TORONTO (Nov. 4)
Lester B. Pearson, the head of Canada’s Liberal party and leader of the opposition in the House of Commons, expressed the hope here today that the settlement of the Cuban crisis between the United States and the Soviet Union could lead to a resolution of Middle East difficulties. Addressing the 36th national convention of the Zionist Organization of Canada, he declared:
“Surely the time has come when among the settlements that I hope will emerge from the resolution of the present Cuban crisis will be an understanding that neither the Soviets nor the West have anything to gain by underwriting an arms race in the Israeli-Arab setting; a race that can only explode into regional hostilities, which could so easily deteriorate into something worse. “
Mr. Pearson also said that four major problems are facing Israel today. These are, he said: “1. The relations of Israel to the Arab world about it; 2. Israel and the great powers; 3. The economic future of the State; 4. Israel and the emerging world of Africa. “
Also present today as a guest of the diamond jubilee convention was Michael S. Comay, Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations and former envoy to Canada. He declared, at a dinner session honoring the outgoing ZOC president, Lawrence Freiman, that “the Cuban crisis and the invasion of India, have brought to every country, large and small, a sharper awareness of its security chances, and a firmer alignment with its friends. “
Mr. Comay added that: “There is today more understanding of the Israelis’ need to be able to protect themselves effectively, for there are more Soviet weapons in Egypt than ever reached Cuba, plus rockets being built by German scientists. ” He stated that Israel’s “sense of confidence is fortified by its special ties with the Jews in Canada, and understanding in the free world. “
FREIMAN STRESSES ZIONISM AS ‘CONSCIENCE OF JEWISH PEOPLE’
The sessions also featured presentations to Michael Garber, immediate past president of the ZOC and president of the Canadian Jewish Congress, and Senator David A. Croll, honorary vice-president of the ZOC, as well as an address by Dean Ivan C. Rand, of the Canadian Supreme Court. In his presidential report, Mr. Freiman said:
“These past years have been difficult ones in the history of the Zionist movement. The difficulty I speak of is one which has to do with the understanding of our purpose with clarity, to enable a vigor for the accomplishment of our task.
“These difficulties have to do during, these past years, with problems that have even raised the question of the validity of the World Zionist Organization. It has made for doubt and confusion in the minds of many. This is brought about by the participation of Zionists in Jewish community life, other than Zionist activities exclusively, and the participation by many not identified with the Zionist purpose in, at least, the United Israel Appeal.
“I believe that Zionism is the conscience of the Jewish people, and without this conscience we would become a fund-raising group devoid of inspiration, knowledge, understanding and sympathy for our vital cause. This the Zionist Organization is dedicated to continue.”