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Canadian Jewish Leaders Disappointed with Government’s Response on PLO

Canadian Jewish leaders said here that they were “deeply disappointed” with the results of their audience with Foreign Minister Allan MacEachen in Ottawa a week ago when they protested Canada’s failure to vote against the UN General Assembly’s resolution inviting the Palestine Liberation Organization to participate in its debate on the Palestine issue. Canada abstained in the General Assembly and it abstained earlier when the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) voted in Montreal last month to admit PLO representatives to ICAO deliberations as observers.

The presidents of the Canadian Jewish Congress, the Canadian Zionist Federation and the B’nai B’rith of Canada were received for 90 minutes by MacEachen after having sought an audience with him since last Aug. “We received a polite and attentive hearing but we accomplished nothing,” CZF president Philip Givens told Jewish journalists here.

He said the Foreign Minister’s attitude was that Canada had not changed its position with respect to the Middle East and was not prepared to pre-judge the PLO issue. “I told the Minister that our people were hurt and dismayed by the government’s attitude,” said Givens, a former Mayor of Toronto and a Liberal MP in the Ontario parliament, the same party as MacEachen.

He described the invitation to the PLO as “striking a tinder box which may lead to the third world war.” Boris Moroz, president of B’nai B’rith District 22, who also attended the meeting with MacEachen, said the minister told the Jewish leaders that Canada would continue to abstain on these issues, Sydney M. Harris, president of the CJC, said MacEachen did not indicate that be understood the basic issue involved in inviting the PLO to address the General Assembly.

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