NEW YORK (Nov. 28)
A decision to raise $5,125,000 in the United States and Canada for the Histadrut Campaign was adopted here today at the five-day convention of the National Committee for Labor Israel.
The 3,000 delegates attending the convention participated in a prayer for the late President Kennedy chanted in Hebrew. A letter written by Mr. Kennedy to the convention shortly before he was assassinated in Dallas was read at the gathering. The letter, one of the last written by the late President, reads:
“It is the abiding wish of our people that men everywhere may realize the opportunity to work for a better life for themselves and their families, and in this spirit I am pleased to congratulate the National Committee for Labor Israel on its 40th anniversary.
“The energies and skills, the minds and hearts of the Jewish people went into the building of a new society based on timeless principles of freedom and justice. Americans, too, settled a new land and created a democratic society based upon these principles, and in bringing economic and cultural assistance to Israel, the National Committee for Labor Israel has demonstrated its dedication to our country’s history and tradition.
“We are united by the common bond of freedom and we give of our abundance to rescue the hopes of others. In the same spirit Israel has brought the skills and resources of its own working men and women to the service of emerging nations around the globe.”
DR. GOLDMANN WARNS U.S. JEWS ON DANGERS FACING ISRAEL
Dr. Nahum Goldmann, president of the World Zionist Organization, paid a glowing tribute to the memory of Mr. Kennedy, and warned that the most serious danger facing Israel today “is the possibility that the Jewish people should relax in its determination to stand by Israel.”
“The image of Israel in the minds of world Jewry has changed radically in the last few years because people look more at the facade of the country than at its real problems which determine its development,” Dr. Goldmann said. “From the point of view of the outside observer Israel seems to have become a country, safe from the point of view of its security, strong politically and rather wealthy economically. All these impressions are wrong and misleading.
“There will not be safety for Israel as long as there is no peace between her and the Arab states and she will not be integrated into the family of nations of the Near East,” the noted world Zionist leader stressed. “This goal is as far away today as it was in the last decade and nobody can foresee when it will come. Politically, the fact that the Communist bloc and especially the Soviet Union is as hostile to Israel as it was these last years, threatens Israel’s international position and especially its security in view of the massive rearmament of the Arabs by the Soviet Union.
“Economically speaking, despite its increased reserves and a dynamic economic activity which goes on, there are still large sectors of the population, especially among the new immigrants who have hardly a minimum of income for a decent standard of life. At the same time the gap in the foreign currency balance of Israel has no tendency to diminish seriously which means that Israel remains dependent, to a very large degree, on foreign aid, be it from Jewish or non-Jewish sources,” Dr. Goldmann emphasized.
DR. STEIN PRESENTS REPORT; ISRAELI LEADERS ADDRESS CONVENTION
Dr. Sol Stein, executive director of the National Committee for Labor Israel, said in his annual report to the convention that, as of last September 30, a record sum of $5,768,971 was made available for welfare projects in Israel by the National Committee and its related Pioneer Women’s Organization.
The total, he reported, was the largest sum forwarded in a decade, including $1,820,000 raised through the Israel Histadrut Campaign; $948,000 by the Pioneer Women for the Working Women’s Council of Histadrut; and a long-term loan of $3,000,000, necessitated by the emergency needs of the new immigrants entering Israel during the year.
Yehoshua Levy, treasurer of Histadrut, reported on the program of the Histadrut Assistance Fund, the agency set up in Israel to administer the money forwarded by the National Committee for Israeli welfare services. Histadrut, he said, also contributed out of its funds toward this welfare program which, he reported, benefits 70 per cent of Israel’s population, “Jews and Arabs alike.”
Another speaker at the session was Itzhak Ben-Aharon, member of the Israel Parliament and labor leader, who stressed the need to step up aid to Israel.