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Goldmann Says Solutions to Major Jewish Problems Hinge on Big Powers’ Efforts

July 9, 1968
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Dr. Nahum Goldmann said here today that solutions to the principal problems facing the Jewish people now and for some time to come will depend in large measure on the actions and attitudes of the Big Powers, particularly Soviet Russia. Dr. Goldmann, who is president of the World Jewish Congress, spoke at a meeting of the WJ Congress Governing Council which opened here today and will continue through July 11. The opening session was also addressed by Dr. Joachim Prinz, of Newark, N.J., chairman of the Council, who welcomed the delegates from all over the world. Among them were Chief Rabbi Moses Rosen of Rumania and Dr. Max Nussbaum, chairman of the WJ Congress’ American section.

Dr. Goldmann listed the chief problems facing Jewry as the security of Israel, the relationship between Israel and Jews abroad, the return to the Jewish fold of the Jews of Soviet Russia, and the recruitment of the younger generation of Jews to Jewish life.

Concerning Israel, the world Jewish leader said that security could be achieved “if a genuinely binding agreement with the Arabs to end belligerency could be coupled with a guarantee of stability in the Middle East by the Great Powers.” He said he never considered the latter condition impossible. Under such conditions, he said, “great progress could be made toward the solution of the central problem on which Israel’s future depends — namely the peaceful coexistence of Israel with its Arab neighbors.” Dr. Goldmann believed that “this will depend to a large extent on the policy of Israel which has to be both firm and flexible and must concentrate its efforts on major problems instead of matters of procedure.” Otherwise, Dr. Goldmann warned, “if the present state of affairs continues, there is a serious danger of a new conflict in the Middle East in which, I am afraid, the Great Powers and certainly the Soviet Union would be involved even if not directly.”

Dr. Goldmann said that the solution of the problem of Soviet Jewry was linked to a solution of the Arab-Israel problem and the end of the Soviet Union’s hostile attitude toward Israel.

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