TEL AVIV (Jan. 15)
Leon Dulzin, chairman of the World Zionist Organization and Jewish Agency Executives, predicted that 200,000 – 300,000 immigrants will arrive in Israel during the next five years and called on the WZO to be prepared to receive them by establishing 80 new settlements and raising $3 billion through the various campaigns and appeals overseas.
Addressing a closed session of the WZO Executive plenary that met here for four days last week, Dulzin summed up the most important tasks of the WZO as aliya, education, settlement and the rehabilitation of the underprivileged in Israeli society through Operation Renewal. He also spoke of the “dwindling spirit of belief in ourselves. We are lacking the belief in our way. There is a crisis of belief.”
Dulzin warned that the Zionist movement must prepare itself for a new wave of attack because there are now more factors, apart from the declared enemies of Zionism in the Arab and Communist countries, that seek to undermine Zionism. Roanan Weitz, co-chairman of the WZO’s settlement department, said some settlements were threatened with extinction because of lack of proper housing. He suggested the construction of new immigrant moshavim at the rate of three per year.
The other settlement department co-chairman, Matatyahu Drobless, warned that if settlements are not established now it might not be possible to establish them at a later stage. He said 80 new settlements would be established by the time the next World Zionist Congress is held in 1982. He said existing settlements require on additional 6000 housing units at a cost of IL 15 million.