AMSTERDAM (May. 22)
Delegates from 26 countries to the world conference of the Confederation of General Zionists headed here by Mrs. Rose Halprin and Dr. Israel Goldstein approved unanimously last night a resolution for merger with the competing world General Zionist group headed by Dr. Emanuel Neumann provided the latter accepts “completely” the principle and philosophy of non-identification with any Israeli political party.
The resolution insisted that as a prerequisite for merger between the two confederations “there must be an official declaration” on behalf of the Neumann group “categorically accepting the philosophy and principle of non-identification.” The resolution urged that such a declaration should be made in a manner recognizable as official policy.
Another portion of the resolution said that while the conference “views with favor” merger on the local and regional levels of existing organizations of General Zionists, such decisions on merger should remain “within the autonomy of the local and regional organizations.”
Another condition in the resolution was that “no Israeli party, including the Liberal party, is to be eligible for membership” in the merged confederation. The Liberal party was the result of a merger of the General Zionists and Progressive party.
The resolution declared that it was “essential and desirable” that a new General Zionist organization be established in Israel to be based on the philosophy and principle of the merged confederation federation. “This Zionist body, when properly established, will be eligible for membership as the Israeli branch of the merged confederation,” the resolution said. It stipulated that such a new Israeli General Zionist movement would not be accorded representation in the World Zionist Congress on the basis of elections to the Knesset, Israel’s Parliament.
GOLDMANN FAVORS DISAPPEARANCE OF POLITICAL PARTIES IN ZIONISM
The resolution was adopted at the closing session of the conference after the delegates heard an analysis by Dr. Nahum Goldmann, president of the World Zionist Organization. He expressed the opinion that for more effective activity by the Zionist movement, he favored the disappearance of political parties in the movement. He said that for this reason he endorsed the possibility of an extension of the principle of non-identification as the basis for a merger between the two General Zionist confederations.
“If Israel believes it is not necessary to have a strong Zionist movement, this is a disrupting influence,” he said. “Jews today get the impression from the Israelis that they can manage for themselves without Zionism.”
He said the “present structure” was “unfortunate. It is old and does not suit present-day conditions. The party system was properly founded when Israel was being built, when the Zionist Executive was the government of Israel and it included members of all the parties.” Now, he said, the Zionists Congresses have no influence on the decisions of the Knesset and the Zionist parties outside Israel “have no say over the Government of Israel.”
He said he would propose at the next World Zionist Congress that the Zionist organization should not be built on party lines. The structure of the movement, he continued, should be based on the different conditions of each country and the Zionist groups should come to agreement among themselves.
At the present time, he told the conference, “there is no unity in the Zionist movement, Energies and forces are wasted. The movement suffers from a lack of leaders. Six million Jews have been murdered. There are no longer any intellectuals. The first thing is for all organizations to find the right people. I will try to make this an issue at the next Congress.”
Participants in the debate included Sir Barnett Janner, president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews. American participants included Dr. Miriam Freund, Eleazar Lipsky and Charlotte Jacobson.