Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Nahum Goldmann and I

Researching material, I came across this excerpt from the article, A CHANCE NOT TAKEN - Zionist-Hungarian diplomatic co-operation in the second half of the 1930s, by Attila Novák :-

In February 1938 [Jewish Agency representative to the League of Nations Nahum] Goldmann came to Budapest to carry out negotiations once again. His planned speeches were permitted by the Ministry of Home Affairs only after the Ministry of Foreign Affairs exerted serious pressure. The reason why there were problems with permission was that the revisionist Zionists circulated pamphlets and announced that they would disturb the visit, therefore the deputy head of the state security department of the police wanted to dissuade the Zionists from delivering the lecture. The reason why the Zionist right-wing disliked Goldmann was not related to the Hungarian problems, but to the fact that Goldmann, as the deputy of the Jewish Agency at the League of Nations, supported the plan for the division of Palestine, and opposed the revisionist slogan 'Jewish state on both banks of the Jordan'. [72] The Association took special precautions: the invitations to the lecture were distributed only after strict checking, and they planned to employ the civilian police of the National Association of Veteran Soldiers. The importance of the event is demonstrated by the fact that at the cabinet meeting on 4 February Kánya, minister of foreign affairs, interceded with József Széll, minister of home affairs, on Goldmann's behalf. There are no documents about the conversation with Gábor Apor, but we know that the visit had no direct consequences. On 4 February Goldmann had a talk with Tomcsányi, state secretary of the Ministry of Home Affairs, and was promised that the request of the Pro-Palestine Association to renew the authorisation for collections would be granted shortly. While in Budapest, Goldmann met with representatives of the Erez Yisrael ha-Ovedet, who shared with him the grievances of the Zionist left.

72. There were vehement articles which referred to the visit of Nachum Goldmann in Bne Betar, the organ of Hungarian right-wing Zionists: ‘A peches külügyminiszterjelölt’ [The unlucky candidate for the post of minister of foreign affairs] and ‘Tanulmány Út’ [Study tour]. Cp. Bne Betar, January 1938, p. 15 and March 1938, p. 31.

Funny, but in January 1967, I, and a dozen other Betarim from Israel, the US, Canada and France, demonstrated in Jerusalem's Binyanei HaUmmah against Goldmann at a session of the Vaad Hapoel-Zionist Executive in-between Zionist Congress.

We were protesting his position on the issue of demonstrations for Soviet Jewry which was to downplay the campaign and adopt a very servile diplomatic approach.

To avoiud detection, we wrapped banners around our bodies under our outer garments. I was participating on the Machon program and so there was a bit of tension as we were under the auspices of the Jewish Agency's Youth & Hechalutz Department at the time. It didn't bother our reputation amongst the Machoniks though.

We were hustled out from the balcony by the police and pushed downstairs and out the main steps where our picture was taken and pubished in the papers the next day.



Juniper in the Desert said...

So interesting! How low the "left" has sunk now: they are nothing but fascist National Socialists!!

YMedad said...

I now have found this from the official Minutes:

The Prime Minister, Mr. Levi Eshkol, in his speech
stressed the powerful ties existing between the State of
Israel and the Jewish people in all lands of their dispersion,
underlining the close cooperation between the Government
and the Zionist Executive. Mr. Eshkol recalled the commencement
of the operations of the Mercaz Latefutzot, set
up jointly by the Government and the Zionist Movement.
He sent fraternal greetings to the Jews of Soviet Russia,
expressing the hope that in view of the statement of the
Russian Premier regarding the re-union of families,
immigration from that country would increase.
When Dr. Nachum Goldmann, President of the World
Zionist Organization, rose to speak, a group of young
persons bearing slogans demonstrated against him and
against his stand on the problems of ties with Germany.