ZOA Convention Urges U.S. to Restore Middle East Arms Balance

Israel’s army is, “man for man, as good as the best armies and soldiers in the world, and can manage against any volunteers who may come to the region,” Brigadier Ezer Weizmannn, head of the general staff headquarters of the Israeli defense forces, declared here today.

Brig. Weizmann made that statement in an address to the 1,000 delegates to the 70th jubilee convention of the Zionist Organization of America, in session here. He said that Israel’s strategic position “was never as good as it is today, and no Arab army in the foreseeable future could manage to expel Israel from its present positions. The only major drawback in our present situation is the lack of large-scale Jewish immigration from the Western world — a situation which must find an early remedy.”

In one of a number of resolutions adopted by the convention today, the ZOA urged the United States Government to restore the arms balances in the Middle East region which, the measure stated. “is rapidly deteriorating in favor of the Arabs through the inflow of large quantities of Russian arms.”

The American Zionists also pledged themselves to continue to demand that direct negotiations be held between Israel and the Arab states “as the only means toward a lasting peace.” Other resolutions expressed anxiety over the fate of Russian Jewry, demanding that the Soviet Government grant Soviet Jews the same rights given to all other minorities in the USSR; called for “all out efforts” for increased Jewish immigration to Israel and for greater investments in Israel; urged that professionals come to Israel in increasing numbers; and pledged “every possible effort toward deepening Hebrew knowledge and study as well as the mutual Jewish historic heritage.”

In connection with immigration, the ZOA expressed the hope that the Israel Government would make all facilities available to American immigrants and investors. Jacques Torczyner was reelected president of the ZOA for another term. Tonight, the convention adjourned to Tel Aviv where, at a banquet, President Zalman Shazar was given the ZOA Theodor Herzl Award.

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