SAO PAULO, Brazil (Oct. 22)
Dr. Nahum Goldmann declared here today that, although there was no reason for Jewish communities in Latin America “to give up hope and become panicky” because of anti-Semitic manifestations in recent years, “it would be a dangerous folly not to estimate these happenings in their full significance and to take a lesson from them.”
Addressing a special four-day session of Latin-American Jewish leaders from 10 countries, the president of the World Jewish Congress said that “I certainly am not panicked by every outburst of extremist anti-Semitic groups. But on the other hand, ” he warned, “nothing is more dangerous for a people fighting for its survival than to close its eyes and refuse to see the facts as they are.”
Dr. Goldmann advanced a five-point program to establish Jewish cohesion and unity in dealing with these developments. Terming his points “prerequisites” for Jewish survival, he spelled them out as a determination to fight and “to defend every position as long as it can be defended”; action by every community in “an organized, disciplined way, recognizing leadership and authority”; the union of all Jewish communities in the world through the World Jewish Congress; moral, spiritual and cultural ties between Jews in the Diasporas and Israel; and a reversion by the Jews “to our classic position as the great non-conformists” so as to “regain our mentality as a fighting people.”
He warned against “partisan activities, separate action, lack of discipline and ‘the fight for position’ within individual communities” and urged unity of action on the local as well as the international scene.
ANALYZES COLD WAR ISSUES, PROTESTS SOVIET OPPRESSIONS AGAINST JEWS
Analyzing the issues facing the world today, Dr. Goldmann said that the Cold War, the rise of totalitarian regimes, and a general tendency toward conformity were of “ominous significance” to a minority such as the Jewish people. He protested the policies of such states as Russia “which refuse to recognize the right of minorities to maintain their special character, who deny the right of Jewish communities to be linked with other Jewish communities in one world organization, and to be attached to Israel, who want to force the Jewish minority to give up its specific, characteristic and separate existence-maybe with the exception of its special religious character-within the life of the majorities.”
Dr. Goldmann said that a major problem facing Jewry today was the danger that the isolated 3,000,000 Jews of the Soviet Union may be unable to maintain their identity and would thus be lost to the rest of Jewry. He warned also of the “internal danger of disintegration and assimilation,” due in some measure to the fact that Jews had “for a number of years enjoyed political equality, economic prosperity and cultural integration in the life of other peoples.”
Dr. Moises Goldman of Buenos Aires, chairman of the South American executive committee of the World Jewish Congress, presided over the meeting, which was attended by Brazilian Government and municipal representatives, as well as by Israel’s Ambassador to Brazil, Arieh Eshel.