Goldmann Calls for Merger of All Zionist Organizations in U.S.
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Goldmann Calls for Merger of All Zionist Organizations in U.S.

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Dr. Nahum Goldmann, president of the World Zionist Congress, called today upon all Zionist organizations in the United States to merge into one overall united Zionist movement. He urged this step at the closing session of the Zionist Organization of America’s governing body, the national executive council, as an essential step to restoring the Zionist movement in the United States to its former position of eminence as an action body and molder of American Jewish public opinion.

As a first step, Dr. Goldmann called for the amalgamation of the Zionist Organization of America and the American Zionist Council, the coordinating body of all Zionist groups in this country. Of the nine Ziunist groups represented in the Council, the ZOA is the largest, representing some 60 percent of the Zionists in the United States. At the same time, Dr. Emanual Neumann, a former president of the ZOA, and a member of the Jewish Agency executive, expressed the view that the ZOA, itself, be expanded to become the overall body of American Zionism, embracing all sections and groupings.

Dr. Goldmann announced he would present his proposal for action at the forthcoming ZOA national convention in Washington, scheduled for June 28 through July 1. “Until the State of Israel is secure, politically and economically,” he said, “the American Zionist movement has the vital responsibility of mobilizing the support of the Jewish communities in the United States on behalf of Israel, and in maintaining, in Jewish philanthropy, the present urgent priority for all overseas Jewish needs. The economic consolidation of the State of Israel, and its security is a far greater task than was its creation. The first was just the beginning of the road upon which world Jewry must march, not the end.”


“While from a historical and spiritual point of view,” Dr. Goldmann continued, “we realize that the Jewish people must stand or fall with Israel, we must always remain aware of the fact that the future of Jewish life everywhere will be determined most by the actions that the six million Jews of the United States–a nation that is the largest and strongest force in the world–undertake on behalf of Jews everywhere.

“Therefore, the test of Zionism in the United States lies in its ability to lead American Jewry. Zionism must, therefore, become the leading force in American Jewish life, just as we were before and at the time the State of Israel was established.

“In 1948 the Zionist movement, having captured the imagination of American Jews by its gallant fight, both in the nation and in the United Nations, to secure the establishment of the State of Israel, this movement was the pre-eminent one among Jewish organizations, and the one strong unifying Jewish force in the United States.

“Today we have lost that position, and we won’t regain it without unity. In toto, the separate Zionist organizations represent a large number of American Jews. But, because their structures, as well as that of the ZOA, are obsolete and outmoded organizationally, Zionist influence and communal strength has been dissipated.”

The plan Dr. Goldmann offered would have the Zionist Organization of America serve as the nucleus of the new united Zionist organization, with the leadership of all nine Zionist groups serving in the executive body.

Calling this new line of departure “a step of historical importance to Zionism’s future in the United States, and the world over,” Dr. Goldmann declared: “If the ZOA possesses the true Zionist patriotism that will enable it to make this sacrifice, it would truly open the way to a united Zionist movement, and thus assure a new future for American Zionism.”


Dr. Neumann also urged a major adjustment of existing Zionist forms of organization through unification, but with the ZOA retaining its role as the central component. “I am convinced it is possible, and desirable to expand the Zionist Organization of America to make room for all, while preserving our great tradition and our historic role as the central force in American Zionism, and to provide leadership and direction of old.” Dr. Neumann said. “To achieve this role requires adjustment of our organizational forms. It means entering into a partnership with other ideological groups to provide the basis for effective unity in action. All this can be done without sacrifice of principle on our part or by them.”

Before adjourning, the national executive council appointed a committee to study the proposals. The executive council also voted to affiliate with the American section of the World Jewish Congress.


Earlier, Max Bressler, of Chicago, and Rabbi Max Nussbaum, of Hollywood, ZOA president and national executive council chairman, respectively, charged that the United States Department of State has openly embarked on a “massive program of appeasing the Arab states at the expense of Israel.” Mr. Bressler cited as evidence the initiative taken by the State Department, in concert with Great Britain and West Germany, to grant the United

“We are living through what may well be the most crucial period in the history of American-Israel relations.” Mr. Bressler declared. “Our Government’s new policy is to propitiate Nasser and the Arabs by demonstrating to them through this massive financial and political aid that when it comes down to fundamentals, the Arabs, not Israel, may count upon America’s support.”

Rabbi Nussbaum declared that “we are apparently back to the old days of a hostile pro-Arab State Department, determined to win the Arabs to our side at all costs–and ‘at all costs’ means here at the expense of Israel.

Recalling President Kennedy’s pre-election promises to work for an equitable solution of the Arab-Israel problem, Dr. Nussbaum declared that “not only have the promises to use the good offices of the White House to bring about a permanent peace between Israel and her neighbors not been fulfilled, but there has occurred a sudden change in policy from ‘pro-Israel’ to what our State Department calls ‘even-handedness,’ and now to its last stages of being openly pro-Arab.”

Both speakers, Mr. Bressler and Rabbi Nussbaum, urged President Kennedy to overhaul the State Department’s present Middle East policy.

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