TEL AVIV (May. 15)
Emphasizing that the sentiments of the General Zionists in Israel are "more toward the western powers than toward the eastern bloc," Dr. Peretz Bernstein, chairman of the General Zionist Party, today told a press conference that his group nevertheless agrees with the policy of neutrality adopted by the Israel Government.
Neutrality in relation to the major world blocs is essential in Israel because of the country’s political structure, he said. "A real fight, not only an ideological one, would break out here if Israel adopted a pro-western orientation," he declared.
Dr. Bernstein also admitted his party agrees that some measure of governmental economic control cannot entirely be abolished in Israel. However, he insisted that free enterprise is compatible with the basic national needs of the country.
"The government economic policy is definitely not suitable for solving the grave problems facing the state," he said. "A rigidly controlled economy will never set free private enterprise so sorely needed to attract capital from abroad in the large amounts needed to expand the absorptive and productive capacity proportionate to the demands of mass immigration."
The leader of the General Zionist party said that his group now has more strength than during the national elections last year. Another party spokesman told the press conference that the group now numbers 20,000 members, organized in 80 branches throughout the country. At the time of the Parliamentary elections the General Zionists had 12,000 members in 44 branches, he stated.