MONTREAL (Jun. 17)
The recent changes of government in West Germany, France and Portugal will not affect the condition of Jews in those countries which is generally good and may bring about improved relations with Israel, especially by France, according to delegates attending the recent meeting of the European Executive of the World Jewish Congress here. The meeting brought representatives from 12 European Jewish communities to this Swiss resort. They were joined by representatives of WIZO, the European branch of the World Sephardi Federation and the World Union of Jewish Students.
Dr. Nahum Goldmann, president of the WJC, told the gathering “We have not abandoned hope that Soviet Jews will be represented at future WJC gatherings.” He said this may come about “when the Middle East situation is a little more stabilized and it will be easier to make progress on the Soviet Jewish issue.”
Heinz Galinski, chairman of the Jewish community in West Berlin said, “The change of government did not bring in its wake any material change regarding Israel. There will be a continuation of the friendly relations between West Germany and Israel on the practical level without an emotional background.” Galinski reported, however, that German Jews were being subjected to a barrage of anti-Semitic propaganda emanating from the extreme right wing and the far left.
Reporting on France, Jacques Orfus noted that in the recent Presidential elections both the Socialist candidate, Francois Mitterand and the Gaullist, Valery Giscard D’Estaing, had Jewish support, “which, was only natural. “One should not expect radical changes in the Middle East policy of France as long as oil problems exist,” he said, but, he added, with the election of D’Estaing “it is certain that the era of the Pompidou policy of open anti-Israelism and hidden anti-Semitism has come to an end.”
Marcus Zagury of Portugal, reminded the gathering that the Jewish community in that country numbers less than 500. There are no specific Jewish problems in Portugal, he said, and Portuguese Jews consider themselves part of world Jewry.