JERUSALEM (Dec. 6)
Leon Dulzin, acting chairman of the Jewish Agency Executive; sharply repudiated today any statements that might give the impression that a policy of selective immigration was about to be introduced. Aliya policy is based on the Law of Return and every Jew who wants to come to Israel will be welcomed with open arms, Dulzin said in an official statement released here today.
The statement came after a week of mounting criticism of remarks by Gen. Uzi Narkis, director of the Jewish Agency’s immigration and absorption department, advising Jews of retirement age planning to settle in Israel to postpone their plans. Narkis said that Israel was primarily seeking young single people and young families with children who are willing to come “with no strings attached.” He conceded that this approach might cut down immigration but observed at a press conference here Nov. 27 that “things simply cannot be otherwise.”
The Jewish Telegraphic Agency learned that Narkis’ remarks were not approved by the World Zionist Executive and do not constitute WZO or Jewish Agency policy. The matter is expected to be raised at the next meeting of the Executive.
Narkis spoke in the context of conditions arising from the Yom Kippur War. He said that while the country would give new immigrants certain privileges to make the absorption process easier, “we cannot now afford arguments between the State and immigrants about additional space in a new apartment or getting better terms to buy a refrigerator.” He stressed that immigrants who come now should come with the idea of sharing the burdens Israelis will have to bear as a result of the war. Dulzin emphasized in his statement that Israel has always absorbed immigrants even in the most trying times.