ZOA President Criticizes Israelis Who Have Negative Attitude Toward Aliya
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ZOA President Criticizes Israelis Who Have Negative Attitude Toward Aliya

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Herman L. Weisman, president of the Zionist Organization of America, said tonight that his organization was committed to encouraging and promoting aliya as “the most direct, fulfilling and permanent answer to the restless quest by American Jewish youth for identity as individuals and for identification with their people.”

Addressing the opening session of the ZOA’s 75th jubilee convention here, Weisman criticized those Israelis, particularly young people, who “have expressed opposition to Israel’s policy of unrestricted aliya.” While he mentioned no individual or group in this criticism, it was understood that he was referring to the mounting disgruntlement among some Israelis against preferential treatment accorded to new immigrants.

Focussing on this topic, the ZOA leader declared that Israel’s policy of unrestricted immigration is a basic Zionist principle and that those who reject it need to be educated in Zionist principles, the logic of Jewish history and the continued existence of the Jewish people and of the State of Israel itself.

Alluding to the recent rift between the American Zionist Federation and the ZOA over the elections to the last World Zionist Congress and the official support given to the AZF by the World Zionist Executive, Weisman said that the attitude and conduct of Zionist leaders in Israel toward American Zionism must change to reflect the pluralistic character of Zionist organizational activities in the US.


Jacques Torczyner, ZOA convention chairman, told the audience that the only hope for the survival of the free world, including Israel, is a strong and powerful US, He warned of a growing tendency among segments of American youth to accept a “new isolationism” and to demand a “retreat” by the US as a leading world power.

In a telegram to the convention, President Nixon stated that he “made clear” to Soviet leaders during the May summit meeting “the commitment of the American people” to the survival of Israel and to a Middle East settlement “that would be just for all countries in the area.”

While expressing satisfaction over the current cease-fire, now approaching its second anniversary, Nixon’s message stated that “The goal of peace is still ahead, and we must affirm our dedication to achieve it.” Nixon added, “Be assured that our dedication to these goals is abiding and that our efforts to achieve them will remain undiminished.”

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