Tsur Says New Left Losing Hold on Jewish Youth, Zionism Lacks Impact

Jacob Tsur, chairman of the Jewish National Fund, reported on his return from a European tour today “a marked decline in the influence of the New Left and their anti-Israel and anti-Zionist agitation” with Jewish youth on the continent. “The New Left seems to be losing its hold on Jewish youth,” Tsur told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. At the same time, he said, “Zionist organizations and groups in various European cities and towns do not have the impact upon Jewish life which one would have expected to find.” He said that “here and there they are ineffectual and one hopes that the elections to the Zionist Congress will act as a stimulus for the Zionist movement in Europe.”

Tsur added, however, “There are, honestly, no signs to underpin such hopes. The efforts to revive and strengthen the Zionist movement in the diaspora will have to continue after the Congress and for some time to come if we are to judge from the present position in some European countries.” He told the JTA, “One is filled with admiration in the face of the efforts by small Jewish communities and groups, who live in the wake of the holocaust in Europe, to preserve their Jewish identity. Finland is a good example, but one of many. You have in Helsinki, where there are less than 1000 Jews, an efficient Jewish school which provides Jewish education for 80 children, including some of mixed marriages.”

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