NEW YORK (Dec. 28)
A member of the World Zionist Organization Executive urged the Zionist movement “to mobilize the American Jewish community to fight to make it more democratic and truly responsive to its constituency.” Dr. Allen Pollack, who is also a member of the Labor Zionist Alliance executive committee, spoke of that “great challenge” to the Zionist movement in the course of an ideological symposium at the LZA’s 23rd national convention here this weekend.
“Only such a truly representative American Jewish community can meet the great offensive which the Arab world and its Soviet and Third World allies have launched upon the Jewish people.” Pollack said. He warned that Israel and Jewry are facing “the greatest challenge since the time of the holocaust.”
Jacob Katzman, executive vice-president of the LZA, asserted that “ideology is not dead. Young people are seeking ideological paths to shape their lives” he said, and “one of the primary functions of Labor Zionism is to refine the ideology that combines the interests of the individual Jew as a Jew and a human being–the national and the universal in a comprehensive program.” Dr. Judah J, Shapiro, LZA president, said that “in a world which has changed radically, American Jews must build an unknown future most likely to ensure Jewish continuity and survival.”
Dr. Ben Halpern, a professor of Jewish history at Brandeis University, told the symposium that “There is no proof that the Arabs want peace with Israel.” He charged that the Arabs “have destroyed the Geneva conference and the step-by-step approach. The proof that they want peace with Israel would be if they sit down and talk with Israel.” Halpern said. But, he said, the United Nations anti-Zionist resolutions “tore away the veil” of Arab intentions and revealed that “They really want to destroy Israel.”
The LZA convention called for a strong, democratic American Jewish community, intensive Jewish education, closer ties with Israel and active support for the Jewish state. Shapiro was reelected president, Katzman, after 43 years of service to the Labor Zionist movement, retired as executive vice-president and was elected honorary president.