TEL AVIV (Jul. 16)
An eight-point program for the American Zionist movement was proposed here today by Dr. Emanuel Neumann, ZOA leader and member of the Jewish Agency executive, addressing the 1,000 delegates and guests attending the 66th annual convention of the Zionist Organization of America.
Dr. Neumann said that leaders of the Zionist movement in the United States were also great American patriots. He said he saw “not the slightest contradiction” between their Zionism and their Americanism.
Dwelling on what he called the “unique nature of Jewish identity stemming from our past history and Jewish statehood as a spiritual fact,” he stated: “We look on Israel as the destined center and focus of our life, as a sacred altar on which the ancient flame kindled by prophetic souls may glow again as a beacon for us and for all mankind.”
He set forth his program as calling for the education of fellow Zionists and all friends of Israel to a fuller and clearer realization “of the nature of our Jewish identity, of the meaning of Jewish nationhood and its implications in thought and action.”
Second, he urged the continuation and expansion of all practical programs of aid to Israel. “It will not be enough for us to regard ourselves as teachers and preachers of Zionism, leaving the hard task of fund-raising to others,” he said. “There can be no place in our ranks for shirkers.”
Third, he proposed renewal and intensification of efforts to inform the American people of the critical problems Israel faced in economic development, international relations and, above all, its urgent security problems.
His other points included fostering and spreading knowledge of Hebrew, development of Zionist youth movements to reach “ever larger circles,” encouragement of aliyah, “moulding and shaping” the character of the American Jewish community, and keeping open and developing lines of communication between Israel and Jews outside of Israel.
ALIENATION OF ISRAELI YOUTH FROM WORLD JEWRY IS SCORED
Jacques Torczyner, chairman of the ZOA national advisory board, asserted that “the continuous weakening influence” of the World Zionist Organization during the past 15 years had resulted in the erection of “an invisible wall” between Jewish youth in Israel and those outside of Israel.
He pointed out that while Jewish youth outside of Israel had not been afforded the inspiration of spiritual aspects in terms of cultural ties with Israel, it was Israeli youth which had been alienated from the idea that they were also part of the Jewish people.
This had happened, he said, because Jewish youth in Israel were under the constant burden of the struggle for economic independence and security, and had no time to look toward the outside Jewish world. At the same time, Jewish youth in the United States were enjoying unprecedented economic prosperity and were taking Israel for granted while becoming more integrated into an assimilationist environment.
Asserting that there was a strong tendency toward assimilation among Jewish youth in the United States, he called for an intensified education and cultural program and direct intimate cooperation between Israeli youth leadership and Jewish youth outside of Israel to assist the Zionist movement to develop leadership for the future.
Abba Eban, Deputy Prime Minister, addressing the convention tonight at an open air session, under floodlights, at Kfar Silver, said that American Zionism must adapt itself to a new system of priorities centered on education and immigration. These activities, however, he cautioned, must engage the ZOA “in addition to, not instead of, public activity in support of Israel’s rights.”
“While Israel is sovereign in the responsibility of framing and executing its own politics,” he said, “and can in no way share this responsibility, it is still the task of American Zionism to get more friends for Israel. Many governments tend to accept public opinion in forming their attitudes, therefore, the rallying of friendship for and support of Israel is essential for Israel,” he stressed.