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March 10, 1978 - Image 2

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1978-03-10

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2 Friday, March 10, 1918

• • • : ;:.

Purely Commentary

Impressions of World Zionist Congress, Its Role as a Forum,
the Ingathering of all Elements, the Protestations and
Their Normalities in a Free and Democratic Society

By Philip

A Working Congress Amidst Political Transformations in Zionist Ranks

Jerusalem Hilton Hotel, which adjoins the Binyanei Hauma where the Congress Ses-
TEL AVIV —In the aftermath of nine days of deliberations about every conceivable
sions were held, heard about the noisy session and inquired who was meeting and what
issue in Jewish ranks, some may be sitting in judgment over the methods of conducting a
had happened. When explained, he said: "How wonderful, that young people should be
congress as well as the results.
sufficiently interested to demonstrate for their views and beliefs."
The 29th World Zionist Congress followed previous patterns. It was, of course, political.
It was, indeed, a political congress. Could it be anything else? For more than 50 years it
It was self-searching.
was controlled by the Labor Alignment. Labor retained its power only because of the
The outside world may choose to judge it by the occasional noise, as well as by the
collaboration of the American Hadassah. That partnership continues as the struggle for
plethora of speeches. This, too, was a form of normalcy. Representatives of the many
control has been transferred to the Zionist Actions Commission. The puzzle remains: why
movements and organizations in Jewish life had to have a voice, and voice means speech.
does Hadassah, the great health' providing and social movement in Israel, call itself
Therefore, much of oratory — some of it all-too elementary for the 80th anniversary of the
when it is so deeply involved in politics? Possessing power in world Zionism,
political Zionist movement. They were the inevitable. The fact is that it was a working
why should Hadassah abandon it, is the possible answer to the question.
congress, delegates assigned to working commissions having.devoted their energies to
Meanwhile, there is another development: in the choice of the assignment of the
formulating future policies.
Jewish Agency treasurership, American Jews now are insisting that fund-raisers must
That is why the decisions on aliya, the urgent effort to encourage increased settlement
have a say in the selection of Zionist leadership and control of the Jewish Agency. Was
of Jews in Israel, especially the dedicated from Western lands, resulted in emphasis on
there similar emphasis on the "right to exert influence" by Max Fisher and others in the
such needs.
past? Perhaps there was, else Arye Dulzin might have become the head of the movement
Basic principles are involved in this issue. The extremists would negate the Diaspora.
much sooner. But the Hadassah — Labor Alignment had its say in the past and American
The trend remains that while every effort should be made for increased settlement in
leadership backed it — now there is a new deal. Perhaps the new development also is for
Israel, that Zionist leaders must join in aliya, the obligation to assure the survival of
the best: that both fund-raisers and fund-spenders will act cooperatively not only in the
Jewish life in the Diaspora is equally important.
assignment of political pbsts but also in effecting improvements in tasks in behalf of
Many insist in asking, "what would Israel be without the Diaspora?" The skeptical see
Israel and in efforts to assure security for Diaspora Jews in the strivings for higher values
no future for Diaspora Jewry. Yet there is a realism in the recognition that throughout
culturally and for the retention of Jewish identity.
history there were always more Jews in the Diaspora than in Israel and the link between
Was it a good congreis? It should have had some American efficiency in its organiza-
the two is inerasable.
tion. It was not until the final three days that special sections were assigned to delega-
A congress that can act as bluntly as the one that has just ended on the question of
tions as they had been in the past. Some of the speeches should have been eliminated —
religious plurality, on equality for Conservative and Reform with Orthodox, has set a.
for example the several Americans at the so-called "Festive Evening" should have been
certain mark for its record.
compelled to adhere to the seven-minute limit which some stretched to more than 30. It
