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December 09, 1977 - Image 2

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1977-12-09

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2 Friday, . December 9, 1977


Purely Commentary

Yitzhak Navon's Role as Israel's Sephardi Leader
and Treatment Accorded Him by the Labor Party...
Endorsing Dulzin to Head Agency and the WZCongress

By Philip

Leon Dulzin's Leadership...Call for Navon's Withdrawl...Showdown at WZCongress

Pursuing the matter that could be defined
as "The Leon Dulzin Candidacy for Lead-
ership in the Jewish Agency and the World
Zionist Organization," broached in this col-
umn last week as an argument in favor of
the qualified voters casting their ballots for
Slate Number 3, some basic facts must now
be introduced for serious consideration.
One of Israel's most distinguished person-
alities, Yitzhak Navon, has been proposed
by the opposition to the Menahem Begin
administration to oppose Mr. Dulzin for the
post he is seeking again after having been
eliminated as a successor to the late Louis
Let it be re-
that Mr. Dul-
zin has proven
his qual-
ifications for.
having served
as treasurer of
the Jewish
Agency under
Mr. Pincus
and as acting
chairman of
the Agency un-
til his defeat
by Yosef Al-
mogi. - The lat-
ter was the Labor Alignment candidate and
Labor was in the saddle. It was a close vote
and Mr. Dulzin might have been named to a
post for which he qualifies highly.
Hadassah, contrary to claims of impartial-
ity, is Labor's stronge^t backer. Therefore,
Almogi was elected.
What now? Labor is no longer in power,
but with Hadassah it could retain control of
the World Zionist Organization and the Jew-
ish Agency leadership, contrary to the hopes
of the dominant party in Israel.
Every party has a right to strive for the
success of its candidates. But in the instance
of leadership involving also the concerns of
Diaspora Jewry a grave injustice could be
enacted if a proven‘areer man like Mr. Dul-
zin is again rejected.
What's the story relating to Mr. Navon?
First, let the credit due him be given to the
fullest degree. "Who's Who in Israel" in-
troduces him to world Jewry as follows:
NAVON, Yitzhak; M.K., Dep. Speaker
of the Knesset; mbr.: Knesset C'tee on
Foreign Affairs & Defence, Steering
C'tee, 65-69; chmn., Israel Brd., Amer-
ica-Israel Cultural Foundation; b. Je-
rusalem, 21; educ.: Hebrew U. (Peda-
gogy Hebrew Literature, Moslem
Culture, Arabic & Literature); married;
p. teacher, Jerusalem elementary &
secondary schools; dir. Arabic Dpt.,
Hagana, Jerusalem, 46-49; Second
Secrt., Israel Embassy, Argentine &
Uruguay, 49-50; Polit. Secret. to late
Foreign Minister, M. Sharett, 51-52;
Polit. Secret. to P.M., D. Ben Gurion,
52-63; dir., Div. of Culture, Min. of
Education & Culture, 63-65.
This is the man who was proposed as
Speaker of the Knesset. He could have been
elected but Labor, his own party, did not
back him. He was a candidate for President
of Israel, but the then Prime Minister Golda
Meir, a fellow-Laborite of Navon, preferred
Ephraim Katzir, the present President of
Many believed that Mr. Navon should have
been selected for the positions he had failed
to attain. He is a Sephardi leader. He
represents the majority of Israel. His selec-
tion would have pleased the Sephardi com-
munity and would have been an act of
justice in behalf of a majority that suffers
minority status.
All of this does not mean that Mr. Dulzin
should be penalized, as Mr., Navon was in
the past.

