Eshkol Advocates Use of Zionist Movement As Link to World Jewry

A greater emphasis on cultural and educational relations between Israel and the Jewish people throughout the world, through the instrumentalities of the organized Zionist movement, was urged by Prime Minister Levi Eshkol in an address before the Central Committee of the Mapai party. He spoke of the great stake Israel has in the future of diaspora Jewry.

“In the sixteen years of the existence of the State of Israel,” he said, “we have had to occupy ourselves primarily with the problems of the immigration and absorption of hundreds of thousands of the masses of persecuted Jews from the countries of distress, a poor downtrodden Jewry needing a home. In our preoccupation with this important effort, we seem to have forgotten the Jews in the free countries of the world. We must turn to them as the only source of power for Israel that is great both spiritually as well as materially.

“There is only one address to which we can turn,” Mr. Eshkol stressed. “We must turn to the World Zionist movement, the vital link for Israel and Zionism. Within this framework, we have the opportunity of developing new efforts and activities. This work of furtherance of cultural and fraternal interest in the countries of the Diaspora should be the central interest of our Nation.

“If we sit idly by today, the day will come when we will ask ourselves the question: Why didn’t we do something when we could have? Why didn’t we worry about tomorrow? We must give the Jewry of the diaspora a chance to fulfill its great opportunity, we must give it the emotional and intellectual stimulus to achieve its destiny.”

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