JERUSALEM (Dec. 7)
Leon Dulzin called tonight for the establishment of a new movement of “mogshimim” (fulfillment) to enlist Jews throughout the world who will put Zionism into practice by signing a commitment to immigrate to Israel.
Dulzin, chairman of the World Zionist Organization and Jewish Agency Executives, stressed aliya as a Jewish commitment in his keynote address at the opening session of the 30th World Zionist Congress in Jerusalem’s Binyanei Ha’ooma convention center. The huge hall was packed with some 2,000 delegates, invited guests and observers while another 2,000 watched and heard the proceedings via closed circuit television in another hall.
Dulzin said his goal was to establish a new, comprehensive pioneer movement to guide Jewish youth the world over with the ultimate aim of aliya. He placed special emphasis on youth, asserting that there are presently thousands of young Jews who want to immigrate to Israel. The movement should encompass tens of thousands, he declared.
CONCENTRATION ON JEWISH ACADEMIC WORLD
The WZO chairman also said that the Zionist movement should now concentrate its efforts on the Jewish academic world. Until now, he said, it has been focussed on the Jewish business community which was essential in the early days of the Jewish State because of its vast economic needs. “Now is the time to approach another segment of the Jewish community, a segment whose influence has increased considerably,” Dulzin said.
“We refer to some million Jews, students, teachers, researchers and professors who we have to reach and make them join the Zionist and Jewish framework,” Dulzin said. The old frameworks of the Zionist movement are outdated and no longer reflect reality and the needs of the movement, he maintained.
TWO CONCENTRIC CIRCLES OF ZIONISM
Dulzin described the “new Jew” as one no longer persecuted and enjoying a variety of life options. “Zionism can and must serve as an anchor to the Jews rocked by the ocean of the many choices which they face,” he said.
He said he viewed the Zionist movement as two concentric circles, a broad outer one and an inner one. It is in the inner circle that one can find those Zionists who should sign the pledge to immigrate to Israel, he said. “We shall not force anyone to do so, but at the same time we shall not free Zionists from the personal duty of confronting the question of aliya,” he declared.
In response to Dulzin’s call, the Congress delegates rose in a demonstration of solidarity with Soviet Jewry, the refuseniks, “Prisoners of Zion” and the “hundreds of thousands awaiting aliya.” He declared: “We must not fail. Aliya from the USSR is now at a low point. We shall not rest until we succeed in bringing to Israel every Jew from Russia, Syria, Ethiopia and all other lands of oppression.”
The WZO chairman discussed “Project Renewal,” the partnership between Israel and American Jewry aimed at eliminating poverty neighborhoods in Israel. He referred to the Zionist movement’s role in helping increase the Jewish population in Galilee and developing that region. He also discussed plans for the reorganization of the Zionist movement to enable every Zionist organization to be represented, to compete in fairness and to exert influence within the framework of the larger Zionist movement.
Dulzin stressed the need for unity in Israel and the continued dialogue between Israel and diaspora Jewry. “I pray we shall be a unified nation, the People of the Book, a cultural, moral nation of which all Jews will be proud and to which they will want to come, never to leave again,” he said.
Dulzin’s speech was expected to be the basis of the “general debate” to be held during the Congress which ends on December 18. As the festive opening session got underway, with greetings delivered by President Yitzhak Navon of Israel, the inevitable behind-the-scenes struggle was being waged between the various Zionist parties over executive positions and portfolios.
The Labor Alignment is expected to boost its standing in the WZO Executive in recognition of its larger representation in the present Knesset. Labor now holds 50 Knesset seats compared to only 34 at the time of the 29th World Zionist Congress four years ago.
The Congress Supreme Court was still busy today apportioning delegate quotas for the U.S. where no elections were held for Congress delegates, and for Britain and France where the elections were challenged amid accusations of “irregularities.”