JERUSALEM (Feb. 21)
A special four-day session of the Zionist General Council ended today with announcement of plans for a world-wide information campaign to counter massive anti-Israel propaganda. The session was called to study post-Yom Kippur War problems. The campaign will stress the “absolute right” of the Jewish people to the land of Israel, Israel’s aspirations for peace, and the link between the energy crisis with economic and political factors, rather than with the Mideast conflict.
The Council urged international organizations, such as the Red Cross and the United Nations to do their utmost to induce Syria to treat Israeli POWs in accordance with the Geneva Convention and agree to an exchange of POWs with Israel. The delegates suggested formation of a common front of oil-consuming countries to achieve a common policy toward the “political and economic blackmail” used by the Arab oil states, as well as greater efforts to produce alternative sources of energy.
The delegates noted “with regret” a drop in volunteers coming to Israel in recent months at a time when Israel needed more manpower and called on all Jewish organizations to encourage Jewish youth to become volunteers, declaring it considered the volunteer effort a permanent program. Yitzhak Navon, chairman of the Zionist Council, declared that if the World Zionist Movement fails to organize mass immigration, “the State would be well advised to appeal directly to Jews abroad and help form groups of would-be immigrants.” The one discordant note was the boycott of the sessions by the World Confederation of General Zionists who notified the Jewish Agency that attending would conflict with their position of non-identification with, political parties in Israel.