Nor does it
mean that the
Labor Align-
ment of Israel.
having con-
sistently de-
feated Mr.
Navon for
leading gov-
ernment posts,
should now be
encouraged to
be an avail-
able candidate
for his party in
an hour his
party envi-
sions him as
the means of attaining another triumph over
Mr. Dulzin who apparently is opposed be-
cause he is a General Zionist and does not
belong to the dominant party.
How should Mr. Navon be rewarded for
his able leadership? Supporters of Mr. Dul-
zin should continue to encourage Mr. Navon
to withdraw from the race because electing
Mr. Dulzin for a role in which he is vitally
needed by virtue of his experience and
ability is a vital necessity for Israel and
Diaspora Jewry.
There is a way of honoring Mr. Navon:
with an atonement for one of his previous
defeats. President Ephraim Katzir has an-
nounced that he will not seek a second term
in his prestigious office. If this commentator
were in Israel, as an Israeli, he would urge
that Mr. Navon be elected President. It
would be an act of justice for him and for
the Sephardic community.
Because party politics are resorted to in
an effort to push Mr. Navon into a job for
which the dominant candidate, Aryeh Leon
Dulzin, is so eminently qualified, and to
assure that experience should be recognized,
this commentator encourages a vote for
the ZOA Slate Number 3 which would assure
a delegateship to the World Zionist Congress
in support of Mr. Dulzin.
Is all of this narrow partisanship and
prejudiced politics? Let's call to witness a
responsible Israeli.
Shlomo Shamgar, senior political editor of
Yediot Achronot, one of the leading Israeli
Hebrew daily newspapers, wrote a lengthy
article for his paper under the title "Is This
Yitzhak's Sacrifice Necessary? Bid for the
Zionist Chairmanship Confronting the Likud
Candidate Has No Chance and Yitzhak Nav-
on Would Do Wisely to Withdraw."
Here is the introductory portion of the
Israeli authority's article:
About four and a half years ago, when
Yitzhak Navon's candidacy for the pres-
idency of the state of Israel was being
considered, I was among the many who
gave it enthusiastic support. We saw in
him an ideal person, from all stand-
points: character, age, schooling, ex-
traction, traits, tendencies, merits.
However, someone stamped his foot and
decided, quite arbitrarily and with a
touch of irritation and derision: "Ben-
Gurion's secretary will not inherit Zal-
man Shazar!".
The party steamroller went into oper-
ation, and after a feverish search for a
competing candidate, Yitzhak Navon
was defeated by a slight majority, just
as was his defeat some two years
earlier when he attempted to achieve
the Knesset speakership. None would
deny that Navon would not have embar-
rassed the state of Israel or the Labor
Party in either of the two posts.
Yitzhak Navon would have added hon-
or to another important post toward
which he strove two years ago— the
chairmanship of the Jewish Agency
Executive. But, just as Golda Meir had
blocked the first two appointments, so
was the third blocked by her successor,
Yitzhak Rabin, and aaain Navon was

denied the opportunity to serve his
people and his movement in a senior
post. Thrice he was tripped up on the
inside, even though everyone was ready
to admit that he is "well-liked and
suited to the job". The qualifications
demanded during the tenure of the
previous regime were evidently far
from the traits he had to offer.
Now when does his party commit
itself to backing him? When its strength
is gone, when it is out of office, when its
influence is at low ebb, when it is trying
to sweep its failures and mistakes under
the carpet, when it suddenly wakes up
to the fact that the candidate's merits
and public prestige are more important

than the regrettable black blemish in-
curred by his faithfulness to his friend
and mentor, David Ben-Gurion.
Under these circumstances. studying the
facts, could any knowledgeable American
Zionist vote other than Slate Number 3? _
Perhaps the atmosphere can be cleans'-
by American representatives on the 41ewi
Agency Executive. Perhaps Max Fisher,
Charlotte Jacobson and their associates can
avert another injustice and assure Mr. Dul-
zin's retention in the leadership he has
earned and for which he is highly qualified.
Under any circumstances, to protect in a
striving for justice this columnist endorses a
large vote for the WZCongress Slate Number

