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European Agudah Parley Opens in Paris; Secession from Israel Religious Bloc Seen

Delegates from most European countries and North Africa–including Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Rumania–gathered here today at the opening session of the European conference of the Agudas Israel. The agenda was listed as: the situation of religious Jews in Eastern Europe, immigration from North Africa to Israel (including complaints that Orthodox children have been assigned to non-religious collectives in the Jewish state), and the situation in Israel.

A strong bloc of delegates, led by political secretary H.A. Goodman, opposes Agudah participation in the religious bloc supporting the present coalition government in Israel. Since the Goodman-led bloc appears to be in the majority, it is believed possible that the Agudah may secede from the coalition government.

Mr. Goodman declared today that the “consolidation of the state of Israel in the short period of its existence, the absorption of hundreds of thousands of homeless Jews and the entrance of Israel into the family of nations, are achievements to which we can pay sincere tribute.” He added that although there was the “fullest approval for the external policies” of Israel, there were “considerable and growing misgivings throughout the Agudist world, both in Israel and overseas, as regards certain recent legislation and tendencies affecting Torah principles.”

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