LAUSANNE (Jun. 13)
The governing council of the World Jewish Congress has decided to postpone its next plenary assembly until 1975 and to decide later this year where it will be held The gathering, which had been set for The Netherlands last winter, was cancelled for security reasons and a controversy developed over its new site with Zionists and their supporters insisting on Israel. Dr. Nahum Goldmann, president of the WJC, said he would “accept any decision by the governing council regarding the venue and time of the assembly” and observed that “too much has been made by some of the media about this issue.”
The decision to hold the plenary assembly some time in 1975 was made at a three-day meeting of the WJC’s governing council that ended here today. Avraham Schenker, a member of the World Zionist Organization Executive in Jerusalem, said that despite some valid arguments in favor of a Western city, he believed the assembly would be more meaningful if held in Jerusalem. The governing council’s decision was to hold a meeting of an enlarged council in Jerusalem late this year which would appoint a small committee to decide the final date and location of the next plenary assembly. The committee would be free to make its own decisions but the governing council has recommended that the plenary assembly be held in a North American city if at all possible.
In a survey of the world Jewish situation and particularly the Middle East, Dr. Goldmann asserted that chances for peace in the region seemed good now but the danger remained that they would be lost through the fault of either or both sides. He said that world Jewry had the right to express opinions about Israel, bearing in mind that the final decisions must rest with the Israelis and “we outside should give Israel all our support however the decisions of the Israel government fall.”
Armand Kaplan, reporting on the recent French elections as it effected Jews, noted that French Jews supported both candidates and observed that the government of the new President Valery Giscard D’Estaing contained several distinguished friends of Israel. Jews and non-Jews. Shimon Dery, representing the World Sephardi Union spoke of worsening conditions of Syrian Jews and particularly of the closed trial of two Jewish youths falsely accused of the murder of four Jewish women. “No lawyer for the defendants was permitted, the press was excluded from the courtroom and they were denied their very basic human rights,” he said. Isaac Goldenberg, of Buenos Aires, said that 800,000 Jews in 19 Latin American countries faced great difficulties that varied from country to country. He said the growing Arab influence in Latin America was evident from the local news media.