Golds Meir: 'Zionism—Fulfillment of Jewish Destiny'
Zionism, the historic movement for Jewish self-liberation, has been
called many names. Gerald L. K. Smith, the notorious anti-Semite,
referred to us as "Zionists Communists." The Arabs tried to turn
the great libertarian term into an opprobrium. Now the Soviet propa-
gandists call us "Zionists Ku Kinsmen."
Proper replies to such efforts to harm a great movement come
from two sources—from Israel, where the fruits of Zionism are being
shared by escapees from oppression with Arabs, who enjoy the bene-
fits derived from a progressive modern state; and from the Diaspora,
whose Jewish communities should, If they do not already, strengthen
Israel's Prime Minister Golds Meek took note of the worldwide
Zionist membership drive inaugurated by the leadership of the Zionist
movement and gave "wholehearted support" to the "concerted endeavor
to deepen Zionist conviction and strengthen the organizational structure
of the Zionist movement in every country where there is a Jewish
community in the free world."
Emphazizing the responsibilities of world Jewry for the "fulfill-
ment of Jewish destiny" and the "need to enrich the Jewish spirit,"
Mrs. Meir issued this timely statement:
"We are all aware of the great attachment of Jews throughout
the world to Israel, and appreciative of the material help afforded
to Israel, which is one of the major expressions of that attachment.
Without that help our position would have been grins indeed. This
is a climactic period In the life of Israel and in the history of the
Jewish people, and It may well be that under the stress of our imme-
diate needs and in the deep emotions engendered by our struggle,
there is a tendency to overlook the abiding elements of the historic
struggle of the Jewish peopleour fundamental motives and ultimate
objectives. The task of the Zionist movement is to stress those fac-
tors, to place present events in their true perspective, and to harness
the emotional and intellectual resources of the Jewish people for the
fulfillment of Jewish destiny.
"The estalishment of the state of Israel is both a glorious pin-
nacle of Jewish historic achievement and a necessity for Jewish
survival, and its defense and development are equally necessities for
Jewish survival. These are perhaps trite statements. What the Zionist
movement stresses—and we need the Zionist movement to stress it in
Israel as in the diaspora—is that the state of Israel is not an end in
itself but Is an essential medium for the perpetuation of the- Jewish
people for its development and for its continuance.
"The state of Israel was the creation of the Zionist movement,
but it belongs to all Jewry. In order that that should be more than a
merely verbal formulation, the Jewish people generally must assume
the full range of those responsibilities which deserve the epithet
"Zionist": the serious propagation of aliya as a means of personal
fulfulment; an effective drive to make a sound Hebrew education
available to every Jewish child; a realistic and active involvement
in the fate of Jewish communities everywhere; and a far-reaching
program of Zionist education and information in order to ensure
that the Jewish sentiment for Israel remains unabated even after,
as we all hope, the state of Israel has emerged from the present
"It is in this spirit that I wish the implementation of the Zionist
membership drive every success, and that I associate myself and
my colleagues In the government of Israel with the endeavors of
the Zionist leadership. Do not under-estimate the present force and
future potential of the Zionist movement. Both in Israel and in the
Diaspora there is a deep need for an enrichment and re-Invigoration
of the Jewish spirit. To the extent to which the Zionist movement
re-invigorates the Jewish communities throughout the world, it will
have contributed towards a re-awakening and re-invigoration in
Israel as well."
There is one excellent way of replying to the Communists who call
us Fascists and to the Fascists who call us Communists: by mass
enrollment in the Zionist movement. This applies to all who aspire to
enrichment of Jewish dignity and the strengthening of Jewish ranks
in defense of our determination to protect and defend the freedoms that
have been gained through Zionism's ideology.
Zionist Ideology From Russian Jew's Viewpoint
If Zionism in its present form, in an age of realization of the
ideal, still needs defining, it is being done by the Jews of Russia who
seek means of leaving their motherland and going to Israel.
"I am a Zionist!" insists Lev Sheinkar of Moscow, one
of the Russian Jews who maintained a vigil outside the Russian Fed-
eration Supreme Court building as the fate of the "Leningrad 11" was
being decided in the notorious court case last December. Sheinkar,
who bad written seven previous appeals, distributed this essay:
I am a Zionist. Of course, not as a matter of party membership,
but as a matter of conviction (there are no other parties—either
openly or secretly—except the Communist Party in the Soviet Union).
Of course, Soviet propaganda is trying to convince the world that the
Soviet Union is the promised paradise for the Jews, while Zionism and
"its tool — Israel is the worst enemy. I don't want to talk about
whether Jews live well or not well in the Soviet Union. Even had the
Jew been an equal citizen as far as national culture is concerned,
would have striven to go to Israel because I am convinced that it is
only there that our people will keep its cultural values and its language
and won't become dissolved in an alien mass.
