MELBOURNE (Jan. 24)
A new relationship and dialogue between world Jewry and india is a real possibility, according to a member of the World Jewish Congress Executive who recently met with Prime Minister Indira Ghandi of India, in New Delhi.
Isi Leibler, chairman of the Asia-Pacific branch of the WJC’s International Advisory Committee, conveyed greetings from the WJC to Mrs. Ghandi with whom he had an extensive exchange of views on issues relating to world Jewry.
He was accompanied by the president of the Council of Indian Jews, E. Kolet. Leibler also met with a number of Cabinet ministers, including Finance Minister R. Venkatraman, Deputy Finance Minister Maganbhai Barot, and Justice and Law Minister Shiv Shanker.
In a report to the WJC, Leibler noted that although India’s Middle East policies were strongly influenced by its dependence on Arab oil and petro-dollar investments, there were prospects for establishing wider relationships at a people-to-people level and with significant sections of Indian public opinion.
In his discussions with leaders of the Jewish community in India, Leibler said he had not encountered any evidence of anti-Semitism or discrimination. But the 5,000 Jews in India, most of whom at Bene Israel, were very much in need of assistance from international Jewish organizations in the areas of education and cultural activity, especially for the younger sections of the community, he said.