Kahane Sounds Holocaust Alarm at ZOA Convention, Rebutted by Weisman
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Kahane Sounds Holocaust Alarm at ZOA Convention, Rebutted by Weisman

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The 75th jubilee convention of the Zionist Organization of America was enlivened this morning by the appearance of Rabbi Meir Kahane, leader of the Jewish Defense League, and a spirited rebuttal by ZOA president Herman L. Weisman of Kahane’s warnings of an Imminent holocaust in the US. Weisman categorically rejected Kahane’s thesis that American Jews must emigrate to Israel en-masse to save their lives.

Last night the convention was addressed by Israel’s Foreign Minister Abba Eban and heard a message of greeting from Gov. Nelson A. Rockefeller, of New York, who was to have delivered it in person but cancelled his trip to Israel because of a death in his family.

The JDL leader who wanted to be heard at the convention’s opening session in Jerusalem Thursday night, agreed to participate instead at this morning’s session here devoted to aliya Earlier, Kahane was criticized obliquely by Foreign Minister Eban who chided “those who think that by smashing glass in the US they will help bring Russian Jews to Israel.”

Kahane’s remarks today were a repetition of his familiar theme that American Jews face a new wave of anti-Semitism. He claimed that a deteriorating economic situation in the US coupled with political unrest will turn the population against Jews. He mentioned President Nixon’s adviser. Dr. Henry Kissinger, former Supreme Court Justice and UN Ambassador Arthur Goldberg and NY Sen. Jacob K. Javits as American Jews prominent in public life who allegedly would be made scapegoats for economic and political distress in the US.

Replying to Kahane, Weisman declared that “Aliya from the US is not based on fear but on the love of Israel coupled with the opportunity to share in building and safeguarding a society where a full Jewish life can be lived.” He said that “spreading fear and panic can do nothing but harm to six million Jews in America, can embarrass Israel and can cast a shadow on the Zionist movement.”

Eban, in his remarks, reiterated that Israel will not return to the old armistice lines. On the other hand, he said, Israel takes no rigid stand as to where its permanent borders must be but is prepared to negotiate that question with her neighbors. Eban said that contrary to some opinion abroad, time is working in Israel’s favor. He said the military picture was much better for Israel now than two years ago, especially in view of the arms supplies coming from the US.

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