Zionist General Council Opens Sessions, Presented with $330 Million Budget
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Zionist General Council Opens Sessions, Presented with $330 Million Budget

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The Zionist General Council opened a series of meetings yesterday with pleas by Premier Golda Meir and Jewish Agency chairman Louis A. Pincus to world Jewry to support Israel’s development and quest for peace. A $330 million 1969-70 budget was also submitted to the Council.

Mrs. Meir said the question of peace was not a matter of territory or navigation rights but concerned Israel’s basic right to exist, on which there can be no compromise or concession. The Premier decried certain “influential Jews” abroad, un-named, who, she claimed expressed doubts of the validity of some of Israel’s political demands. She said on these matters “there must be clear and open discussion among ourselves” so that all doubts are laid to rest.

Mr. Pincus said Zionists everywhere must use every opportunity to explain Israel’s demand for peace through direct negotiations with her Arab neighbors. He said they must help Israel counter a world-wide anti-Israel propaganda campaign mounted by 20 Arab and Communist states. He said that the Zionist movement could provide the present generation of Jewish youth with an ideology they are searching for and woo them away from the New Left.

Ehud Avriel, chairman of the General Council, the supreme governing body of the Zionist movement between Zionist congresses, urged Zionists everywhere to maintain their identity with Israel in its political struggles.

Jewish Agency treasurer Leon Dultzin submitted the $330 million budget which he said was based on the Agency’s estimated cash income from the regular and emergency fund campaigns this fiscal year and from other sources. He said the budget was constructed to meet the needs of increased immigration and the expanded activities of the Zionist movement all over the world. Mr. Dultzin broke down the budget as follows: $200 million for housing, health education and social services to immigrants; $40 million for resettlement; $6 million for youth aliya; $12 million for educational and organizational activities abroad; $48 million for higher education; $4.7 million for general administration; $12 million for payment of debts and $2 million in reserve.

Mr. Dultzin said that 1,316,200 immigrants came to Israel since the State was established 21 years ago. They included 11,000 from the United States of which 4,000 arrived during the past year; 46,000 from Western Europe and 24,000 from Latin America. He said 7,000 immigrants were expected from the U.S. and Canada and 8,000 from Western Europe during the current fiscal year.


A shouting match between youth representatives and delegates of the older generation threw a General Council plenary session into chaos today. The youngsters shouted, “you are old men” and intimated that they thought it was time for the present leaders of the movement to retire. The oldsters shouted back, “you’ve done nothing for the state until now” and youths replied, “you never did anything and you are still doing nothing.”

The clash developed when student representative Dan Shnitlich took the podium to voice his group’s demand for ideological changes in the Zionist movement. Amid applause from the younger element, he declared that the students wanted an early meeting of the Zionist Congress to introduce changes and demanded the direct personal election of Congress delegates who are now selected by their respective parties.

Jewish Agency chairman Louis A. Pincus reprimanded the youngsters for bringing up the matter on the floor and by-passing the usual procedure of bringing proposals for a resolution to the prior attention of the presidium. He called the proposal out of order. The youngsters shouted that they did not want to wait for the closing session when it would be too late for action. Old timers shouted at the youngsters to “be quiet” and “behave.” One veteran Zionist, 80-year-old Abraham Harzfeld, nearly collapsed.

There are 25 representatives of student and youth organizations in the General Council out of 140 members. Mr. Pincus said he had agreed to have two of them attend a special meeting this evening to consider youth demands. Some order was restored in the hall when youth leader S. Tsur of Israel, told his contemporaries that the Jewish Agency was sincere in its approach to youth and student demands.

A festive note was introduced today when Dr. Israel Goldstein announced plans to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Keren Hayesod next year. The Keren Hayesod, of which he is chairman, is the fund-raising arm of the Zionist movement. Dr. Goldstein recalled that it was established in 1920 to provide the financial means for Jewish settlement in Palestine and to develop the country for the benefit of its Jewish and non-Jewish inhabitants. He said the aims of Keren Hayesod are basically the same today. He called the institution a rallying point of the Jewish people everywhere for the “gigantic task of financing immigration, absorption and settlement.”

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