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March 01, 1968 - Image 11

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1968-03-01

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Fight Over Aliya Waged in Israel


Madison Studied Hebrew
James Madison, fourth president
of the United States, spent con-
siderable time studying theology
scale aliya can be encouraged. fore concentrate its efforts on the and Hebrew after he graduated
Serlin thought that the Zionist latter endeavor, he declared.
from college.

at Meeting of World Zionist Leaders

(Direct JTA Teletype Wire
to The Jewish News)

Meir, secretary-general of the New
Israel Labor Party, proposed here
Tuesday the creation of a new
body to be run exclusively by Is-
raelis which would incorporate the
aliya (immigration) and absorp-
tion functions of the World Zionist
Organization. She said such a new
body made sense because the pres-
ent Zionist leadership can only tell
Jews abroad "Go there" whereas
Israelis can say "Come here" and
"This may make all the differ-
ence" with regard to aliya.

Mrs. Meir, herself a veteran of
the Zionist movement and the
former foreign minister of Israel,
took a dim view of the fourth-
coming World Zionist Congress
next June as an event that will
in any way affect the problems of
aliya. Nothing has changed in the
field of immigration despite the
fact that almost a year has elapsed
since last June's war, she said, so
why should anyone believe there
will be changes after next June?

The question of immigration
—How to stimulate and organize
it, especially from the affluent
countries of the Western world—
has dominated the Zionist parley
since it opened here Sunday
night. One proposal, supported
by many delegates and opposed
by many, was for the creation
of DTI elite body of Zionists who
would personally commit them-
selves to aliva. The idea was
favored at Monday night's ses-
sion by Dr. Israel Goldstein,
president of Keren Ilayesod, and
But Arieh Handler, president of

the Mizrachi Organization of Great
Britain, thought that the creation
of a body of Zionists pledged to
settle in Israel within a specific
time runs counter to the whole
concept of Western society. The
problem of aliya is not organiza-
tion, he argued, but individual and
depends on increased educational
Two representatives of Israel's
Liberal Party — Minister without
Portfolio Yosef Saphir and J. Ser-
lin — stressed that Israel's econ-
omy must be geared to the absorp-
tion of immigrants before large-

movement was "too weak" to
undertake such a task. Judge I. A.
Maisels, chairman of the South
African Zionist Federation, said
many local Zionist leaders have
immigrated to Israel. He urged
the delegates to stop talking so
much of ideologies and get down
to the job at hand.

Dr. Nahum Goldmann, presi-
dent of the World Zionist Organi-
zation, warned here Sunday
night that it was a delicate and

almoSt insuperable task to per-
suade' young or adult Jews in
Western Europe or the United
States to give up the political
and economic benefits they en-
joy and come to settle in Israel.
The Zionist leader said that this
was a task that required the edu-
cation of Jews in the Western
world to understand Israel's vital
need for aliya (immigration) so
that it becomes part of their con-
sciousness as Jews. Such a task,
he declared, could be accomplished
only by a strong, vital Zionist
movement but in no case by any
governmental body.
Dr. Goldmann spoke at the open-
ing of the consultative assembly
of the World Zionist Organization.
Present at the opening were Presi-
dent Zalman Shazar of Israel,
Prime Minister Levi Eshkol, mem-
bers of the Cabinet and the Jewish
Agency Executive.

Eshkol, in his speech Sunday
night, sought to allay the fears ex-
pressed by some Zionist leaders
that plans are afoot to liquidate the
Jewish Agency and transfer its
functions to the Israel government.
Eshkol said there was no need
to take alarm "at a speech here
or a newspaper article there" ad-
vocating such a course. But, he
said, the Jewish Agency must over-
haul its machinery and become
more efficient.

Israel's labor minister, Yigal
Allon, agreed with Eshkol that
the Jewish Agency requires
some degree of reorganization.
He said that the areas in which
it cooperates with the govern.
ment must be more clearly de-

He listed three basic tasks that
face Zionism: to secure Jewish
solidarity with Israel under all cir-
cumstances, to stimulate continued
large-scale immigration to Israel
and to take care of Jewish educa-
tion in the diaspora.
Forty miles away, in Tel

Aviv, the World Union of Gen-
eral Zionists, a constituent of the
WZO, closed its conference Tues-
day with theadoption of a pro-
gram for aliya, absorption and
the reorganization of the Zionist

The General Zionists' conference
was chaired by Dr. Emanuel Neu-
mann, veteran American Zionist
leader, who also attended the
World Zionist parley. It urged the
Israel government to "introduce
without delay" a new policy on
absorption that would attract im-
migrants, particularly from the
West. It declared, however, that
immigration and absorption cannot
be separated and that both func-
tions must be left exclusively in
the hands of the Jewish Agency

The General Zionists also sup-
ported the idea of creating "circles
of Olim," Zionists pledged to im-
migrate to Israel, but stipulated

that such groups must be com-
pletely outside the framework of
political parties and should em-
brace a wide variety of diaspora
Jewry. The conference urged that
the Zionist program be amended
to place greater emphasis on the
fields of Hebrew education, aliya
and information.
The conference observed that the
recommendations of the Commis-
sion for the Reconstruction of the
Zionist Movement were made ir-
relevant by last June's war and
came up with recommendations of
its own. It opposed the concentra-
tion of two departments in the
hands of one person and proposals
for abolition of the American sec-
tion of the Jewish Agency Execu-

Friday, March 1, 1968-11


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fined and strengthened. Allon is
chairman of the ministerial com-
mittee on immigration and ab-
Dr. Emanuel Neumann, a mem-

ber of the Jewish Agency Execu-
tive in New York, said that Ameri-
can Jews never saw themselves as
"contractors" to deliver a half
million Jews to Israel. To them, he
said, the "ingathering of the exiles"
applied to Jews in countries where
they suffered persecution or other
stresses. The spiritual need for
aliya, he said is a historical
process, not a matter that is solve-
able by laws or by changes of lea-

Rabbi Hershel Schacter of New
York, president of the Mizrachi
organization and of the Conference
of Presidents of Major American
Jewish Organizations, claimed that
if Israel had adhered more to
traditional Judaismit might have
attracted more immigrants despite
marginal dificulties. '



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Speaking in the same vein, Aryeh
L. Pincus, chairman of the Jewish
Agency, said that the test of the
Zionist movement abroad would be
whether it succeeded or failed to
stimulate a large-scale aliya. He
decried those in the government
and the Israeli press who, he said,
were belittling the Zionist move-
ment, thus creating an atmosphere
that made it impossible to launch
bold undertakings.

Dr. Goldmann also said that the
Zionist movement was trying to do
two contradictory things — to be-
come a representative body em-
bracing a majority of Jews while
at the same time trying to revive
its classical nature as a fighting,
radical and revolutionary move-
ment in Jewish life. It has failed
in the former and should there-


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