LONDON (Jul. 9)
A Polish Communist Party leader said today that the “fight against Zionism” was being “artificially maintained” by some of the party organizations and should be ended “as fast as possible,” it was reported here today in dispatches from Warsaw. The remark was attributed to Zenon Kliszko, the party’s ideologist, who spoke at the opening session of a meeting of the Polish Communist Party’s Central Committee. According to the reports, Mr. Kliszko charged that “some organizations, especially officials and clerks, maintain an atmosphere of anti-Zionism” that was “false and exaggerated.” He also contended that “the Jews and the Zionists are being made identical” by those who are continuing the campaign.
Mr. Kliszko is a close associate of Communist Party chief Wladislaw Gomulka. Observers saw in his remarks an indictment of the methods used by Minister of Interior Maj. Gen. Miecyzslaw Moczar, Mr. Gomulka’s chief rival, who is believed to have headed Poland’s four-month-old “anti-Zionist” campaign, the Warsaw reports said. But in addition to being part of the struggle for power within Poland’s Communist hierarchy, Mr. Kliszko’s call for termination of the anti-Zionist campaign was seen as an indication of the Warsaw regime’s growing sensitivity to charges from abroad that the campaign was thinly disguised anti-Semitism. Its first manifestations occurred during the outbreak of student unrest in Warsaw and other cities last March. Party and Government sources immediately attributed the outbreaks to “Zionist” elements. The controlled press quickly picked up the theme. Scores of Jews have since been arrested and hundreds were expelled from high posts in the Government and Communist Party. Many more lost their jobs, particularly in the communications and entertainment industries.
The officially inspired campaign aroused world-wide fear for the welfare and safety of Poland’s surviving Jewish population, variously estimated at between 18,000 and 30,000. A large proportion of Poland’s Jews are aged and in need of assistance.
According to the Warsaw dispatches, Mr. Kliszko charged that ‘an exceptionally harsh tariff (fine) is applied for petty transgressions of persons of Jewish origin…transgressions of a type which are sometimes not seen in others.” He said that “it is alien to our party to make a difference…according to criteria of nation or origin.” He affirmed the party’s opposition to Zionism but said Zionism’s “social basis” in Poland is “narrow.” The official Polish press agency, PAP, carried a version of the Kliszko speech which quoted him as saying that the problem of Zionism has been “basically explained and one can and has to take it off the agenda of party propaganda.”