PARIS (Sep. 9)
Delegates and observers from 18 East and West European countries today agreed that detente serves the interest of peace and hence of the Jewish people. The participants, who attended the enlarged bureau of the European branch of the World Jewish Congress, were unanimous in stressing the importance of peace, better East-West ties and a relaxation of international tensions.
The European’s branch’s new president, Greville Janner of England, later told a press conference that “Jews live in both East and West.” He added that, moreover, “many Western Jews stem from Eastern Europe from where their parents or grandparents originally came.”
Janner, a Labor M.P. who had been serving as acting president of the European branch since the death last summer of Dr. Maurice Gryfogel, was formally elected to that post. He said that today’s meeting also dealt with the situation of Soviet Jews who “should not and cannot be forgotten.”
ROSEN STRESSES NEED OF EAST-WEST COEXISTENCE
The Rumanian Chief Rabbi, Dr. Moses Rosen, stressed in even stronger terms the need of East-West coexistence. He recalled that over 90 percent of Rumania’s Jews have left for Israel during the last 30 years “with the knowledge and approval of the Rumanian government”.
Rosen said that the small number of Jews still left in Rumania are free to leave for Israel should they wish to do so. He said there are only a number of minor restrictions concerning their departure. Rosen also told the meeting that he remains convinced that relations between the Jewish people and the Soviet Union can be and could have been improved.
Representatives from all East European communities except the Soviet Union and Bulgaria attended the Paris meeting. The president of the East German community could not come for personal reasons, and the representative of West Germany also failed to attend.
The meeting also decided to try and obtain the expulsion from Portugal of Rumanian Orthodox Bishop Valerian Trifa who had to leave the United States last month after his citizenship was revoked. Trifa was active as a member of the Iron Guard in organizing pogroms against Jews in Rumania during World War II.
Israel Singer, WJC executive director, who attended the meeting, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that WJC president Edgar Bronfman is scheduled to leave this week for Latin America where he will confer with the Presidents of Argentina and Venezuela. Singer, who will accompany Bronfman on his fact-finding mission, said they decided not to meet with President Augusto Pinochet of Chile.