JERUSALEM (Feb. 6)
Dr. Gerhart Riegner, secretary general of the World Jewish Congress, said today that the organization’s future tasks included building relations with Third World countries that have no Jewish populations and therefore, no understanding of the history and aspirations of the Jewish people. He also urged further development of relations with Christian churches and preliminary steps toward the initiation of similar talks with the Moslem authorities.
Dr. Riegner, speaking at an afternoon session of the WJC’s Sixth Plenary Assembly, said the most important tasks ahead were to strengthen Jewish solidarity with Israel by arresting the apparent “inward turning” of diaspora Jewry; to broaden Israeli representation in the WJC–hitherto on a party basis–by adding to it individual academicians, intellectuals, trade unionists, students and other groups. He said that throughout the world, the WJC must continue to safeguard the rights of Jews wherever they live, with emphasis on the Soviet Union and the Arab countries.
Dr. Riegner said that the basic ideology of the WJC–that of the unity of the Jewish people and the necessity for joint action on common problems–was now universally accepted by the Jewish world; that regular contacts have been developed or maintained by the WJC with many governments and influential political personalities and groups; and that the WJC’s role as one of the leaders in the world of non-governmental international organizations, has won increasing recognition in recent years.