Exemption from U.S. Travel Restrictions Urged for Tourists to Israel

Proposed restrictions by the United States on travel abroad to stem the outflow of dollars was challenged here today by Israel’s Minister of Tourism who argued that tourists coming to Israel should be exempted because their trips were in essence, religious pilgrimages. Moshe Kol, addressing the world conference of Jewish journalists here, said that the exemption should apply to Christian as well as Jewish visitors to Israel. He said he hoped the American authorities would not place restrictions on people traveling for religious purposes.

The 75 Jewish newsmen from 13 countries heard appeals for increased aliyah (immigration) from Labor Minister Yigal Alon, Leon Dulczin, of the Jewish Agency’s immigration department and Moshe Rivlin, director general of the Agency. They were addressed last night by Israel’s Chief of Staff, Maj. Gen. Chaim Bar Lev, who said that despite the heavy influx of Russian arms to the Arab countries. Israel still enjoys military superiority and has a much shorter frontier to defend.

On the question of increased immigration, the stress was put on the need for settlers from Western countries. The speakers said that at least one person from every Jewish family should settle here in order to insure Israel’s security and to preserve Jewish continuity elsewhere. They proposed aliyah in stages, beginning with a short visit, then a year’s stay in the country and finally permanent settlement.

Aryeh Pincus, chairman of the Jewish Agency executive, told the Journalists that the World Zionist Organization may propose that the mobilization of world Jewish opinion be included in its tasks. He said the Zionist organization had proved it was able to rouse public opinion for Israel with the help of Zionist youth and other bodies.

He also accused the Israel press of exaggerating the negative aspect of Jewish life outside of Israel. On the other hand, he asserted, the Jewish press in other countries does not present the “true dynamics” of social trends in Israel which might pave the way to the brains and hearts of Jewish youth. He said the second task of the Jewish press was to permeate its content with demonstrations of Israel’s need for aliyah, a question of life or death for Israel. He said that without such immigration, relations between Israel and other Jewries might be poisoned for a generation.

NEXT STORY