2 Friday, July 22, 1977
THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS
Facts About Chaim Weizmam=
Conferring With Mussolini
and Duce's Broken Pledges
(Copyright 1977, JTA., Inc.)
Rachele Mussolini defends her husband. She insists that
he had negated many of the Hitlerian policies, that he
acted to protect Jews, to prevent their being sent to exter-
In "Mussolini," a Simon and Schuster Pocket Books edi-
tion in which the widow of the Fascist leader relates his
biography (as told to Albert Zacata), she also maintains
that her husband had been a Zionist supporter and had con-
ferred with Dr. Chaim Weizmann on the subject.
Rachele Mussolini's intimate story merits review, al-
though much - of what she relates has been challenged.
Even the Weizmann relationship, factual as it is, has anoth-
er aspect with a negation of the major claims in defense
of the Italian dictator.
In "Mussolini," Rachele Mussolini tells this story:
"It is true that the Fascist government passed cer-
tain measures against the Jews. For example, non-
Italian Jews were debarred from attending Italian
Depoliticization of Philanthropic and Social Services in the Pro-
cess of Israel's Change of Guard... The Arab Boycott and the
Attempt to Nullify Punishments Provided by Congressiuibal Ac-
got about his pledge to Weizmann. The bombing of Tel
Aviv and Haifa were proof that the man to whommi-
lions looked as a savior had turned into a bigot and
tyrant. The instigation conducted by the Italian radios
among Arabs led to bloodshed and attacks upon in-
Thu's , Benito, who had many Jews among his early
collaborators turned on his heel on the Jewish ques-
tion upon signal from Boss Adolf.
It will be of general interest to recall the names of
some of Benito's Jewish friends.
In the early stages of his revolutionary career, one
of his trusty lieutenants was Aldo Finzi, the aviator
who assited D' Annunzio in conducting the Fiume cam-
paign. After the march on Rome, inzi was made Min-
ister of Interior.
Much has been said about the Milan Jewish author-
ess Margherita Sarfati who wrote Mussolini's biogra-
Jewish professors, among them Levi, Barone and
Arias, were entrusted with responsible jobs in the Fas-
Under Fascism, the Jewish communities of Italy
and the colonies in Italian control were combined, un-
der a decree of 1930, into a National Union of the Ital-
ian Israelite Communities. The Italian rulers frequent-
ly reaffirmed pro-Jewish sentiments whenever anti-
Semitic outbursts brought the protest of the loyal Jew-
Mussolini probably wished that he had listened to
his Jewish friends who advised him not to follow in
Hitler's footsteps. The Arch of Titus, established in
Rome as a memento of what was intended to serve as
a signal of the destruction of Judaea, reminded the
Duce that Israel remains indestructible and that those
who seek Jewry's fall meet' their own doom.
June Brown's Courageous Warning:
An Admonition for Public Forum
Monitors to Check Lunatic Fringe
schools. In September, 1938, it was decreed that non-
Italian Jews were forbidden to take up residence in
Italy, Libya; or ,he Dodecanese. These two measures
followed Hitler's desire for vengeance on German Jew-
"But the Italians never returned these Jews to cer-
tain death in Germany. Indeed, my husband actually
informed the children when these measures were im-
minent so that they could warn their Jewish chums.
"There must still be documentary evidence of all
this. If it were published, it might not whitewash Mus-
solini, but it would give an accurate picture.
"In effect, Mussolini introduced measures against
Italian Jews also, after the Pact of Steel had been con-
cluded, but never of the extreme kind taken by other
regimes. Violently anti-Semitic articles appeared in
papers like the Tevero and the Difesa della Razza, but
there was little concrete persecution.
"Even though my husband was not influential
enough to oppose all the Germans' activities, he con-
tinued to try to save the Jews.
"Nobody has disclosed until now that Mussolini al-
most founded the state of Israel after the conquest of
Ethiopia. He had several secret meetings with Chaim
Weizmann, who later became the first president of the
Jewish state; and their talks were about to bear fruit,
since Weizmann and Mussolini were in agreement,
when they encountered a financial stumbling block.
