Zurich (Aug. 27)
The question of how to check terrorism in Palestine continued to hold the spotlight today as the meeting of the Zionist Actions Committee here entered its fourth day.
The position of the American delegation was outlined at a meeting of the executive last night, at which the U.S. Zionists reiterated that their position remained as set forth in the resolution adopted last month by the annual convention of the Zionist Organization of America, which condemned terrorism, but did not call for drastic action to combat it.
The Americans have warned that unless their stand is adopted, civil war may develop in the Yishuv. Dr. Israel Goldstein, speaking for the General Zionists, charged that David Ben Gurion had introduced confusion into the resistance issue by his two-hour address yesterday in which he lashed out at the extremists and urged that anyone failing to take militant action against them be expelled from the movement. Goldstein demanded that the executive clarify its position on terrorism.
Ben Gurion came under fire from other delegates on the terror issue. Gedaliah Bublick, American Mizrachi leader, criticized him for changing his mind so abruptly and so often. Bublick said that Orthodox Jews in America back the extremists. Itzhak Ben Aharon, of the Tenua L’Achdut Avoda, opposition group within the Histadruth, also criticized Ben Gurion for frequently changing his position.
Bublick, in turn, came in for severe criticism for stating that American Orthodoxy backs the terrorists. Mrs. Judith Epstein, of Hadassah, vigorously denied this. She condemned the extremists, but also warned that the executive must find a method of combatting them which will not provoke civil war. M.S. Neufeld, of the Mi?rachi, also attacked Bublick, declaring that the Orthodox Jews supported the Chief Rabbi’s stand repudiating terror.
Ben Gurion was supported during the debate by S.M. Riftin, of the Hashomer Hatzair, who also called for strong action against the dissidents, and R.S. Lubianker of the Palestine Labor Party, who said Ben Gurion’s policy was the only way of destroying terrorism.
Ben Gurion sat through the entire debate, but did not speak. At an executive meeting last night, according to a person who was present, he clashed with Itzhak Gruenbaum on the question of terrorism and angrily left the meeting, declaring that he would not attend further sessions of the executive.
SHERTOK SEES NEED FOR ACTIONS COMMITTEE MEETING FOLLOWING U.N. DECISION
A meeting of the Zionist Actions Committee will probably have to be convoked after the United Nations acts on the Palestine issue, Moshe Shertok, Jewish Agency political chief, indicated here today.
Shertok is said to feel that the Zionists cannot formulate any policy merely on the basis of the UNSCOP recommendations, before the General Assembly acts on them. He believes that Britain will not heed the recommendations until final U.N. action. If UNSCOP is unable to obtain a majority for any solution, it will probably result in continuation of the present British policy, with possibly catastrophic results, the Agency political leader believes. However, he is of the opinion that Britain will feel itself obliged to carry out a recommendation accepted by a two-thirds majority.
Shertok thinks that the United States will take a definite stand before a decisive stage is reached at Lake Success. He indicated, however, that he has received no information concerning the Soviet position, subsequent to Gromyko’s statement backing bi-nationalism or partition.