LONDON (Mar. 29)
A Zionist official said today that he believed “the Jewish policy of the Soviet Union is doomed to failure and perhaps many in the Soviet Union have sensed it already as Dr. S. Levenberg, Jewish Agency representative in Britain, addressed a session on Soviet Jewry at the 70th annual conference of the British Zionist Federation. “Soviet anti-Semitism is not racial; it is political. It can be put on and turned off by the authorities,” Dr. Levenberg said. He added, “At the same time, Soviet Jews cannot assimilate, particularly in the Ukraine where there are 25 Jewish communities.” The same session was addressed by Abraham Zalmanson, the Israeli uncle of Silva and Wolf Zalmanson who were sentenced to prison terms in last December’s Leningrad hijack trial. Zalmanson is an uncle-by-marriage of Edvard Kuznetsov whose death sentence at the Leningrad trial was commuted to 15 years imprisonment. He told the delegates, “The Leningrad trial was designed to frighten Soviet Jews but it misfired.”
The closing session of the conference was devoted to resolutions and a report on the Zionist Federation’s recent membership drive which added a total of some 9,000 new registered members to the movement. A resolution submitted by the Poale Zion (Labor Zionist) youth concerning elections to the next Zionist Congress was narrowly defeated by a 106-103 vote. The resolution called for U.K. delegates to the Congress to be elected by a “process of democratic election” by people who registered as Zionists during the membership campaign. The conference adopted a resolution that viewed with alarm “the growing popular support for racialist views in Great Britain which are directly affecting the Jewish community.” It noted “with deep concern support for racialist regimes abroad” and called on the Zionist movement to lead the Jewish community in the struggle “against racialism in Britain” and particularly the sale of arms to South Africa.