NEW YORK (Jan. 7)
Dr. Judah J. Shapiro, president of the Labor Zionist Alliance, said today that many vital issues facing Israel will become exaggerated during the heat of the 1973 election campaign and that many candidates will find themselves under increasing pressures to seek compromises and shifts in policies in response to this situation.
Addressing the LZA’s National Executive Committee, he urged that the American Jewish community view the fluctuations in its proper political context. “Every American Jew,” he said, “must always remember that it is the Israelis who must determine the structure of their government, the distribution of power and the policies for their nation. The close ties between American Jews and Israel does not provide American Jews with a franchise in Israeli internal affairs.”
Dr. Shapiro also warned that the overwhelming activity of American Jewry on behalf of Israel has not mitigated the crisis in American Jewry as represented by the increased rate of intermarriage-and the decrease of total enrollment in all types of Jewish schools. He noted that “Zionist groups must recognize that by narrowing their commitment to Jewish life by regarding their support of Israel as the limit of their activity, do an injustice to the American Jewish scene.”
He said that Israeli leaders themselves use every opportunity to encourage Zionist groups to deal with these problems in their home communities to prevent the erosion of Jewish life in the U.S. Dr. Shapiro announced that the LZA plans to add staff members and activities to work in the direction of coping with American Jewish problems. He said the LZA will pay even more attention to Jewish education and the involvement of its members in many communities “not merely to increase financial support, but to interpret to parents the urgent need to give their children a Jewish education.”
The Labor Zionist leader also warned American Jews that with the growth of the energy crisis in the U.S. and the desperate need for oil, there is always the danger that American interests will be acted on in such a way as to be harmful to Israel. This need for energy, he declared, “must not be allowed to interfere with the just expectations of Israel or endanger its security.”