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Hadassah Reiterates Its Non-identification with Israeli Parties

Hadassah considers it a “cardinal” principle “not to be affiliated or identified with any political party in Israel,” the 1,500 delegates attending the 47th national convention of Hadassah were told today by Mrs. Siegfried Kramarsky, national president of the women’s Zionist organization.

Pointing out that the general elections which took place in Israel last week were of interest to Hadassah, as are all aspects of Israeli life, Mrs. Kramarsky told the convention: “In this connection, I believe it is important to restate Hadassah’s traditional position regarding Israeli politics. It is a cardinal principle with us, and with the World Confederation of General Zionists to which we belong, not to be affiliated or identified with any political party in Israel. In our opinion, Israel’s politics internally or externally are the sole prerogative of its own citizens.”

Mrs. Kramarsky also told the convention that Premier David Ben-Gurion had met with the executive committee of Hadassah during his recent visit to the United States “for a frank and friendly exchange of views,” She reported that “irrespective of whatever philosophical differences still exist between us, he and we agree that Hadassah must continue to widen its membership and continues its projects, both for the sake of Israel and of a strong Diaspora.”

Turning to American affairs, Mrs. Kramarsky asserted that the American interests and the welfare and security of the free world make it vital for Congress to pass a foreign aid till that embodies the proposals of President Kennedy. “Believing that both moral responsibility and political wisdom require rich nations to assist poor nations, for highly developed nations to assist those less developed, we support the foreign aid program now before Congress,” she said.

Michael Comay, permanent representative of Israel to the United Nations, addressing the convention, discussed the Arab refugee problem, asserting that Israel did not create it and cannot solve it. “The only future for the refugees themselves lies in their being amongst their own kin in the Arab countries,” he stressed. “Any attempt to push a substantial number” of Arab refugees “back into Israel would inflame tensions instead of reducing them.

“There has in fact been a two-way migration, an unplanned exchange of minorities, about a half-million Arabs left Israel territory, and about the same number of Jewish refugees from Arab countries have been resettled in Israel,” Ambassador Comay stressed. “This exchange is a fact and, on its basis, relations between Israel and its Arab neighbors should be allowed to settle down. Any contribution we can still make will depend on the Arab countries changing their attitude toward Israel and their willingness to negotiate with her.”

Ogden R. Reid, former U.S. Ambassador to Israel, told the Hadassah convention that the growing relationship between Israel and the U.S. is important to the future of the free world. “It is essential,” he said, “that the United States facilitate continued credit and financing facilities at appropriate levels for the development of Israel’s economy and of two-way trade between our countries.”

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