The American Jews refused to finance any such proj-
ect, though God and the American capitalists alone
But the recorded hiitori -Cal facts refute the Mussolini
claims. The truth, as recorded Jewishly, must be judged
Back in 1925 Dr. Chaim Weizmann had occasion to
confer with Italy's discarded Caesar, Benito Musso-
At that time the Italian government was not too fa-
vorable to Zionist aspirations. Furthermore, the Vati-
can had not given encouragement to Jewish efforts to
modernize and rehabilitate Palestine.
Dr. Weizmann therefore went to Rome, obtained an
audience with Mussolini and explained Zionist aims to
Mussolini turned to the Zionist leader and said:
"You are talking to me, Signor Weizmann, in the
name of all the Jewish people, but you can not deny
that it is not all the Jewish people who are Zionists."
Dr. Weizmann did not hesitate to reply:
"But your excellency, amongst you, are all the Ital-
The special correspondent of the Jerusalem Hebrew
daily Haaretz was authority for the statement that
Mussolini accepted the reply in good humor and es-
corted Dr. Weizmann to the door with the promise
that his government would be friendly to Zionism.
This promise was adhered to until Hitler began to
press his yoke upon 11 Duce and the Italian people.
When the war broke out, Mussolini completely for-
Detroit News columnist June Brown had some cou-
rageous words for her readers when she asserted that "citi-
zens should demand that TV immediately stop giving mas-
sive coverage to genocidal groups when that group encour-
Miss Brown had written on the topic "Nazis, Klan Don't
Merit TV Coverage," and her conclusions analyzed her
views as follows:
"A few persons always look for an extremely violent
way to express their feelings. Others who love excite-
ment would use violence to give them a chance to star
"Now that TV has indicated that it will - cover even
the smallest Nazi and Klan meetings, some of these
people are certain to attend them and provide the vio-
lence television seems to favor.
"Not only that, but violent people with deep racial
and religious hostilities who hadn't belonged to gen
ocidal groups now may join.
"Playing with violence is just as dangerous as vio-
"It's regrettable that small groups of Nazis and the
KKK gain nationwide publicity while well-attended con-
ventions of groups with positive programs often cannot
obtain local coverage.
"The danger of premeditated TV violence is its effect
on many people with unstable personalitites who de-
pend mostly on television for information.
"When television covers KKK or Nazi activities, it
should not only provide proper balance. It also should
evaluate the overall newsworthiness of a rally, rather
than the news effect engendered by the violence
aroused by an event."
The debate over this issue is now in progress in many
quarters, especially also after the incident of the protest
by Beverly Payne against the inadequacies of the treat-
ment of a Nazi propagandist on the TV station with which
she was associated. The Civil Liberties Union keeps defend-
ing the vilest anti-Semites and Ku Kluxers, all in the name
of freedom of speech. There already are some defections
in the ACLU ranks out of a conviction that there is a limit
to permitting inciters to riot to run loose wherever they
There is another aspect of the abuses of freedom of
speech that must not be ignored. In the public forums con-
ducted over various radio stations, callers often expresF.
opinions that are both contrary to truth and incite to ha-
tred. Why do not the monitors of these programs question
the veracity of the assertions made? Aren't most of them
too easy with the callers, granting then a platform for de-
structive aims. Free speech must never be curtailed, but
neither should truth be tainted.
If Laws Are Made to Be Broken,
How Can Arab Boycott Be Prevented?
When President Jimmy Carter signed the anti-boycott
bill, there was jubilation. it was considered a triumph in
efforts to prevent discrimination against Israel by the
Arab boycott forces and was viewed as a measure of jus-
tice for Jews and others doing business with the Jewish
There are those who applauded the adopted measure
with tongue in cheek. And there still are those who say
laws are made to be broken and that the adopted legisla-
tion has too many loopholes,
In what seems to be a most authoritative analysis of the
bill, Agis Salpukas, writing in the New York Times, under
a heading that read, "Opposing the Arab Boycott of Israel,
But...", judged the issue as follows:
"The bill that President Carter signed limiting the in-
volvement of American corporations in the economic boy-
cott of Israel is an attempt to straddle morality and eco-
"It is a moral victory for the Jewish organizations and
their supporters who have long sought a strong nationwide
stand against the Arab boycott, which was instituted world-
wide in 1950.
