JERUSALEM (Sep. 4)
Partisan politics over America’s quadrennial presidential elections has begun in Israel. Pro-Nixon and pro-McGovern groups have sprung up among the country’s 50,000 Americans – permanent residents and olim-although the numbers initially involved in each are minute. A group supporting the re-election of President Nixon was established here last week with a membership of 15, most of them olim who have retained their American citizenship and can cast absentee ballots.
The group is headed by a 39-year-old former New York real estate man, Michael Kaniel, who identified himself as a former officer of the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America and a member of the board of Torah Umersorah. Kaniel’s group is in touch with the Committee for the Re-Election of President Nixon in Washington, D.c.
A pro-McGovern group, “Americans in Israel for McGovern,” was established at about the same time. No numbers were immediately available of its membership. It is headed by Dr. Miron-Sheskin, a retired lawyer from the US who is Russian-speaking and heads the Association of Professional immigrants from the USSR.
Other members include Mrs. Hal Lieberman, a New York lawyer teaching in Israel; Miss Judith Robin, who once worked in the John F. Kennedy campaign headquarters; and Samuel Felman of Pittsburgh, who has business interests in Haifa. The pro-Nixon group has begun campaigning among the American colony. They claim that Nixon’s reelection would be “better for Israel” than a McGovern administration.