NEW YORK (Oct. 20)
Jacques Torczyner, president of the Zionist Organization of America, voiced opposition today to the proposed reorganization of the World Zionist Organization currently under study. Addressing the opening session of the 69th annual convention of the ZOA, Mr. Torczyner said that the special commission now studying the proposal has refused to tackle the problem from the ideological point of view, and is “trying to find a solution to the ills of the Zionist movement by means of some technical reorganization.”
Mr. Torczyner also warned that the decision of the Jewish Agency executive in Jerusalem to curtail its functions or surrender them to the Government was “the beginning of the self-liquidation of what was once a proud organization and a strong movement”. He urged the Zionist organization to “find its own way on the American Jewish scene and in the world Zionist movement.”
Referring to the latest crisis on the Israel-Syrian border, Mr. Torczyner said that “Syria’s official backing of the guerrilla raids into Israel and all other acts of provocation by its government are designed to draw Israel into retaliation in force, and thereby gain for the Syrian regime the sympathies of the Arab world which it does not at present have.”
New York Gov. Nelson A. Rockefeller, who also addressed the convention, told the delegates: “Israel has vindicated the faith of millions of Americans and all freedom-loving people who supported its creation and its struggle for independence and security; through its achievements in all areas of human endeavor; its readiness to provide underdeveloped countries with the best of its skilled manpower and technicians and placing her wealth of experience and know-how in agriculture, industry and science at the service of mankind.” He also expressed concern that, “after 18 years of Israel’s existence, her security is still threatened and the reality of her existence and her permanence are not yet fully accepted.” He said peace in the Middle East is “inescapably interlinked with world peace.”
Other speakers at the convention included Israel’s Minister for Development and Tourism Moshe Kol; Rabbi Irving Miller, former president of the ZOA; and Joseph W. Greenleaf, national convention chairman.