Menu JTA Search

Neumann Warns Z.O.A. of Lagging Funds; Nussbaum Sees Better ‘climate’

Dr. Emanuel Neumann, chairman of the American section of the Jewish Agency, and president of the World Confederation of General Zionists, asserted today that the response of the American Jewish community for financial assistance to meet the barest minimum required for the absorption and settlement of the increased wave of incoming refugees arriving in Israel by the scores of thousands “has been inadequate and disappointing.”

Dr. Neumann was today’s principal speaker at the concluding session of a meeting of the national executive council of the Zionist Organization of America, attended by several hundred Zionist leaders from all over the country. The ZOA’s national executive council is the organization’s ruling body between annual conventions. Jacques Torczyner, chairman of the council, presided.

At last night’s opening session, Rabbi Max Nussbaum of Hollywood president of the ZOA, called upon American Zionists to utilize in full the historic opportunity presented to them for the first time in the 15-year history of the establishment of the State of Israel, because of the change in the climate of opinion for Zionism created in Israel by the recent ZOA Convention held there, particularly the unanimous expressions of support for the movement by all top leaders of the Israel Government and people, including David Ben-Gurion.

Dr. Nussbaum asserted that the Government and people of Israel are “beginning to understand the unique position of the American Jewish community, specifically saying that no mass immigration to Israel from America is to be expected, as the American Jewish community must be viewed as differing from the transitory status of the European Jewish community.” At the same time, he said, “it was our desire to convey to the Israelis the dedication of the American Jewish community to Jewish values and, through the Zionist movement, its quest for its complete identification with the concept of Jewish peoplehood,” and the centrality of Israel in Jewish life.

SEES AGENCY ‘STAGGERING’ UNDER BURDENS; SEEKS INCREASED U.J.A. SUPPORT

Today, Dr. Neumann said that, unless greater American Jewish help is forthcoming “in much greater measure,” the massive program of the Jewish Agency in the fields of immigration, absorption, housing, settlement and youth aliyah, “will be gravely affected or break down under the crushing load.” The Jewish Agency for Israel carries out the program for the reception and settlement of newcomers to Israel.

Dr. Neumann stated that “not many of the friends of Israel–Jews and non-Jews, Zionists and non-Zionists alike–realize to what extent the Jewish Agency for Israel is staggering under the burden it is bearing in connection with the increased wave of immigration during the past two years.” He further asserted that “the assistance extended to incoming refugees arriving by the scores of thousands, and meeting the barest minimum required for their initial reception and subscription and settlement, have strained the resources of the Jewish Agency almost to the breaking point.”

“Despite the heroic efforts of the untiring leaders of the United Jewish Appeal, and the exemplary generosity of dedicated supporters, the response of the American Jewish community has, on the whole, been inadequate and disappointing,” he declared. He charged that “the offerings of large numbers of American Jews are still fantastically disproportionate to the staggering needs and equally disproportionate to their ability to shoulder their moral responsibilities. Our concern for Israel cannot be met only by verbal expressions of sentiment or fervent condemnation of assaults upon her security.”

Making a strong plea for increased support to the United Jewish Appeal, Dr. Nussbaum said that “our first immediate task on the approach of the Jewish New Year is to arouse the Jewish community anew so that we may meet our most elementary responsibility in financial aid.” He then sounded the warning: “We must be frank enough to sound the warning that unless such help is forthcoming in much greater measure, the massive programs of the Jewish Agency in the fields of immigration, absorption, housing, settlement and youth aliyah will be gravely affected or break down under the crushing load.

URGES HEARTSEARCHING IN STATE DEPT. ON ARAB INTRANSIGENCE

Dealing with the situation in the Middle East and Washington’s policy toward Israel in the right of the recent vote in the Security Council in favor of condemnation of the Syrian

“In the light of the increasingly pro-Arab and pro-Nasser policies of the State Department, we may note with satisfaction–one might say with a feeling of relief–that our Government has drawn the line at condoning the wanton murder of Israelis by Syrian troops in Israel territory, and the strong, forthright condemnation voiced at the Security Council by Ambassador Stevenson, but rebuke for murder is not enough. Our policy makers in Washington have hitherto failed to recognize any connection between all-out and unconditional American support to the Arab states and their menacing posture toward Israel, punctuated by bloody clashes on her frontiers. The latest outrages should prompt some heart-searching questions in the State Department.

“If American support continues to be extended to the Arab states and their leaders so abundantly and unconditionally, the condemnation voiced in the Security Council may prove unavailing and the danger of armed conflict will persist. Moreover, if Arab aggression on Israel’s frontiers, should continue in defiance of world opinion, no one will question Israel’s right to take effective action in protection of its security and the lives of its citizens, and we may be headed for a still graver situation in the Middle East,” he concluded.

Sarold W. Carmely, chairman of the ZOA administrative committee, told the council that, parallel with the activities of the organization in the fields of public information and other major projects, the ZOA will continue to strive to be in the forefront in fund-raising efforts for Israel by the Israel Bonds, United Jewish Appeal and the Jewish National Fund. Dr. Sidney Marks, national ZOA executive director, reported on the activities of the organization in the past three months, and the plans mapped for the ensuing year.

NEXT STORY