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June 28, 1974 - Image 8

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1974-06-28

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Aliya Vital to Israel's Survival, Sapir Tells Zionist Council

JERUSALEM (JTA)—Pin-
has Sapir, new chairman of
the World .Zionist Organiza-
tion executive, declared here
Tuesday night that a heavy
influx of immigrants was "ab-
solutely vital" for the future
security and development of
Israel. "If we remain small,
nothing will prevent our
neighbors from trying again
to crush us as they tried in
October," Sapir warned in his


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address at the closing session
of the Zionist General Coun-
cil Tuesday night.
"One dreads to think what
would have happened then if
immigration had not increas-
ed our numbers since the Six-
Day War," he said.
Sapir maintained that if
the Arabs realize that Israel
is growing steadily, they
would inevitably become
more reasonable in their de-
mands and aspirations. He
spoke of the vital need of
aliya against a background
of figures that showed it was
declining.
Mordechai Kirshblum, as-
sociate director of the Jewish
Agency's aliya department,
reported that 55,000 im-
migrants arrived in Israel
during 1973, about 1,000
fewer than in the previous
years, and that of these, the
higher proportion was from
the Soviet Union and cor-
respondingly less from West-
ern countries.
Sapir told the council's
aliya committee Tuesday that
the Jewish Agency was de-
termined to resolve the min-
migrant housing shortage by
summer 1975. He said it was
"working very intensely with
the housing ministry, and
funds have been budgeted for
'an - additional 25,000 housing
units."
Sapir declared that he
would devote most of his ac-
tivity in the near future to
solving the problems of hous-
ing and unemployment for
olim. He sadi he would be
examining closely the dif-
ficulties encountered' by im-
migrants from all countries
and all social strata.
At an earlier session of
the Zionist General Council
meeting, a report by the
WZO's controller's office'
noted that of 6,200,000 Jews
in the United States and
Canada, only 5,409 immigrat-
ed to Israel in fiscal 1972-73,
a substantial decrease from
the preceding year. The re-
port also cited an increase
in the same period in the
number of immigrants from
the U.S. and Canada who re-
turned to those countries.
When Sapir announced his
candidacy for the WZO and
Jewish Agency Executive
chairmanships he said he
wanted to devote himself ex-
tensively to the problems of
immigration and absorption
Resolutions adopted at the
closing session of the Zionist
General Council urged Zion-
ist federations all over the
world to make aliya their top
priority.
It called on them to co-
ordinate efforts with the
"aliya months" instituted
earlier this year by the
WZO. The council also urged
the government and institu-
tions involved to encourage
rental housing projects to
help alleviate the critical
housing shortage, which is
considered the single most
serious deterrent to immigra-
tion. The resolution called
for the establishment of a
consultative council on aliya
and absorption to be made
up of representatives of all
bodies involved, including
the various immigrant asso-
ciatons.
The council approved a
WZO budget close to IL
158.000,000 ($39,500,000), an
IL 30,000,000 increase over

last year's budget, for fiscal
1974-75. It called on "each
and every Zionist federation
to take all steps to assure
the mobilization of $1,250,-
000,000 for Israel's needs
during 1974 and to 'give ex-
clusive priority to the emer-
gency campaigns of the Unit-
ed Jewish Appeal and the
United Israel Appeal-Keren
Hayesod in all countriees.
The council praised the
courage of Syrian Jewry and
praised Jews and non-Jews
all over the world who are
active on their behalf. An-
other resolution called atten-
tion to the worsening situa-
tion of Soviet Jewry and the
severe curtailment of exit
visas in the USSR.
The council approved a
plan to establish an institute
in Jerusalem to train infor-
mation experts. Zionist fed-
erations abroad were asked
to Cooperate by helping select
candidates for the institutes
and by setting up local semi-
nars on information.
The council took no action
on a proposal by the WZO
treasurer, Leon Dulzin, Sun-
day night that the various
political parties that pres-
ently comprise the WZO vol-
untarily relinquish some of
their power.
Dulzin suggested that mem-
bership in Zionist federations
abroad be opened to every
community, institution or in-
dividual ready to subscribe
to the "Jerusalem program"
adopted by the 27th World
Zionist Congress in 1968,
which recognizes the "cen-
trality" of Israel in Jewish
life.
A plan to expand the Jew-
ish population of the Galilee
was described Tuesday by
Raanan Weitz, head of the
World Zionist Organization's
settlement department.
The plan calls for the de•
velopment of settlements bas-
ed on specialized agricultural
projects as well as increased
urban settlements in northern
towns. Some 40,000 new set-
tlers are projected by the
plan, of which 85 per cent
will be young couples and
new immigrants, Weitz said.
Specific quarters will be
built for 'immigrants from
specific countries in several
northern towns. A plan for
a quarter for immigrants
from Western countries in
Safed already has Sapir's
approval.
Another program describ-
ed at the plenary session was
a new project aimed at en-
couraging youth _ immigrants

which would not be limited
solely to work on kibutzim.
Mordechai Bar On, head of
the WZO's youth and heha-
lutz department, said the
program, to be called "The
Jewish Pioneer," will include
work in all forms of agri-
cultural settlements, develop-
ment areas, underprivileged
areas and Israeli fighting
units. Individuals and organi-
zatons would join the pro-
gram two years prior to their
aliya.

* * *

Levittown in Israel
to House 50,000

TEL AVIV (JTA) — Wil-
liam J. Levitt, the New York
builder who revolutionized
the mass housing industry in
America right after World
War II, announced here
Tuesday night that he plan-
ned to build a "Levittown"
in Israel to provide housing
for 50,000 persons.
Levitt spoke at the in-
auguration of a 70-acre tract
acquired by Bar-Han Univer-
sity adjacent to its campus.
The land was purchased
with a donation of an undis-
closed amount by the Ameri-
can builder.
Levitt described his pro-
ject as a primary employ-
ment town (Pet). He said it
called for a complete city
with employment in 6,000
basic or primary jobs which

could support a population of
50,000.
Bar-Ilan awarded Levitt an
honorary PhD.

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