LONDON (Mar. 28)
Former Israeli Premier David Ben-Gurion told a nationwide television audience in Britain last night that “the Messianic longings and the pioneering spirit” were still very much alive among Jews, and that this would continue to bring them to Israel.
In the interview on the BBC Television “Current Affairs” program, the former Premier answered a series of questions in which he also said that the impression that the “pioneering spirit” was waning in Israel was misleading. He explained that there were “a lot more people” now in Israel and, therefore, the pioneers “are less visible.” He also said many Jewish scientists were coming to Israel because of the attraction of Israel to Jews, and because Israel was “a guiding light” for all developing countries.
“We want more Jews to come, of course,” he added. “Not enough are coming from America. We cannot gather in all Diaspora Jews, but we do hope for many more in the near future. There will never be enough Jewish immigrants into Israel until all the Jews are there.” He was asked about a comment he made several years ago that it was incumbent on Jews as a religious commandment to settle in Israel. He explained that he was referring only to Orthodox Jews and that this was, in fact, what the Talmud said on the matter.
Mr. Ben-Gurion declined to comment on political developments in Israel, explaining that “we are still in the middle of our work.”