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Schindler Assails Wjc Handling of Waldheim Affair

Rabbi Alexander Schindler, a leader of Reform Judaism in the U.S., added his voice Sunday to the small but growing body of opinion among Jews that the World Jewish Congress mishandled its campaign to expose the Nazi past of Austria’s President-elect, Kurt Waldheim.

Schindler, who is president of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations (UAHC) was discharged from Soroka Hospital in Beersheba where he has been convalescing from a heart attack he suffered three weeks ago. The 61-year-old Reform rabbi is expected to return to the U.S. in the next two days.

He told reporters as he left the hospital that he thought in retrospect that the WJC’s handling of the Waldheim affair had been a mistake. He added that it was important to review the case and unearth the truth, but the manner in which the WJC went about this was wrong.

The result is, Schindler said, that there is more anti-Semitism than there was before in Austria, the Jews of Austria are in danger and Waldheim is President. The best way to expose Waldheim, Schindler said, would have been to approach the affair through a third, non-Jewish party. Now, however, he thought Jews should shun Austria and especially boycott conferences held there.

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