NEW YORK (Oct. 23)
The Zionist Organization of America called on the United States Government today to “continue its firm stand in the United Nations opposing Syrian aggression against Israel” and urged the U.S. Government “to press for direct Arab-Israel negotiations to translate the armistice agreements into treaties of peace.” In resolutions adopted at the concluding session of the organization’s 69th annual convention here, the 1,000 delegates also commended President Johnson and the Administration for their decision to sell arms to Israel and correcting the arms imbalance in the Middle East.
Addressing the convention, Dr. Emanuel Neumann, honorary president of the ZOA, and a member of the executive of the Jewish Agency-American section, described the current Syria-Israel crisis as “extremely dangerous.” No one expects that Israel can or will allow acts of sabotage and murder of her citizens by infiltrators from Syria or any other country, to continue without taking effective military action,” he declared. He asserted that Syria “is today the only Arab country offering aid and comfort and cooperation to the Palestine Liberation Army, which is openly designed to provoke an all-out Arab Israel war. This would definitely fit into the pattern of ‘guerrilla wars of liberation,’ which are part of the revolutionary program of international Communism.”
Another address, calling for direct Arab-Israeli peace negotiations, was delivered by U.S. Sen. William D. Proxmire, Wisconsin Democrat. Harrison Symmes, State Department director of Israel-Arab affairs, told the convention that the U.S.A. rejects allegations purporting that Washington intends to become a major supplier of arms to the Middle East. On the contrary, he declared, the United States would be first to welcome cessation of the arms race in the Middle East region.
PLANS ANNOUNCED FOR FIGHTING ‘CULTURAL DISINTEGRATION’ AMONG JEWS
Jacques Torczyner, who was unanimously reelected president of the organization, announced that the ZOA would launch what he described as a “broad and dynamic” program, in cooperation with major rabbinical and lay Jewish bodies, in an effort to combat the “rapidly-rising tide of cultural disintegration in this country.” In another resolution, the delegates called upon the Soviet Union “to restore its Jewish citizens to a position of equality with all other nationalities in the practice of their religion and culture as well as permitting the reuniting of Soviet Jews with their relatives in Israel and elsewhere.”
Plans were also announced at the convention for the establishment of an academic high school at the Kfar Silver Agricultural Training Institute; in Ashkelon, Israel, which is maintained by the ZOA. The school will be named in honor of Mollie Goodman, late wife of Abraham Goodman, national chairman of ZOA activities in Israel, who contributed $150,000 of the $250,000 needed to set up the new facility.
Leon Ilutovich, executive director of the ZOA, called for a “radical reappraisal” of the financing of the organization’s activities, which, he said, “will involve ZOA’s relations with Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds throughout the country.” Noting that the organization had received only $35,000 during the past year from Jewish federations and welfare funds in this country, Mr. Ilutovich said that “the time has come for the Zionist Organization of America to get its share of the American Jewish community dollar.” He said the reappraisal was due “in view of the changes contemplated by the Jewish Agency with regard to constructive funds of various organizations.”