Rocky Road to Peace on Which Sadat Meets Antagonists

Not Only in Libya But Also at U-M and WSU Campuses

Is the average citizen puzzled, or stunned by what is occuring-around him?
Anwar Sadat had called upon the world's leadir% diplomats to join him in talks in Cairo
preliminary to peace negotiations for an end of warfare in the Middle East. Israel
accepted the invitation promptly. The United States and the United Nations hesitated but
accepted. Then came a period of revelations.
Arabs convened conferences of their own. in Libya and in Iraq.
UN Secretary General Kurt Waldik_im wanted followup conferences in New York under
his tuletage and Israel showed spunk with a sharp NO! to such an invitation. Does Israel
need a continuity of hatred under UN directorship?
Russia played her role by rejecting the call to Cario—understandably, because she was
courting the Arab extremists.
President Jimmy Carter succeeded in causing a delay in the Cairo meetings, which
were to commence on Dec. 3, until Dec. 14. Was this some sort of an appeasement for
some of the Arab states that are battling the Sadat peace proposals?
Then began the Tripoli meetings at the behest of Libya, and some who had previously
posed as peacemakers joined the ranks of those who are saying No to Sadat's "No More
Wars, No More Bloodshed." Chief among the so-called peace-lovers who were among the
first to reach Tripoli and who received a royal welcome was Houari Boumedienne. He is
the Alegerian who often talked of peace and who showed his real intentions by making
demands upon Israel so extreme that he could have matched Yasir Arafat.
• Whence cometh good sense and support for amity? When in mankind's history has there •
been such a demonstration against peace when two contending forces actually had
embraced in a pact of friendship for peace?
Not only in the Middle East but in America's academic community the answer to a call
for "no more war..." by the chief Arab leader was blasted with a call to arms by Arabs
on the campus of the University of Michigan!
This need not negate peace. It must instead inspire all efforts to attain what a brave
Egyptian leader has inspired with a bold move from Cairo to Jerusalem. Now the road is
to Cairo to assure that out of Yerushalayim—the City of Peace—will come the clarion call
never to abandon the human factor of "No more war. No more bloodshed."

Anti-Israel, anti-Sadat groups also have their cohorts at Wayne State University, where
the Communist influence was in evidence. The Young Socialist and Workers League
mobilized a demonstration against the Egyptian leader. When the method of measuring
the value of peace comes from the Kremlin, there is little more to expect from the WSU
Socialists than from the disciples of Arafat in Beirut and those who learn from George
Habash in the ranks of would-be destroyers of Israel.
Therefore, the Sadat mission is certain to have obstacles. If he persists and refuses to
yield to threats from those who, as it has been said, are prepared to fight against Israel
"until the last Egyptian," then at least a partial peace is possible. This was unbelieveable
and inconceivable a month ago. Now it has a measure of possibility.

From Miracle to Miracle — Datelines from Cairo

It isn't far from Cairo to Tripoli. Yet the distance is worlds apart. In Cairo, the leap.._
of the Egyptians keeps progagating for peace and his words are echoed in Jerusalem. In
Tripoli, Arabs vowed war and threatened that the man of peace in Cairo would be
Now the world may be awakened to the facts in the case.
Is it any wonder that Egyptians now say, "We are not Arabs." as the Lebanese had
said in the past that they, too, were not Arabs, affirming, "We are Phoenicians."
But these are minor matters, as long as Anwar Sadat accepts Arab !Lade! ‘t- iip and
seeks amity in that part of the world. All mankind should applaud the response Sadat gets
from his constituents. There is little reason for doubt that his people back him in his
courageous efforts. The only danger stems from the few who are murderers. The
entire world has reason to be in jitters over what may occur, because if Sadat's life
should be endangered there is the threat of Russian domination not only over Egypt
but in the entire Middle East. Didn't Sadat say that what happened in Tripoli was
Russian-made "rubbish."
Meanwhile, there is reason to rejoice: Many hundreds of correspondents are expected
to be in Cairo to cover the Sadat conference on peace with Israel. For the first time—
with only one exception—reports to The Jewish News will be datelined CAIRO. The only
exceptions were when Robert St. John represented this newspaper and wrote a series of
articles for us from the Egyptian capital.
The first Israeli whose passport was recognized in Cairo and who was given a royal
reception last week was the Yediot Achronot correspondent, Sami Greenshpan. Dec. 1,
the day of his welcome to Cairo, should be marked down among the historic days in
Middle EaSt peace efforts. It is one of the many glorious days to be anticipated as a result
of the courage shared by Anwar Sadat and Menahem Begin.

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