Zionist General Council Meeting Begins: Rabin: Arabs Are Seeking an Imposed Solution on the Mideast
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Zionist General Council Meeting Begins: Rabin: Arabs Are Seeking an Imposed Solution on the Mideast

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Premier Yitzhak Rabin said here tonight that the Arabs were seeking an imposed solution of the Middle East conflict by the United Nations Security Council and were utilizing the Palestinian issue to gain long range political advantage. Referring to the Security Council Middle East debate scheduled to open Jan. 12 with the participation of the PLO, Rabin warned that this may lead to a stalemate in the area “or even a more serious situation sooner than most people think.”

Rabin voiced his warning in his address to the opening session of the Zionist General Council’s annual meeting at the Jerusalem convention hall. He declared, however, that Israel had enough military power to allow it freedom of movement in the political sphere.

The Premier took issue with charges just made at the same forum by Leon Dulzin, acting chairman of the World Zionist Organization Executive, that the government’s economic austerity program was discouraging aliya. (See separate story.) Rabin said the budget posed no problem where aliya was concerned. “There will not be a happier man than Finance Minister Yehoshua Rabinowitz to present an additional budget for aliya — if immigrants come.” Rabin declared.

The General Council consists of 110 voting members and several score observers. Its membership, on a party basis, is about 40 percent Israeli and 60 percent diaspora Jews. During this week’s session the World Union of Progressive Judaism, which has a membership of one million around the world, will formally join t the WZO. Two other bodies presently affiliated without full voting rights — the World Macabbi Union and the World Sephardi Federation — will press for fuller representations.


Although the General Council meeting will make decisions affecting a wide range of Zionist activities, attention is focussed on the election of a new chairman of the WZO Executive for which Dulzin and Haifa Mayor Yosef Almogi are the opposing candidates. Almogi, the Labor Party’s choice, was strongly backed by Rabin last night at a social meeting of the secretariats of the Labor Zionist movement. He said the challenges facing the Zionist movement made its leadership a major question.

Almogi, Rabin declared, has behind him an outstanding record of achievement in many spheres. “I believe and am convinced that after Almogi is elected, he will bring a new spirit and new ways of action to the Zionist movement,” Rabin said. Mapam decided last week to support Almogi, as has the Independent Liberal Party World Organization which has three votes in the General Council.


Both Almogi and Dulzin were campaigning heavily last week. Almogi promised that if he is elected he would introduce changes in both the organizational and substantive aspects of the Zionist movement. He stressed the need for tighter coordination between the Israel government and the WZO and said there must not be opposition between the two, an apparent reference to the fact that Dulzin is in the opposition Liberal Party, while he is the chosen candidate of the governing Labor Party.

Almogi also called for greater coordination between diaspora Jews and Israel. He said he could not promise that, if elected, immigration would increase, but he pledged to seek ways to extract the maximum aliya potential among American Jews.

If Almogi is elected WZO chairman he is assured of automatic election to the chairmanship of the Jewish Agency Executive when the Agency’s General Assembly meets next summer. Dulzin has made it clear that if he is defeated in the General Council elections here this week he will continue to fight for the dual chairmanship when the World Zionist Congress convenes in Jerusalem late this year.

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