The Soviet propaganda is lying when it claims that there is no
single Jew wishing to be repatriated to Israel for national reasons.
It is lying arrogantly and vilely. Arrogantly—because it is conscious
of its power and its impunity, and vilely—because of its essence.
Those who loudly demand to emigrate to Israel and who expose the
cultural discrimination against Jews are put in prisons, while those who
ask for permission to go to their relatives in Israel are refused the per-
mission without any explanation for the reasons for the refusal.
Russian Propaganda Schemes: Novosti's Use of Zionist Terms to Stir Hatred
An interesting study in propaganda is provided in releases from the Soviet Union's Novosti Press
Agency with its attacks on Israel and Zionism. The releases issued from the Soviet Embassy in
Washington are cautious not to attack Jews as Jews. It is always Jews as Zionists. The stories, some
of them written by Jewish correspondents for Novosti, invariably attack Israel, link the Israel Issues
to official American agencies and continue to stir venomous condemnations of Israel and Israelis.
In typical fashion, Novosti's Spartak Beglov wrote an article entitled "Poisoning the International
Atmosphere," which charges that there is a "terrorist campaign launched in the United States by the
Zionist 'Jewish Defense League' and other similar international extremist organizations." Then the
Soviet author proceeds to assert:
"Political commentators and the general public in Moscow and throughout the Soviet Union assess
in all seriousness the consequences of the terroristk campaign launched in the United States by the
Zionist Jewish Defense League and other similar international extremist organizations for the cause
of international peace and for Soviet-American relations.
"There is no doubt that the provocative services offered by the league are lavishly paid by the Israeli
embassy in the United States,. During my trips to a number of Western and third wrld countries I
have seen numerous -bulletins, booklets, leaflets and other publications which indicated that they had
been issued by the diplomatic department of Tel Aviv or by the Israeli Embassy in Washington. The
literature abounds in all sorts of anti-Soviet and anti-Arab figments currently used by the political
provocators from the Jewish Defense League."
There is something amazing about the Russian approach to facts. The Jewish Defense League,
which has no outside affiliations and has no links whatever with organized Zionist ranks, is called a
Zionist organization. The appeals that emanate from the Soviet Union, penned by the courageous
Russian Jews who risk retaliation and speak up in defense of their rights, is branded as stemming from
the Israel embassy in Washington. None of the attacks contained in the Novosti charges can be proved.
But the approach is typical of the anti-Semitic tactics which were in evidence in this country in the
1930s and 1940s in the era of Coughlin, Winrod, G.L.K. Smith and others. They were based on lies
that are difficult to fight because merely to call them lies does not convince and yet there is no other
way of proving the lie than by inviting the afflicted-to-the-lie to look at the actual record and to examine
who are the printers and who are the distributors of the literature that exposes the Russian crime in its
treatment of Jews and in its attitude on the diddle East.
Indeed, it is worth looking at the record. Novosti's representatives, acting on behalf of the USSR,
are not content -with mere spreading of anti-Semitism. They also inject the extremist anti-American
attitudes, charging neoracism, accusing us of "aggressive racism" that is "of Jewish origin." If it weren't
so serious the Communist charge of "an actual semblance between Zionist neoracism and anti-Semitism"
would be funny. Soviet condoners of anti-Semitism seek a way out by linking Zionism with racism:
what better way of exonerating oneself than by sticking to the bogey that the libertarianism the tyrant
rejects is in itself tyranny? And how could those who aim at the destruction of the fruits of Zionism-
Israel—judge the movement of Jewish self-liberation in complimentary terms?
Zionism was acceptable to Russia In 1948, when it was the chief defender of Jewish .statehood;
now it is the enemy and Zionism Is therefore the evil term.
But as the "I Am a Zionist" declaration of one Russian Jew, quoted on this page, Indicates,
the Russians can't fool all of the people all of the time; the Communists can't frighten all of the
USSR Jews all of the time, there are some who speak up and they refute the claim that only
on religious grounds do Russian Jews wish to go to Israel.
The Russian propagandists are amusing. The latest Novosti release lectures the United States on
its "freedom of speech" excesses. It is these very excesses that give a platform to Novosti and make
it possible for Soviet propaganda to resort to the fantasy that the Jewish Defense League, which was
chastised by all Zionist groups and also by the Israel cabinet—an act we hardly approve of ourselves
because of our belief that Israelis should not have acted so drastically in a matter involving a dissident
Jewish element in the U. S.—is "Zionist" in affiliation and that its literature is produced by the
We can be prepared for lots more of this type of Soviet propaganda. Meanwhile, there is being
distributed lots of claims of Russian sanctimony. Much is being made of alleged progress in Birobidjan.
