Cojo Plenary Ends; Solidarity with Israel, Soviet Jewry Pledged

The World Conference of Jewish Organizations (Cojo) wound up its three-day plenary meeting here with the adopted of one resolution pledging will support for Israel “in its struggle for a just and lasting peace” and another declaring its “unbreakable brotherly solidarity with the Jews of the Soviet Union.” A third resolution pledged “brotherly solidarity with the Jews of the Middle East…now held hostages in some Arab countries, particularly Syria.” Adoption of an emergency resolution was prompted by news of the terrorist rocket attack on Petach Tikvah last Wednesday night which claimed four lives. “This conference again expresses its abhorrence of terrorist activities which seek to achieve political ends through the deliberate and indiscriminate killing of unarmed, innocent men, women and children.” the resolution declared, It urged “all governments and peoples to condemn unequivocally all such outrages.”

The Cojo plenary, attended by the leadership of 11 major Jewish organizations, was marked by a transfer of leadership. Dr, Nahurn Goldmann, who founded the organization 13 years ago, retired from the chairmanship to be succeeded by Dr. William Wexler, international president of B’nai B’rith, one of the Cojo constituents. Louis A. Pincus, Chairman of the Jewish Agency in Jerusalem, and Dr. Joachim Prinz of the World Jewish Congress were elected co-chairmen. New vice chairmen are Michael Fidler, MP, president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews: Monroe Abbey, chairman of the Canadian Jewish Congress; and Sion Cohen Imach, of the DAIA in Buenos Aires, the central representative body of Argentine Jewry. Yehuda Hellman, of New York, was elected secretary general. The sessions, which began last Wednesday, were highlighted by a discussion of the changing Jewish community in America, introduced by Rabbi Arthur Hertzberg, of Englewood, N.J., a member of the Jewish Agency executive and a report on relations with world church bodies, delivered by Dr. Gerhard M. Riegner, of the World Jewish Congress, speaking on behalf of the international Jewish Committee on Inter-Religious Relations. Gen Shlomo Gazit, head of the Military Government department of Israeli General Headquarters, provided a detailed analysis of the condition of Arabs living under Israeli rule in the occupied territories.

Rabbi Hertzberg said the real problem of American Jewry was the direction the next generation will take. “We are actually the last of the Eastern European generation, and this includes even those of us born in the West.” he said, “It is obvious we shall have no more Jewish ghettos of any kind. But this does not solve the problem of Jewishness, even if it may solve the problem of Jews. At this juncture,” Rabbi Hertzberg said, “American Jews are themselves a problem, not a problem-solver. American Jews need the help of Israel and the Cooperation of the rest of Jewry in their search for a solution to their problem, the problem of the next Jewish generation in America.” Dr. Riegner said, “Difficulties developed on several levels in our relations with the Protestants and Roman Catholics. The most important aspect of these difficulties is a change of attitude toward Israel. Positions are taken up in regard to Israel which we have to counter and resist. I cannot say that I see a solution for these difficulties in the near future. But we consider our relations with the churches of the world of great importance in many respects.” Speaking of the occupied territories, Gen. Gazit said, “It was our policy, from the very beginning, not to interfere with the lives of the Arabs under our rule except where security is involved, we are determined not to cause unnecessary hardships or even inconveniences and to avoid embarrassments. We don’t even hoist the Israeli flag in the Arab towns. Needless to say, maltreatment of Arabs under any circumstances is not permitted.

Discussing the economic aspects of Israeli occupation of Arab territories. Gen. Gazit said, “We have now in the Arabs under our rule another million consumers for the products of Israeli industries. On the other hand, 40,000 Arabs from the occupied territories have regular employment in Israel at wages ten times higher than they had in the old days–when they could find work.”

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