NEW YORK (Nov. 13)
Haifa Mayor Yosef Almogi, speaking as a candidate for the chairmanship of the World Zionist Organization and Jewish Agency Executives, called today for the creation of “Zionist truth squads” of Jews and non-Jews in every country to unmask the lies of the anti-Zionist campaign against Zionism, Israel and Jews. However, he said the anti-Zionist resolution adopted by the United Nations General Assembly will stimulate Zionist activists and strengthen the bonds between Israel, Zionism and the Jewish people. Speaking at a press conference in the Waldorf Astoria, sponsored by the Labor Zionist Alliance, Almogi stressed that his current American tour was only on behalf of Israel Bonds and not to campaign for the chairmanships. But Jacob Katzman, the LZA’s executive vice-president, said that since the LZA was associated with the Israel Labor Party which supports Almogi for chairman, the Haifa mayor was asked to devote a session to campaigning.
NO COMMENT ON POLL
Almogi refused to comment on a poll by the Institute for Applied Social Research in Jerusalem which showed that Israelis favored Leon Dulzin, acting chairman of the Jewish Agency/WZO, over him for the post. The poll also showed that a majority opposed the idea that the chairmanships should go automatically to the party in power.
On this question, Almogi replied that the Zionist movement was not a factory or an office where the second command automatically steps in the job when the top man leaves, but a political institution. He said that in politics those who have the majority have the democratic right and the “obligation” to govern.
Almogi said that the decision on the chairman will be made by the WZO in January and that the Jewish Agency has agreed that whoever is selected WZO chairman will also be Jewish Agency chairman. He and Katzman noted that although both chairmanships are usually held by the same person, this is not automatic. Almogi, who will relinquish his post as Mayor if he becomes chairman, said he may also give up his Knesset seat although the late Pinhas Sapir did not.
Almogi, stressing that aliya is the essence of Zionism, called for greater Jewish and Zionist education. Asked about promoting aliya at a time when the Israel Ministry of Finance has estimated that unemployment will reach 60,000 in 1976, Almogi said he did not know if this was true. But he noted that as a former Labor Minister he knew that even with high unemployment, Israel would still have some professions such as nurses and research workers where there was a shortage of manpower. He said that there was low aliya during times of high employment and high aliya during tense situations in Israel, such as the War of Attrition. He observed that aliya did not depend on economic conditions in Israel but a person’s willingness to uproot himself and come to Israel.