understanding and agreement among all Zionists in the Diaspora and in Israel regarding the future course and program of the movement, including the vital issue of Aliyah.”
Mr. Segal said in his statement that Mrs. Halprin as Acting Chairman of the American section of the Jewish Agency executive, should not have commented publicly on the Ben-Gurion-Goldmann agreement before the members of the executive had the opportunity to see the exact text of the understanding. He argued that this was necessary in order to enable the entire executive to discuss the vital points of the agreement and to taka a joint attitude on the matter.
Mr. Segal stressed that “Dr. Goldmann and the entire Zionist executive had recently made great efforts to achieve an understanding with all parties in Israel for harmonious collaboration and for everything that is connected with the Jewish world and the State of Israel.” He asserted that “it was premature on the part of Mrs. Halprin to call a press conference and make statements which could lead to serious misunderstandings,” especially because all members of the Zionist executive would meet in Jerusalem next Thursday, prior to the opening of the Congress, at which time the details of the understanding would be clarified.
MRS. HALPRIN REPLIES TO CRITICISM; EXPRESSED HER OWN OPINION
Replying to the two statements criticizing her views, Mrs. Halprin said that she made it clear that “she was not talking on behalf of any organization but expressing my own opinion as a Zionist leader “on a report that had just been received through the press. “Dr. Neumann and Mr. Segal are dissociating themselves from my reaction. I wonder if they were asked to associate themselves with the agreement reached by Dr. Goldmann and Mr. Ben-Gurion,” she stated.
“I never questioned Dr. Goldmann’s right as president of the World Zionist Organization to negotiate with Mr. Ben-Gurion,” she pointed out. “However, I believe that the differences between the two men are fundamental and must be treated seriously. The point that I made was that because I believe serious consideration is desirable and necessary and because a Congress which meets once in four years was convening and because Mr. Ben-Gurion had already stated his position on the Congress, no purpose would be served by ignoring the difference.
“It is my opinion, therefore, that the Congress should have the matter before it and deal seriously with it. If Dr. Neumann and Mr. Segal do not agree with that point there is no need for dissociation. They are fully entitled to their opinion and have a right to believe that it is better to minimize the differences than to face them frontally,” Mrs. Halprin declared.