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Zionist Action and Development: Mrs, Jacobson Says British Jews Have New Sense of Awareness Toward I

May 30, 1975
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A new sense of awareness toward Israel, Zionism and Jewish life is a growing trend among British Jewry in the big cities of England as well as in the provinces, according to Mrs. Charlotte Jacobson, chairman of the American Section of the World Zionist Organization, who has just returned from a nine-day working tour in Britain.

“In meetings I had in Newcastle, Glasgow, Manchester and Leeds, where the Jewish communities are relatively small, I found highly qualified Jewish leadership and a Jewish community which is very Zionist-minded and willing to do things which concern Jewish life,” Mrs. Jacobson told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency in an interview here today. But, she pointed out, the Jewish leaders in the provinces of England are frustrated because “they are not involved sufficiently in decision-making of the Zionist organizations and Jewish boards.”

Another growing trend among British Jewry, especially with the youth, according to Mrs. Jacobson, is an increased interest in aliya. “Many young people in England are leaving the country. This may explain in part why Jewish youths are considering leaving the country to settle in Israel,” she said, adding that she did not find any great sense of concern on the part of those who think of aliya because of the military situation in Israel. “They feel that Israel can cope successfully with the threats to her security,” she observed.


Mrs, Jacobson, who went to Britain to address meetings of the Zionist Federation, the Conference of Jewish Organizations (COJO) and the Soviet Jewry Committee, said that she found that British Jewry wants to know how American Jewry is fighting Arab propaganda, boycott tactics and blackmail. “I came back convinced that all Jewish organizations have a major role to play in combatting Arab propaganda and economic warfare against Jews and Israel,” Mrs. Jacobson said.

Arab propaganda, she observed, has grown to an alarming extent on Britain’s campuses. Jewish students are a small minority on the campuses and a sense of concern is shared by many Jewish who have difficulties in counteracting this propaganda, she said.

Mrs, Jacobson, who is also president of COJO, attended the Conference of the European Section of COJO in London. The conference, convened to discuss how to combat the Arab boycott, resolved to coordinate Jewish actions against it on a world-wide scale. “Jewish communities are angered by this Arab blackmail,” she said, noting the rising incidents of Arab insistence on boycotting firms with Jewish connections and Jewish personnel, and not only with trade links with Israel.

“We are going to set up a task force to deal with the Arab boycott, comprising Israel and primarily the Jewish communities of Europe and the Americas,” Mrs. Jacobson said, adding that one of the ways to combat Arab economic warfare is by sharing information among the various Jewish communities throughout the world.


The Yom Kippur War and its consequences light their impact on British Jewry as they had on other Jewish communities in the world. “The Yom Kippur War made the Jews aware of their smallness and gave them a new sense of isolation,” Mrs. Jacobson said. She observed that this, in return, brought a stronger sense of unity and devotion among Jews.

On the young Jewish generation in Britain, Mrs. Jacobson said: “They have the same problem of assimilation as we have here in America, but at the same time there is a great devotion and interest in Jewish matters and the future of Israel.”

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