JERUSALEM (Jul. 20)
Prime Minister Levi Eshkol warned tonight that Israel faced a “prolonged, difficult and arduous” struggle in the days ahead and called on the Jewish people throughout the world — “our great ally” — to play its part.
Addressing the opening session of the 70th jubilee convention of the Zionist Organization of America, the Israeli leader called on Jews around the world to come to Israel and help build up the land.
“Today, we need more than money,” he exclaimed. “We need people. Israel, old and new, calls to the Jews to come. The war and victory have opened up a new chapter in the history of our people. We shall have to do great deeds, new deeds.” He concluded with the exhortation, “Let the nation build its future in its own land.”
Mr. Eshkol told the convention that one of the greatest problems facing Israel was the Arab refugee problem. “We have to help in solving this problem,” he declared. “We want permanent peace with our neighbors so that we may help to solve this human problem, contributing some of our knowledge and capabilities.”
More than 2, 000 delegates and guests, led by President Zalman Shazar were present in the Jerusalem Convention Center when the convention opened. They heard Mr. Eshkol speak in warm praise of President Johnson and in gratitude to him and the United States for their support of Israel during the recent crisis.
LAUDS JOHNSON AND AMERICAN STANCE IN SUPPORT OF ISRAEL
“It is my duty and my pleasure to pay tribute to the valiant and moral stand of the American people, headed and led by President Lyndon Johnson,” Mr. Eshkol declared. “Despite the world responsibilities — the United States Government understood that it must act according to the tenets of international morality. Hence it did all in its power to prevent aggression and advance peace in the Middle East.
“These efforts,” he added, “were the manifestation of the finest traditions of American democracy, of the true, courageous will of all sections of the American people. The President of the United States and its people, therefore, deserve the tributes of all lovers of justice, liberty and peace the world over.”
Speaking of the “great days” through which Israel had just passed, Mr. Eshkol cited “the impressive power of the independent Jewish state when it came forward in defense of its life and future.” The Army was many times greater than its strength, he said, “because the Israel defense forces are the entire nation. Every citizen is a soldier who knows why he fights and what he fights for.”
Mr. Eshkol paid tribute to the “unique and wonderful unity of the Jewish people, and its complete identification with embattled Israel.” He said that “it discovered again, without any doubt, that Israel is the core of Jewish existence and there is no substitute for it.”
ARABS AND ALLIES TRYING TO RESTORE FORMER DANGEROUS SITUATION
The Israeli Prime Minister warned that after their military failure, the Arab states and their allies were now trying to exploit all possible political means to restore to the Middle East the dangerous situation which prevailed prior to June 5.
“Our efforts to foil this will be prolonged, difficult and arduous,” he declared. “In this struggle in which we shall face political pressure and military threats, the Jewish people throughout the world has a vitally important role to play. It is our great ally, our partner who will have to bear a great part of the struggle for public opinion and I am confident that it will play its part in honor.”
Voicing support of the recent manifesto issued by the World Zionist Organization and the Israel Government, Dr. Emanuel Neumann, honorary president of the ZOA and a member of the Jewish Agency executive, called on every Jewish family in the western world to send at least one son or daughter to Israel to help build the Jewish state.
Stressing that it was to America’s own interest to stand by Israel, Dr. Neumann pledged the “unflagging efforts” of American Jewry in mobilizing public opinion in favor of Israel. “As Israel, by her own strength, has assured that there shall be no second Auschwitz, so must we do what lies in our power to assure that there shall be no second Munich,” he declared.
Jacques Torczyner, president of the ZOA, called on the U. S. Government to discuss the fate of Soviet Jewry with Russian leaders in “the spirit of Holly Bush.” Referring to recent pressures on Russian Jews in connection with the Middle East war, Mr. Torczyner said “I tremble when I think what could happen to them if attacks of Soviet leaders against Jews and Zionism continue.” He urged full economic support of Israel and an all-out effort to organize the current tremendous rise in Jewish feelings among campus youth.