Lengthy releases come from Novosti about this so-called "Autonomous Jewish Republic." The latest
release tells of 500 "housewarmings" in that area, as an indication of 500 families moving into new
apartments; about an amateur instrumental ensemble directed by lzrall Roitman; about plans for the
20th anniversary celebration of the Jewish Autonomous Region in which Russians, Ukrainians and Jews
"live and work like one big family" and about a "We and Literature" club that popularizes the works
of Sholem Aleichem.
Earlier, much was said about the enlargement of the Birobidjaner Shtern, the newspaper that
now appears three times a week in Birobidjan and is published in Yiddish. It's a Communist newspaper
and it makes a good appearance, and we acknowledge the courtesies of the USSR embassy in Washington
in providing us with copies of the paper.
But there is a fact that is ignored. There have -been claims that .5 per cent of Russian Jewry
lives in Birobidjan. That would make the Jewish population of that northern district approximately
15,000. But from all reports it is not even a third of that figure and the claims to being a "Jewish
Autonomous Region" is a mere adherence to a scheme that was promulgated to reduce the influence
of Monism and the appeal of Israel.
False claims are easily detected, just as false propaganda is readily exposed. Neverthless, we
are confronted with the spread of the lie. It is not easy to fight it. It is not easy to overcome untruth.
And the spreading of it is so unnecessary! Friendly Israel-USSR relations, like amity between this
country and the Soviet Union, would mean so much not only to the peace of the world but also to the
rising of standards of the oppressed and impoverished! But we are dealing with a power struggle. The search
for power—including the desire to enlist Arab aid as means of capturing control of an entire world area—
apparently is more important than truth, amity, peace, good will among nations, or elimination
of want and poverty. That's what the world is battling: the craving for power! That's what hurts all of us!
dentally, has been ratified by the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of arranged for medical treatment for
And I ask all honest people to help me. Both those who live in the Shalom to you,
Fatherland and those who are parted from it, as well as those who
When I arrived borne (I am
were born in alien lands. Because there is nothing more sacred than
love for one's people, for one's Fatherland. I shall never reconcile the daughter of Mrs. Rosenwasser
you wrote) I was very
myself to vegetating in an alien land.
happy to find your letter--as it is
to know that people
Lev Solomovich Sheinkar
24 Fergunskaya Street; apt. 155, Moscow in our circumstances are not for-
ask if there is any-
Note that in this essay, made available by Student Struggle for
Soviet Jewry, Sheinkar gave not only his full name but also his address. thing we need. The only request
is to please send
It was another mark of fearlessness by a Russian Jew. His essay again
me the name of a doctor, spe-
defines Zionism and reintroduces it as valid for our time.
cialising in internal diseases--
Brutality . . . and Appeals to Reason
What could possibly be more brutal than decapitation of someone
you consider an enemy? The horrible act by guerrillas who were so
inhuman towards a Druze is an indication of bow difficult it is to deal
with medieval villainy.
Yigal Allon had the humane answer for Druze desires to get 10
enemies to pay with their lives for the murder of their one kinsman:
"This is not our way," he advised the Druze- citizens of IsraeL
Now we have another instance of inhumanity. An Israeli watchman,
Shmuel Rosenwasser, was taken prisoner on Dec. 31, 1969. All efforts
I don't ask to go to relatives living abroad. I do not appeal to the
mercy of the Soviet authorities and to their humanism in helping the
reunification of separated families.
I am a Zionist, that is, a Jew who is convinced that there is no
life without Israel either for him or for his people. The state of Israel
has granted me an entry visa. And I demand from the Soviet govern- for his release have failed. Now his wife and daughter are coming to
ment that it should allow me to go to Israel for permanent residence.
Zionism — the View of Golda Meir and the
Philosophy of a Russian Jew for Whom It is
a Conviction . . . the Enigmatic Russians
the United States to exert pressure to have him freed.
especially 'the heart. What hap-
pened to my father- has affected
us very badly. My' mother has
heart trouble, and naturally the
situation has taken its toll. I am
trying to be strong, and I hide
everything inside of me, in order
to encourage my mother. With
this I finish. Thank yen for the
goodness of your hearts. MI the
best to you front mother and my-
self. — Monica. (Please excuse
On Jan. 18, 1970, when Rosenwasser's family still lived in Metullah
Will American public opinion
This is my right, a right declared by the International Convention on
the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination which, inci- —they have since moved to Haifa—Rosenwasser's 14-year-old daughter serve again as an instranwetto as-
2—Friday, January 29, 1971
pleaded for medical help from WIZO, the women's Zionist organization.
THE DETROIT JEWISH HEWS This is the letter she wrote at the time, as a result of which WIZO
justice for: tendly=that has
been afflicted wit& Aninuch, agony?