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December 10, 1976 - Image 23

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1976-12-10

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.


Friday, December 10, 1976 23

Spanish Government Action Dampens Meaning
of World Jewish Congress Meeting in Madrid

between the Jewish
people and the new
Spain" for the first time
in 500 years.
Dr. Nahum Goldmann,
president of the WJC, who
was to have headed the de-
legation of the Royal
Palace, left Madrid im-
mediately after the deci-
sion was made.
It became apparent
over the weekend that
the audience would not
materialize because of
the Spanish govern-
ment's sudden coldness
toward the WJC meeting.
Deputy Minister of Jus-
tice Rafael 1VIendizabal,
who was to have greeted
the opening session of the
meeting on behalf of the
government Saturday
night, telephoned. two
hours before to say he
could not attend. Heave
no explanation and ex-
pressed no regrets.

European Executive of
the World Jewish Con-
gress withdrew its re-
quest for an audience
with King Juan Carlos I
who was to have received
a delegation of Jewish
leaders at the Royal
Palace this week.
The Spanish govern-
ment was expected to
. ancel the historic audi-
?.nce or grant it only
under difficult condi-
tions. The WJC action,
therefore, was viewed as
the most dignified way
out of an embarrassing
The WJC announce-
ment said it withdrew its
request because the-
Spanish authorities pre-
ferred to coiasider the au-
dience "in the context of
day-to-day Spanish-Arab
relations" rather than
"in the historic context of
re-establishing relations

Rabin May Reject Horev -Plan
to Dissolve Absorption Office

Premier. Yitzhak Rabin
hinted that he might not
support a key recommen-
dation of the Horev com-
mittee's report that calls
for abolition of the Ab-
sorption Ministry.
The committee, headed
by Amos Horev, president
of the Haifa Technion, re-
commended a drastic
overhaul of Israel's im-
migration and absorption
Rabin remarked that
immigration was the es-
sence of Zionism and, -
therefore, the govern-
ment should not relin-
quish control of the
machinery required to
implement it. This was
seen as a hint that he did
not favor dismantling the
Cabinet ministry set up
several years ago for the
purpose of directing the
absorption process.
Absorption Minister
Shlomo Rosen of Mapam, a
critic of the Horev commit-
tee's recommendations,
appeared to be pleased
when he left the Cabinet
meeting. He stressed that
it was too early to predict
what the Cabinet's final
position would be.
MeanWhile, Israel's
immigration and absorp-
tion machinery has come

under sharp criticism
from the heads of associa-
tions of immigrants from
the Soviet Union, Latin
America, the U.S. and
Canada. They say that
unless radical changes
are made there was no
hope for increased set-
tlement here by Jews
from abroad.
That warning was
sounded by Daniel Bluz,
chairman of the Soviet
Immigrants Association,
and Eliezer Dalman,
chairman of the Associa-
tion of Latin American
Immigrants, in testimony
before a Knesset commit-
tee last week.
Yitzhak Heimowitz,
president of the Associa-
tion of Americans and
Canadians in Israel and
Ernest Siegel, executive
director of the AACI,
complained at a press
conference that present
methods employed to
promote aliya from North_
America were ineffective.
Bluz, who had just re-
turned from a visit to Vie-
nna, said the aliya au-
thorities must recognize
that Jews leaving the
Soviet Union now do so
"because of the negative
aspects of life there rather
than the positive aspects
of life in Israel."

The decision to boycott
the meeting was appa-
rently made by Foreign
Minister Marcellino
Orega after a meeting
with Arab envoys who
strongly protested plans
for an official welcome to
the WJC executive.
monstrators gathered out-
side the hotel where the
meeting was taking place
were allowed to shout
anti-Israel slogans for 30
minutes before police
asked them to disperse.
Goldmann said in Paris
that cancellation of the
audience was not likely to
slow clown progress to-
ward the establishment
of diplomatic relations
between Spain and Is-
"Relations could begin
at any time after the
Spanish elections and re-
ferendum next year,"
Goldmann said.
Goldmann said, "Libyan
Premier Abdel Salam Jel-
loud was visiting Spain
and the Arab embassies
put pressure on the
Spanish government to get
the audience with the King
But, Goldmann added,
despite this setback, the
WJC Executive meeting
in Madrid represented an
historic "milestone" be-
cause it was the first in-
ternational Jewish
athering to be held in
pain since the- Inquisi-
tion and expulsion of
Jews in 1492.
Israeli Foreign Minis-
ter Yigal Allon sharply
criticized the Madrid con-
ference Wednesday, de-
scribing it as "an unfor-
tunate one, at the wrong
place and at the wrong
time — from both Israeli
and Jewish points of
Speaking at the Knes-
set, Allon said the WJC
was an independent body
that did not have to ac-
cept Israeli advice, but on
matters that could bear
repercussions to Israel
they shouldhave at least
consulted the govern-
Had they done so,
Allon added, they would
have been told in clear
terms not to hold the con-
ference in Madrid.
Spanish surrender to
Arab blackmail, Allon
said, indicated that even in
the new regime there were
still elements which
needed to change before
the regime could be
counted with the en-

lightened democracies.
Allon concluded that in
addition to the insult
which the Madrid confer-
ence had brought on its
organizers and to a cer-
tain extent on the entire
Jewish people, the results
might jeopardize the cre-
ation of normal relations
between Israel, • the
Jewish people and Spain.

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