Wjc European Branch Meets

The Council of the European branch of the World Jewish Congress met in closed session at The Hague for two days this week to discuss a wide range of topics of international and Jewish concern. Jewish communities from 17 West European and Central European countries were represented. East Germany’s tiny Jewish community sent observers for the first time in the persons of Hermann Aris and Dr. Peter Kirchner. Dr. Bendrich Bass, president of the Jewish Communities of Czechoslovakia, also attended as an observer.

Dr. Nahum Goldmann, president of the WJC and Dr. Gerhard Riegner, its secretary general, told a press conference after the sessions that the subject of East-West detente had been on the agenda. The meeting also discussed monitoring compliance with the Final Act of last year’s Helsinki Conference, particularly as regards the condition of Jews in the Soviet Union.

Discussion was held on Arab boycott of Israel and of firms trading with Israel or owned or managed by Jews. Another topic was international political developments since last November’s United Nations General Assembly resolution equating Zionism with racism and the possibility of further UN sanctions against Israel. The meeting appeared to favor the expansion of the European branch of the WJC into a European Jewish Congress.

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