NEW YORK (Nov. 30)
A four-day 46th annual convention of the National Committee for Labor Israel concluded yesterday with the adoption of a goal of $10,102,500 for the support of a wide range of health, educational and social welfare programs in Israel. A cash target of $5,102,500 was set up for the Israel Histadrut campaign and a quota of $5,000,000 was set for the American Histadrut Development Foundation, to be secured in the form of wills and bequests. Noting that Israel expects some 60,000 immigrants in 1970, including many children and teen-agers, the convention specified an allocation of $1,400,000 for the Histadrut scholarship fund which will assist needy youngsters in the Histadrut vocational school network. A special grant of $100,000 will be made for young Arab workers to improve their skills. Another major item in the adopted budget includes $252,000 for construction and expansion of hospitals and clinics within the framework of Kupat Holim, the health service of Histadrut that covers 72 percent of the Jews and Arabs in Israel.
Israel’s Ambassador to the United States, Itzhak Rabin, told the 2,000 delegates at the concluding session that as long as the Arab countries pursue a policy of belligerency and war, with Soviet support of Arab militants and terrorist organizations, dubbing them as movements of national liberation, there can be very little possibility of achieving peace in the Middle East. Israel continues to explore every avenue to bring about a lasting peace but she must face reality rather than something that does not exist.” The Ambassador said that his country “seems to some parties to be stubborn” when substitutes for peace are proposed. “We have experienced all kinds of substitutes for peace, all kinds of international arrangements which have not worked. Therefore we cannot agree to anything less than a just and lasting peace. The surest and simplest way to this is through direct negotiations. Sixteen months of the Jarring mission have brought no results, nor have the four Power talks or the Two Power talks.”
“Since Israel must struggle for survival, it must concentrate on its social and economic development. Israel is capable of defending itself alone against the total strength of the Arabs because our people know why they are fighting and know how to fight,” the envoy continued. “Cairo and Moscow accuse the U.S. of allowing Israel to accept American volunteers in its armed forces. Israel does not accept volunteers who come only to serve in the armed forces. Immigrants coming from 100 countries, once they have decided to become Israelis and get all the benefits and services of the country, naturally assume the duties of defending it. More Jews who came from Russia to Israel are serving in our defense forces than those who came from the U.S. yet no one accuses Russia of sending volunteers to serve in the “Israel Army.” On the other hand, there are over 3,000 Soviet officers and non-commissioned officers in Egypt as advisers, technicians and trainers. In the Egyptian ports of Alexandria and Port Said Soviet warships are stationed on a permanent basis. Israel does not have single foreign expert or soldier.” Gen. Rabin said.
LEON KEYSERLING RE-ELECTED TO SECOND TERM AS PRESIDENT
Leon H. Keyserling, one time chairman of former president Harry S. Truman’s Council of Economic Advisers, was re-elected to his second term as president of the National Committee For Labor Israel. Charles S. Zimmerman, a vice-president of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union, was reelected chairman of the national board of directors. Mr. Zimmerman was cited during the convention for his 10 years of service in that capacity and was presented with Histadrut’s medal of honor. Louis Hollander, a vice-president of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America, was named chairman of the national executive committee and Dr. Sol Stein as executive director of the organization. Other key officers elected included William H. Sylk, national chairman of the American Histadrut Development Foundation; Sol C. Chaikin, national chairman of the American Trade Union Council for Histadrut; and Louis L. Levine, chairman of the public service council for Histadrut. Irving Boxenbaum was named national treasurer.