Mordecai Oren Given Enthusiastic Welcome Upon His Return to Israel
Menu JTA Search

Mordecai Oren Given Enthusiastic Welcome Upon His Return to Israel

Download PDF for this date

Mordecai Oren, imprisoned for five years by the Czech Government, came home yesterday to be greeted by the cheers of thousands of followers of the Mapam Party, of which he is a leader. He was released from prison a few days ago and arrived here by air, accompanied by his wife and two Mapam officials.

“I carry within my heart a feeling of great protest and resentment against the appearances of decay in the Socialist countries, to which I fell victim. I was not a victim of the regime, but of those who violated the regime,” Mr. Oren declared. He embraced his children–an 13-year-old girl now serving in the Israel Army and an 8-year-old boy whom he could hardly recognize.

Then, going to the microphone set up at the airport building, Mr. Oren addressed the crowd who had come to greet him. He asserted that his release was incomplete. “My innocence was not recognized; also the fact that I was not a criminal, but the victim of a crime, the falsity of the charges against other arrested Zionists and against the Zionist constructive progressive movement, were not recognized, “he said. “Those who compelled me–by methods which are opposed to both Socialist and humanitarian principles–to confess things which were never true, have not yet confessed to the crime they committed. Therefore, my release is incomplete.”

The released Mapam leader stressed that while his personal problem might have come to an end this was only a secondary consideration. The primary one, he said, was the great stain that had been placed on a Socialist regime and had not been cleared off. He stressed his loyalty to his party and to the ideal of Socialist revolution which, he added, would come in the future.

Meir Yaari, Mapam leader who greeted him on behalf of his party, described his trial as anti-Semitic, “like a second Dreyfus trial.” Mr. Yaari added that Mr. Oren and another Jew were actually kidnapped on the street, to be used as a small cog in the big Slansky trial which, he charged; had been fabricated by the followers of the late Lavrenti Beria; then chief of the Soviet secret police in Moscow. He promised that he would not be silent until Mr. Oren had been cleared of all charges against him. “Those who send jet bombers to the Arab countries,” he concluded, “haven’t the courage to confess their mistake in preparing false charges.”

Other delegations at the airport included those of the Histadrut, Achdut Avodah and Mapai, as well as a personal representative of Foreign Minister Moshe Sharett. Gaily decorated cars and buses joined the convoy of cars to Mr. Oren’s home at Kibbutz Mizra, where a “welcome home” party had been arranged. Dr. Nahum Goldmann, president of the World Zionist Organization, sent his congratulations, saying that Mr. Oren’s arrest “shocked the entire Zionist movement and Jewish public opinion throughout the world.”

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund