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Dulzin Criticizes Plans to Move the Prime Minister’s Office

August 13, 1980
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Leon Dulzin, chairman of the World Zionist Organization Executive, has joined the critics of Premier Menachem Begin’s decision to move his office to East Jerusalem. Speaking at the weekly session of the WZO, Dulzin called the decision “a great folly” and criticized Cabinet members for “not having the courage” to oppose it.

The issue was raised by Dr. Maurice Jaffe, representative of the World Conference of Synagogues and Kehilot and director general of Heichal Shlomo Synagogue, who asked that the forum discuss diaspora criticism of Israel and the country’s image in the diaspora. Jaffe charged that five members of the WZO Executive were among the 56 American Jews who signed the open letter to Begin last June based on a Peace Now newspaper advertisement criticizing Israel’s policy in the occupied territories.

No official communique was issued on this exchange in the Executive, but Dulzin reportedly said that although he did not want to elaborate on the issue of moving the Prime Minister’s Office to East Jerusalem “diaspora Jewry would react.” Members of the Executive reportedly responded by saying that “diaspora Jewry will not decide the location of the Prime Minister’s Office.”

The Herut faction reacted strongly: “Dulzin’s statement is an act of folly, which should not be voiced by any Zionist and certainly not by the chairman of the Zionist Executive.”

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