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Labor Party Youth Critical of Police Dispersal of Demonstrators Hillel Defends Police Action

January 21, 1972
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Eleven representatives of the youth division of Zionist Labor Parties around the world met today with Police Minister Shlomo Hillel and voiced indignation at police dispersal of the demonstrations here on the eve of the World Zionist Congress on Tuesday night.

Hillel old the representatives who requested the meeting that the demonstrations were unlawful and that his men had not acted in response to the particular views espoused by the protesters–members of Israel’s Black Panthers, the Jewish Defense League and SIACH, a New Left group, who unsuccessfully sought to address the Congress. Hillel rejected charges that the police used excessive force in dispersing the demonstrators, and emphasized that his men’s duty was to protect those attending the sessions.

The demonstrators had declared openly that they intended to use violence, and some of them had firecrackers, Hillel contended, and the police were duty-bound to arrest rioters and those suspected of violence. He noted that when it was learned that two of those arrested were two young Congress delegates who were apparently unaware of the nature of the demonstration, they were immediately released.

He himself, he said, had expressed his regrets to one of them for the injuries he had received during the dispersal. (The Magistrate Court ordered today that 24 of the youth arrested will remain in custody for a week while the police complete their investigation of the incident.)


Meanwhile, Mapam and the Independent Liberals made a last-ditch effort today to have Dr. Nahum Goldmann reinstated as a keynote speaker Saturday night. The invitation to the president of the World Jewish Congress was recently withdrawn after he said the fight for Jewish civil rights within the Soviet Union was as important as the fight for aliya to Israel.

That decision was “regrettable,” the two factions said in a petition to the Congress, as Dr. Goldmann “was a central figure who did much to shape the character of the Zionist movement during a long period of its 75-year history.” They added: “The Zionist Congress always served as a free and democratic forum, and it should continue in this way.”


Rabbi Meir Kahane, chairman of the JDL. was not allowed to address the Congress this morning and departed peaceably, saying he would appeal to the Congress Court and might call a “Congress of my own.” Rabbi Kahane’s attempt to speak was supported only by the rightist Herut Party and a few individual members of Mizrachi.

Louis Pincus, chairman of the Zionist Executive and president of the World Zionist Congress, said the issue was not opinions but orderliness. Pincus said Rabbi Kahane had failed to participate in delegate elections and to appeal to the Congress Court before the Congress opened. “If we allow him to speak we shall endanger the democratic structure of this and future Congress,” he said. After his bid was overwhelmingly defeated, the JDL leader charged the vote had been “fixed.”

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