NEW YORK (Nov. 21)
Dr. Nahum Goldmann, president of the World Zionist Organization, said today that Israel’s leaders were aware that Israel’s central problem was to reach a system of co-existence with the Arab states and that the Soviet Union, by virtue of its status as principal source of arms for the Arabs, had a crucial vote and major influence in settling the problems of the Middle East. He told a press conference here that without Soviet acquiescence, “it is hard to foresee any definite or even temporary settlement which will do away with the danger of renewal of hostilities.” He warned that in the absence of a settlement, renewed hostilities could break out.
The Zionist leader advised that a peace settlement could not be expected in the very near future because of “the complexity of the situation and multitude of interests by so many powers, religions and other groups” in that sensitive area.
Dr. Goldmann expressed the belief that as long as the Middle East crisis continued and the Communist countries maintained their anti-Israel position, no change could be expected in the situation of the Jews in the Soviet Union. He said that Jews there were denied many of the facilities enjoyed by other national and religious minorities in the USSR and were virtually prevented from developing their Jewish life and strengthening their Jewish identity. World Jewry, he said, must continue to draw attention to the discriminations against the Jews in the Soviet Union but there can be no hope for any change for the better before the solution of the Israel-Arab crisis and the resumption of relations between the Communist states and Israel.
The Zionist leader who is also president of the World Jewish Congress, disclosed that there was reason to hope that most of the Egyptian Jews imprisoned during the June war would be released and permitted to emigrate before the end of the year. He reported improvement in the situation of the Jews in Morocco and Tunisia but said the position of the Jewish minorities in Iraq and Syria remained difficult.
Discussing the forthcoming 27th World Zionist Congress to be held in Jerusalem early next year. Dr. Goldmann said the Zionist movement would have to concentrate more and more on in creasing immigration into Israel from the western world. To a large degree, he said, Israel’s future depended on this immigration.
Dr. Goldmann said the purpose of his present visit to the United States was to consult with American Jewish leaders on the creation of a deliberative, overall Jewish body to meet once or twice a year to consider major issues and agree on guidelines. He pointed out that while there were many world Jewish organizations, each occupied a limited sphere and what was called for was a broad-based body to deal with the totality of Jewish life. He estimated that the budget of the whole Jewish “establishment” was in the neighborhood of $1.5 billion a year.