TEL AVIV (Jul. 24)
A national conference of the Israel League for Friendly Relations with the U.S.S.R. opened here this week-end at the same time that the Mapai, which last week withdrew from the organization, announced that it would establish a Committee for Cultural Relations with Russia within the week. Of the 399 delegates at the League parley, 315 represent the Mapam, 73 are Communists and the remainder are not representatives of any party.
The parley approved the League’s aim of enlisting the Soviet Union’s “sympathetic friendship” for the Zionist movement and the establishment of brotherly relations with Soviet Jewry. Ahron Zisling, Mapam leader, announced that a memorial forest will be planted at Maale Ahkhamisha in honor of the fallen soldiers of the Soviet Army.
In a message to the conference, Foreign Minister Moshe Sharett underlined the Israeli Government’s “deep appreciation” of the understanding displayed by the U.S.S.R. toward the Jewish state during the latter’s war for independence, and the aid given Israel through all channels of the United Nations by the Soviets. Stressing that the government welcomes all attempts to promote friendship between the two states, Mr. Sharett expressed the hope that the conference would find a way for enlisting the support of all sections of the Jewish community for this purpose.