TEL AVIV (Dec. 2)
Louis A. Pincus, chairman of the Jewish Agency, said today that immigration this year will be 12 percent higher than last year and emphasized that about 10,000 settlers are expected from North America. He said their motivation was similar to that of Soviet Jews seeking to come to Israel–dissatisfaction with their environment and way of life.
Pincus added, however, that in Russia it was a forced way of life and in North America a matter of choice. He noted that immigration has fallen off from several European countries, particularly France, and attributed the drop to what he called exaggerated reports of social hardships in Israel and the wide publicity given abroad to charges by the Black Panthers that poor Jews of Oriental origin suffered discrimination in Israel.
Addressing a press conference here, Pincus termed the World Zionist Movement’s membership campaign a “great success.” He said nearly 900,000 persons enrolled all over the world and signed the Jerusalem Program which is a condition of membership. Pincus said that elections to the next World Zionist Congress have been completed in 19 countries and remain to be held in six including the US, Britain, France and New Zealand.
He said that while the actual number of voters represented only a small percentage of the Jewish population in some places, more people participated in the Congress elections than in any election to a Jewish communal institution. The 28th World Zionist Congress is scheduled to open in Jerusalem on Jan. 18 and end Jan. 27. There will be 521 delegates and over 120 members of the Zionist Actions Committee (General Council) and observers attending. Pincus said the main subjects to be discussed at the next Congress are immigration and absorption, challenges and mission, youth and the Zionist movement, education and culture, the plight of Jews in countries of oppression and social problems in Israel.