Bronfman Promises to Refrain from Criticism of Israel

Edgar Bronfman, acting president of the World Jewish Congress, promised here yesterday that he would refrain from public criticism of Israeli government policies as long as he occupies the top post in the WJC. He is serving in place of WJC president Philip Klutznick who took a leave of absence after he was named U.S. Secretary of Commerce by President Carter last year.

Bronfman has been an outspoken critic of Premier Menachem Begin’s settlement polices on the West Bank and other matters. He told a meeting of the World Zionist Organization Executive yesterday that the critical remarks attributed to him in the past were made before he assumed the WJC presidency. He denied having said that the West Bank settlements were illegal. He said he had faulted their timing, while Israel was engaged in autonomy negotiations with Egypt and the U.S., but had done so in his private capacity, not as the representative of any organization.

Bronfman said he promised Begin that he would “support the State of Israel.”

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