Pincus Upholds Centrality of Israel in Jewish Existence Challenges Views of Dr. Prinz

Two diametrically opposed views of Israel in the scheme of Jewish existence were expressed at the meeting of the World Executive of the World Jewish Congress here last week. Louis Pincus, chairman of the World Zionist Executive sharply challenged the contention of Dr. Joachim Prinz, of Newark, N.J., chairman of the WJC Governing Council, that the concept of the centrality of Israel in all Jewish affairs was “sheer nonsense.” (See JTA Daily News Bulletin of July 5.)

Pincus claimed that it was Israel and only Israel that can play the major role in Jewish life today. He noted that it was Israel which absorbed one-and-a-half million Jews and that it is Israel that takes the issue of Jewish distress in Russia or the Arab countries before the world. Pincus claimed that even non-Jews regard Israel as the spokesman for Jews everywhere.

Moreover, he said, it is Israel that can help encourage and sustain the spiritual and cultural development of Jewish life. He observed that Hebrew can develop only in Israel and that it is from Israel that Jewish educational aids are sent to Jewish communities all over the world.

Pincus did not deny that the diaspora can contribute to Jewish survival. But it cannot do so alone, he said. It must have the backing of Israel. He said it was only Israel that can guarantee the physical and political existence of the Jewish nation at large.

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