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Mizrachi Leader Holds That Zionism Without Religion is ‘feeble, Inane’

Rabbi Mordecai Kirshblum, president of Mizrachi-Hapoel Hamizrachi, the Religious Zionists of America, called on Orthodox synagogues and rabbis today “to become active affiliates” of the religious Zionist movement.

Delivering his presidential address to 600 delegates at the organization’s 53rd annual convention here, he said that “the very survival” of Zionism in the United States was linked with a revitalized religious Zionist movement. Without the “deep religious values” of traditional Judaism, he asserted, “Zionism is a feeble, inane and drifting phenomenon.” He added that philanthropy and Hebrew would not cement “a more permanent link” between American and Israeli Jews, and called for ties based on Jewish spiritual values and religious precepts.

The Zionist leader also urged that the Soviet Union should heed the suggestion of the Australian delegate to the United Nations voiced in the UN General Assembly last week, that the USSR should either restore full spiritual, cultural and legal rights to the 3,000,000 Russian Jews or allow them to emigrate to Israel or any other free country as they wished.

He also lauded the recent decision of the United States to allow Israel to purchase Hawk anti aircraft missiles, but added that the U.S. State Department had “solemn responsibility” to stem the “onrush of Communism” in the Middle East by inducing the Arab leaders to negotiate a final and lasting peace settlement with Israel.

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