Dr. Goldmann Appeals for “open Door” in the Zionist Movement
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Dr. Goldmann Appeals for “open Door” in the Zionist Movement

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An appeal to world Zionist leadership to open the doors of the Zionist movement to all who want to help Israel but do not belong, or do not wish to belong, to any particular Zionist group, was voiced here by Dr. Nahum Goldmann, chairman of the Jewish Agency, in addressing the Zionist Actions Committee-supreme Zionist body between world congresses-now in session here.

Recalling the political crisis faced by Israel recently, Dr. Goldmann said that the crisis is not yet over and emphasized the need for Israel to mobilize the entire Jewry for its support. He stressed the fact that Israel needs not only economic, financial and moral support of world Jewry, but also political aid.

“Let the Zionist parties show more understanding, ” Dr. Goldmann said, “Let them be more flexible. Let them not fear competition of those not belonging to them.” He cited the American Zionist Assembly, which took place in New York recently, as an indication that the time is now ripe for a reorganization of the Zionist movement and that American Zionism is beginning to seek a remedy for the lack of Jewish and Zionist education in the United States.

On the other hand, Dr. Goldmann said, the Israel Government must exercise more cooperation with world Jewry, especially in matters affecting not only Israel. He pointed out that a situation has now been created whereby anything Israel does affects every Jew in the world. If Israel erre sometimes, all Jews are blamed, he stated. He also called for closer cooperation between the Israel Government and the Jewish Agency.


Dr. Goldmann strongly appealed for increased immigration into Israel. There is no reason, he said, to fear the re-emigration from Israel. “It is the natural right of every human being to look for a better place for himself, ” he declared. However, re-emigration must be compensated by increased Aliyah, he insisted. He also refuted the argument that Chalutsiut symbolizes a lack of patriotism.

Dr. Goldmann praised David Ben Gurion, the retired Premier of Israel, as the man “with whom we did not always agree, but who inspired and infinenced us by his sheer presence, even if he did not participate in our debates.” The chairman of the Jewish Agency has been invited by Mr. Ben Gurion to visit him at his residence in the Sdeh Boker settlement, in the Negev.

A review on the achievements of Israel and the Jewish Agency during the year was presented to the session of the Actions Committee by Berl Locker, chairman of the Jewish Agency executive in Jerusalem. He emphasized that regardless of the achievements, many outstanding problems still remain to be solved.


Mr. Locker decried the fact that during the last five years 40,000 to 50,000 Jews re-emigrated from Israel. He called for measures to prevent emigration from the Jewish State by creating special facilities for those have not found their place in the state. Mr. Locker also urged that maximum efforts should be made to provide Jewish education for Jewish youth in countries outside of Israel. He pointed out that most of the Jewish youth in these countries do not receive any Jewish education whatsoever.

Dr. G. Josephstal, Jewish Agency treasurer, reporting on the Agency’s budget, amounting to 17 million Israeli pounds, revealed that 60 percent of the entire budget has been allocated for agricultural activities. He emphasized that the approach of last year’s budget to the needs of the work conducted by the Agency proved to be “realistic.”

Dr. Josephstal pointed out the three main characteristics of the submitted budget as being: productivization of immigrants, education of immigrants, and social rehabilitation of immigrants. The problem of productivization, he said, is being solved by the establishment of agricultural settlements and vocational training centers. During the year, 43 new settlements were added to the 376 already in the care of the Jewish Agency, he reported.

Referring to other forms of absorption of immigrants, the Jewish Agency treasurer emphasized that no immigrants are living in tents any more, except 400 families who refuse to leave their tents unless permanent house will be built at the same spot where their tents are situated. Dwelling on the social aspect of the housing problem, he indicated the fear of Oriental immigrants that housing costs would prove too high for them.

Dr. Josephstal also reported that in order to encourage studies among Oriental Jews, the Jewish Agency decided to establish 1,000 scholarships for schoolchildren with a view to enable them to receive secondary education.


David Ben Gurion, the retired Premier of Israel, in a letter to the Actions Committee from his desert retreat at Sdeh Boker, requested the present session to clarify “the most vital problem” of the Zionist organizations abroad. This problem, he said, is: Is it possible to have a Zionist Organization, after the establishment of the State of Israel, without personal obligation toward Israel-what is the ideological content and special mission of Zionism without immigration, and what is the personal obligation imposed by the Zionist Organization upon each individual member?

Expressing regret that he is not participating in the session, Mr. Ben Gurion said in his letter that he personally has no doubt that there is a necessity for the existence of the Zionist Organization after the creation of the State of Israel. Its task, he believes, is to educate and urge its members to fulfill their personal obligation towards Israel. Otherwise, he pointed out, the Zionist Organization and ?s institutions are in the danger of being converted into a body for transferring money only, which the Jews all over the world contribute for Israel.

It is doubtful says Ben Gurion in his letter, whether such an organization would be long-lived and whether it would be of any use to the Jews in the Diaspora or to Israel. It is necessary to clarify–concludes the letter–and to formulate the binding contents and the program of the Zionist movement. This content must find its expression in personal obligations imposed on every member, otherwise Zionism will be converted to an empty name, quite in contrast to its honorable past, Mr. Ben Gurion emphasized.

Acting Premier Moshe Sharett, in greetings to the session on behalf of the Israel Government, said that Jerusalem is the proper place to hold the meeting of the Actions Committee since the city has become the actual center of world Jewry. At the time before did Israel need increased immigration and material and moral aid as urgently as now, he declared. He concluded by calling for “the education of the Jewish masses to Zionist consciousness. “

Knesset Speaker Joseph Sprinzak, who opened the session, called on the Jews outside of Israel to rally at the side of the Jewish State in order to overcome the present difficult times. He said there are increasing signs of a revival of the Zionist movement all over the world.

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