Fidler Defends Goldmann, Disputes Pincus’ View of Goldmann’s Speech

Michael Fidler, chairman of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, has disputed a contention by World Zionist Executive chairman Louis A. Pincus that certain anecdotal material which set the tone of Dr. Nahum Goldmann’s controversial speech before the Board of Deputies in London Dec. 19 was omitted from the official transcript of the speech released by the World Jewish Congress in London.

The speech, in which Dr. Goldmann, WJC president, urged that the struggle for the rights of Jews who remain in the Soviet Union be given equal priority with the struggle of other Jews to emigrate resulted in the withdrawal by the WZO in Jerusalem of its invitation to Dr. Goldmann to address a festive session of the 28th World Zionist Congress which took place last Saturday night.

Fidler, who is attending the Congress as an observer on the invitation of Pincus, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that Pincus’ allegation that the omitted material set the tone of Dr. Goldmann’s speech was “quite untrue.” He said they were “anecdotes in the usual Goldmann style and did not affect the sense of the speech.” In a letter published in the Jerusalem Post yesterday, Fidler said there were no important cuts in the released text of his speech. “As a guest of the Congress and an invitee of Mr. Pincus, I have no wish to comment on the decision in connection with the invitation (to Dr. Goldmann) but while comment is free, facts are sacred.” Fidler said, Pincus received a copy of Fidler’s letter to the Post several days ago but has not yet replied.

Meanwhile, police have released the last five of 34 persons arrested a week ago during a street demonstration at the opening of the Zionist Congress. It was not certain today how many of the demonstrators will be charged in court. Chief Superintendent of Police Avraham Turgemann said that 35 firecrackers were found in court yards and buildings near the Congress hall during the demonstrations. He said the demonstrators planned to create chaos in the area.

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