PARIS (Nov. 3)
Baron Guy de Rothschild, president of the Fonds Social Juif Unifie (FSJU), rapped the organizers of the pro-Israeli fair, “12 Hours for Israel” for “splitting the Jewish community at a time when Israel is in serious danger and needs more than ever before our support.”
The FSJU leader, who was addressing the organization’s national council on Monday, said that “while it is normal for each of us to support the political party of his choice–it is wrong to involve the (Jewish) community or its institutions which have a general vocation and bring together men and women of all tendencies and political opinions.”
De Rothschild was speaking about last Sunday’s fair which the organizers said was attended by some 100,000 people. The demonstration was held against the wishes of the major Jewish organizations, FSJU and UJA, which objected to its timing on the eve of France’s elections.
Leaders of France’s traditional Jewish establishment feared the organizers would use the demonstration to plug the Socialist opposition with which many of them have close links. Actually, the demonstration kept out of local politics though most speakers rapped the French government’s anti-Israeli policy. De Rothschild devoted a large part of his address to this subject because of the crisis provoked by the demonstrations in inter-communal relations. The FSJU president also called upon the government to change its policy as far as Israel is concerned and said that “common sense will win and the policy will change.”
The council stressed that the three main pillars of Jewish activity in France remain education, fund-raising and immigration to Israel. It also approved the resignation of its executive vice-president Julien Samuel who has been replaced by Adam Loss, a Jewish Telegraphic Agency board member and publisher of the JTA French language news bulletin.