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Zionists Urge Soviet to Relax Jewish Policy; Warn of Nazi Revival

January 17, 1967
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The Zionist Actions Committee, the ruling body of the world Zionist movement between Congresses, concluded its weeklong session here last night by adopting resolutions urging the Soviet Union to remedy the situation of Jews in the USSR and calling for increased vigilance against neo-Nazi tendencies in West Germany.

The resolution on Soviet Jewry welcomed Premier Alexei Kosygin’s recent statement promising that the USSR Government would do everything possible to facilitate the reunification of Russian Jews with relatives abroad and expressed satisfaction over certain positive steps taken to ameliorate the cultural and religious life of Russian Jews.

It stressed, however, that Russian Jewry was “still bereft of essential media and institutions required to transmit Jewish culture to the younger generations and to maintain contacts with their brethren throughout the world.” The Actions Committee delegates urgently called on the Soviet Union to remedy this situation and expressed hope that the USSR would also use its influence to ease tensions in the Middle East.

The resolution on Germany, which was approved after a stronger Mapam proposal was rejected, also condemned the refusal by East Germany to make restitution to Nazi victims and expressed dismay over that country’s support of Arab hostility toward Israel. Representatives of Mapam and Achdut Avodah voted against the majority resolution and Herut abstained.


In a resolution on immigration, the Actions Committee delegates reasserted once again that immigration to Israel was the main basis of the Zionist movement. It called on Zionist organizations throughout the world to encourage emigration to Israel and urged individual members themselves to settle in Israel. The resolution also stressed immigration from Western countries, which, it said, would contribute to Israel’s economic recovery, but called upon Israel to make a greater contribution towards the social and economic integration of the immigrants, with particular emphasis on the first arrivals from the Soviet Union already in Israel under the reunification of families scheme.

Another resolution called for the creation of a “Zionist Council for Israel” whose task would be to develop the consciousness of Jewish unity and Zionism within Israel. The resolution called on the proposed Council to “propagate knowledge and information about the Diaspora in Israel and to encourage all actions liable to aid the social and cultural absorption of immigrants within Israeli society.”


In an address on Israel’s foreign policy, Foreign Minister Abba S. Eban listed as the country’s four main objectives: a closer integration into the European Economic Community; an extension of technical cooperation with other developing countries; the stimulation of “realistic attitudes” in the Middle East; and efforts to achieve agreement among the four major world powers to support the status quo in the area. Israel’s foreign policy, Mr. Eban stressed, must be geared not only to immediate problems but also to more distant objectives.

In an address at the concluding session of the Actions Committee, Dr. Nahum Goldmann, president of the World Zionist Organization, called upon Jews throughout the world to rally around Israel and to come to her assistance with all possible means at this difficult moment in her existence.

“No Jewish problem anywhere in the world can be solved unless Israel’s existence and strengthening is first assured,” Dr. Goldmann declared, adding: “We must give Israel the feeling that it can securely count on Jews throughout the world.”

Earlier in the debate, Dr. Goldmann reasserted his own intention of maintaining contact with West Germany’s Government and with its head whoever he might be, as a necessity for the Jewish people and its institutions.

S.Z. Shragai, head of the Jewish Agency’s immigration department, disclosed during the Actions Committee sessions that a total of 140, 000 persons or 12 percent of all of Israel’s immigrants, had left the country. Only a very small minority of those leaving, he said, had been new immigrants — less than five years in the country. The overwhelming majority, he pointed out, were either Israeli-born or old settlers who were here before the establishment of the State.

More than 10 percent of those immigrants who left the country or 15, 000 of the emigres, had since returned to Israel, mainly because of requests by their children or for sentimental reasons, Mr. Shragai noted.

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