GENEVA (Apr. 30)
A Jewish Socialist member of Parliament from Zurich, Emanuel Hurwitz, has resigned from the legislature and from the party following a manifesto the Socialist Party prepared in observance of May Day which stated its “full support and sympathy for the Palestine Liberation Organization and its struggle as well as for the freedom movements in San Salvador, Turkey and for the Polisario (in Western Sahara fighting the Moroccan government).”
Hurwitz, in his letter of resignation, condemned what he said was the politically false claim that the PLO’s struggle could be grouped in the same category as the struggle of the other freedom movements and thereby condemning Israel together with fascist regimes.
How, he asked, can one support the PLO which has never recognized Israel’s right to exist as a freedom movement? Hurwitz said that in view of the manifesto, there is no room for a leftwing Jew in the Socialist Party.
Hans Ulrich Zbinden, the president of the party in Zurich, said it is expected that more Jews will leave the party as a result of this incident. He told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency:
“I do believe that behind the declaration (in the manifesto) there are anti-Semitic feelings, even though the text itself is not anti-Semitic, but it was motivated by anti-Semitism. I cannot claim that the Socialist Party as a whole is anti-Semitic but there are groups in it who are anti-Jewish and they grew stronger after the war in Lebanon. The PLO has a lot of influence on leftwing movements in Switzerland because of their financial contributions. “
The Swiss press, in dealing with the story, carried headlines asking, “Is the Socialist May Day Manifesto anti-Semitic?”