NEW YORK (Dec. 19)
Menachem Rosensaft, one the five American Jews who met two weeks ago with Palestine Liberation Organization chairman Yasir Arafat in Stockholm, will not be asked to resign as president of the Labor Zionist Alliance.
At a meeting held Saturday night in Baltimore, members of the LZA’s National Executive Committee voted 12-5, with four abstentions, to reject a resolution calling for his resignation.
The committee resisted a call for Rosensaft’s resignation from Yechiel Leket, chairman of the World Federation of Labor Zionists, of which the LZA is a member.
Instead, the committee accepted Rosensaft’s apology for not having consulted with the leadership of LZA or the Labor Zionist leadership in Israel before taking part in the controversial meeting with Arafat.
The Dec. 6 meeting with the PLO chairman was planned in secret by officers of the American section of the International Center for Peace in the Middle East.
Rosensaft is a member of the organization’s board and said he attended the meetings in that capacity only. He is also founding chairman of the International Network of Children of Jewish Holocaust Survivors.
The officers of the network issued a statement last week saying Rosensaft went to Stockholm as an individual and not as their representative.
The Stockholm meeting began a week of diplomatic activity that resulted in the PLO eventually seeming to meet the U.S. government’s terms for a face-to-face meeting.
DEPLORED BY LZA OFFICERS
A number of American Jewish organizations condemned the five Americans for their participation. Morris Abram, chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, called them “willing dupes.”
According to a spokesperson for the conference, Rosensaft’s participation was discussed at a meeting last week, but there was no call for his ouster.
Rosensaft’s participation also was condemned by two Holocaust survivors associations, the American Gathering/Federation of Jewish Holocaust Survivors, and the American Congress of Jews from Poland and Survivors of Concentration Camps.
There was support for the Stockholm meeting from some within Labor circles, including seven Knesset members from the Labor Party who signed a petition.