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Goldmann Denies Conducting Diplomatic Activities Without Consulting Israel

Dr. Nahum Goldmann emphatically denied today that he has been conducting independent diplomatic activities concerning Israel without consulting Israeli leaders as alleged recently by some Israeli newspapers. Dr. Goldmann, president of the World Jewish Congress, issued his statement after the WJC governing council unanimously adopted a resolution declaring the Jewish peoples’ solidarity with Israel.

The Jewish leader and former president of the World Zionist Organization was reported by the Israeli newspaper Yediot Achronot last month to have been warned by the Jewish Agency to refrain from criticizing Israeli diplomatic policies because it was harmful to Israel’s cause. According to the paper, the warning was issued in connection with an article in a French publication in which Dr. Goldmann criticized Israel’s opposition to the Big Four Mideast talks. Jewish Agency spokesmen had no comment at the time.

Dr. Goldmann said today that he has maintained contacts with certain diplomats and statesman, most of them personal friends, over a period of many years and did this the with the knowledge and consent of the late Premier Levi Eshkol. He said he kept Mr. Eshkol and other members of the Israel Government fully informed on the talks he had with diplomats and always made it clear that those meetings were held on a purely personal basis. He never made any proposals to foreign statesmen for the settlement of any of Israel’s foreign problems nor did he ever claim to represent Israel, Dr. Goldmann said. He asserted that he had always tried to explain Israel’s position, especially to diplomats whose countries had severed relations with Israel.

Dr. Goldmann stressed that as president of the World Jewish Congress, as chairman of Cojo (Conference of Jewish Organizations) and as president, in former years, of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, he had always taken a position of complete solidarity with Israel’s policies independent of any personal opinions. He said he had always stressed the obligation of world Jewry to support Israel, especially in critical situations like the present one in the Middle East.

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