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Goldmann Accuses Israeli Press of Seeking to Destroy Zionist Organization Image

February 21, 1968
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The Israeli press was accused by Dr. Nahum Goldmann here last night of “doing its utmost to destroy the image of the World Zionist Organization.” Dr. Goldmann, who is president of the WZO, addressed an assemblage of Jewish journalists from Israel and 13 foreign countries at a dinner marking the close of the World Conference of Jewish Journalists.

In making his charge against the Israeli press, the Zionist leader referred specifically to demands that the Zionist Organization relinquish to the Israel Government the tasks of immigration and immigrant absorption. These functions are now handled by the Jewish Agency, executive arm of the WZO which. Dr. Goldmann pointed out, is a voluntary organization in contrast to the Israel Government which is a sovereign political body. Dr. Goldmann also assailed other critics of the Jewish Agency and the WZO.

Both of those organizations largely represent diaspora Jewry, and, Dr. Goldmann noted, it was in the area of future relations between Israel and Jews abroad that he felt the greatest anxiety. “One cannot come to diaspora Jewry and say only, ‘give,’ ” Dr. Goldmann said. “Diaspora Jewry must have a say and not just listen.”

Dr. Goldmann warned that while “signing a peace treaty with the Arabs is very important, a formal peace does not guarantee a true peace unless there is also psychological peace between the two sides.” He stressed the need to find the means of coexistence between the Arabs and Israel and suggested that the Six-Day War might have contributed to that end by demonstrating to the Arab intelligentsia that Israel cannot be overpowered by military force.

Dr. Goldmann said he did not anticipate mass immigration to Israel from the United States and other Western countries “under present conditions.” He said he hoped that sooner there will be mass immigration from Russia.

Israel and nine other countries will be represented on the executive of the World Union of Jewish Journalists, a new organization established by the journalists’ conference here. The foreign countries are the United States, England, France, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, South Africa, Australia and Canada. The U.S. members will be the American Jewish Press Association and the Peretz Verain representing Yiddish journalists.

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