JERUSALEM (Jun. 17)
Simcha Dinitz, chairman of the Jewish Agency and the World Zionist Organization, has come under renewed attack, as the two bodies are set to begin their annual meetings.
According to a report Thursday on army radio, some members of the Labor Party want Dinitz to resign or step down until a police inquiry into his charge-card activities is complete.
Dinitz is under investigation for the alleged misuse of a Jewish Agency credit card.
Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and other party leaders quickly denied the report, saying Dinitz enjoys the party’s complete trust and support.
Rabin called on all factions within the party to stop what he said were unjustified attacks on Dinitz who, he noted, was democratically elected to represent the party as the head of the agency and the World Zionist Organization.
Nonetheless, in a radio interview following the news report, Labor Knesset member Haggai Merom said some in the party believe a successor should be readied in the event an indictment is brought.
He said the best candidate for the job is Labor Knesset member Avraham Burg, the popular head of the Knesset’s Education Committee and a former adviser to then-Prime Minister Shimon Peres on Diaspora affairs.
Burg reportedly refused comment.
The suggestion of Dinitz’s Agency demise undoubtedly was timed to precede the meeting of the Zionist General Council next week and the Jewish Agency Assembly the week after, when some believe the Jewish Agency Board of Governors will apply pressure on him.
Dinitz, meanwhile, refused comment on the matter.