"The bill prohibits United States companies from dic
eliminating on the grounds of race, religion, sex or nati
al origin, from refusing to do business with companies th-
have been black-listed by the Arabs, and from giving the
Arabs boycott-related information. Certain exceptions are
"Although the law outlaws, the boycott within United
States borders, it acknowledges the right of Arab nations
to determine what they will allow to enter their countries,
and under the law's terms most American companies will
be able to pursue the booming Middle East business. •
"What was unusual is that the law's language was
largely hammered out in negotiations between the Busi-
ness Roundtable, an organization of 160 major United
States corporations, and three major Jewish organiza-
tions—the Anti-Defamation League of Bnai Brith, the
American Jewish Congress and the American Jewish Com-
There are uncertainties, however. Regulations now being
drafted by the Commerce Department will determine how
easily companies can continue to engage in trade and still
abide by the law.
"Much also depends on the, political situation in the
Middle East. Mohammed Mahgoub, the chief of the Arab
League Commission, which administers the boycott, has
warned that companies that conform to the law will be de-
nied raw materials from the Middle East. And any sudden
flareup in the conflict with Israel could mobilize the Arab
states to retaliate—possibly with side effects against Amer-
These views must be considered with great seriousness
because the opposition to the measure came from pow-
erful forces in business and government. There were
threats from many quarters of repercussions of a menac-
This means that there will continue to be cause for vigil-
ance. The battle against the boycott may be far from over.
The battle against the anti-boycott action was steeped in
immorality. The moral forces may find it difficult to see
their efforts properly enacted.
Non-Partyism in Jewish Ranks
Max M. Fisher, the Detroiter who has brought glory to
his city and his Jewish constituents during a number of
years of leadership in the Jewish Agency and the Council
of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds, may be in-
scribing a note of greatest glory in his career as a volun-
teer in the ranks of dedicated Jews with a proposal he
made earlier this month at the meetings of the Jewish
Agency in Jerusalem. He urged abandonment of party pref-
erences and depoliticization of action involving Jewish in-
terests in Israel.
His viewpoint will be understood best by reprinting the
statements he made in his address as chairman of the Jew-
In his address to the worldwide gathering of leaders in
Jerusalem on July_ 3 he stated :
"The Jewish Agency can no longer be an instrument
of politics. Today the Jewish Agency exists and touch-
es every facet of Jewish life in Israel and belongs to
the entire Jewish people. The Agency must have a
working relationship with the new Israeli government.
It is only logical—but whoever is ruling must recog-
nize the Agency's new character."
Highly respected, welcomed as a mentor by Jewish pr
fessional and lay spokesmen alike, the new credo enui,
ciated by Mr. Fisher seems to augur a new era in world
Jewish ranks. Leadership in the World Zionist Organiza-
tion and the Jewish Agency until now was dominated by
the Labor Alignment and choices for WZO leadership de-
pended upon the preferences of the then dominant party. It
was, indeed, a party-dominated situation. The Likud
triumph has caused a change that is in line with Mr. Fish-
True, the serious question can be addressed to Mr. Fish-
er and his associates regarding the past: Why was politi-
cization permitted until now? Couldn't it have been demo-
lished when the Joseph Almongi-Leon Dulzin contest for
Jewish Agency-World Zionist Organization chairmanship
was a serious issue in Zionist and Israel ranks?
At any rate, the lesson was learned nearly a year before
Mr. Fisher propagated depoliticization. It should have
been effected long ago. Is the hoped-for realization of depo-
liticization another book for Israel and Jewry to be accre-
dited to Likud's triumphs in a democratic Israeli election?