was the night for Golda Meir, and by midnight she managed to tuck in three minutes into
Some were worried by the demonstration against the adopted resolution by Orthodox
an evening of nonsense, except for the speech by Alexander Schindler, who adhered to the
youth, by what has been described as violence by demonstrating opponents of the adopted
resolution that is presently unenforceable. Is there anything wrong or unusual about
seven minutes, and Israel, Cabinet Minister Joseph Burg.
demonstrations? Haven't the leftists demonstrated against the rightists, and vice versa,
Anything else to criticize? Plenty! But there was much more of the positive at the
World Zionist Congress. As a political parliamentary function it may have accomplished
and doesn't public opinion emerge clarified from demonstrations?
more in nine days than any other congress or parliament does in an entire five- or
There are many,non-Jewish tourists in Israel. Minutes after the referred to demonstra-
six-month session.
tion on the religious ,luralism question, a non-Jewish arrival from Kentucky at the
until the birth of the state when the Druze- aided
of the schooled voice of the farmer.
Two Detroiters in High-Ranking
the Jews in their struggle to attain independence.
Settlers from moshavim and kibutzim, young and old
Zionist Political Positions
To this very day the Druze living within our bor-
from the settlements of Israel, came to Jerusalem on the
JERUSALEM — It doesn't happen too often. It did at the night of Feb. 23. They enchanted an overflow audience in
ders have remained loyal, constantly fighting in
World Zionist Congress. A Detroiter, Frieda Leemon, pres-
the front lines. The members of the Druze nation
Binyanei Hauma, in a special session of the World Zionist
ided at one of the sessions. More than that: she will be the
always persisted in maintaining the close net-
Congress, with songs, dances, .clialogues.
first Detroiter to become a member of the World Zionist
What they demonstrated was,tfiat settlements are not
work of ties with the Jewish nation in spite of
Actions Committee.
new either to Israel or to Jewry. :. Jews never left Eretz
castigations by our neighbors.
Mrs. Leemon attains these distinctions because of her
Yisrael. The rebuilding of the land as the Jewish National
"At the side of the Jewish nation is a Druze
role as national president of Pioneer Women. She knows
Home gained impetus nearly a century ago with the estab-
nation maintaining its way of life, yet sharing a
and speaks Hebrew and it comes in good stead.
lishment of farming settlements, and the process continues
common destiny with the Jews in this country.
Mrs. Leemon is not the only achiever of distinction in the to this day.
The Druze nation views this cooperation as an
distaff ranks at the WZCongress. As president of the Na-
In the delegations from the Jewish settlements were
important element of their existence. Israel's in-
tional Federation of Temple Sisterhoods, Lillian Maltzer scores of children who also sang and danced. Collectively,
dependence also granted the Druze the freedom
became a factor in the new Reform Zionist party that oper- these settlers represent a community that is dotting the
to live their lives according to their religion and
ates under the name of ARZA. She became one of the
reborn state of Israel. What the evening's progr il asserted
their customs.
delegates and will be a deputy member of the Zionist Ac-
with emphasis is that when people settle on t land and
"We condemn all those who oppose Zionism and
tions Committee.
build it, it is not done at the mercy of an antithesis that
we censure the decisions of the UN General As-
means destruction. The people who build are the human
sembly against Zionism and the state. "The
element of society that emerges with a will to live and to
Zionist-Druze circle which I represent is a part of
restore the desert to the ancient glory of a creative nation.
the Zionist Council in Israel. The aim of this circle
Keren Kayemet — Jewish, National Fund — achieve-
is to act against extremists within our sect who
ments, the Zionist land redemption agency's notably his-
would undermine the cooperation between the
toric tasks, are the sources of creative pioneering in the
two nations.
Land of Israel. Wherever one turns, JNF is recognized as
"Our chief concern is encouraging immigra-
the instrument of creativity in the redemption processes.
tion. We call upon the government of the USSR to
An evening of and by settlements affirmed the status of
allow all our brethren to make aliya, thereby
people who came to build and to be rebuilt, whose children
strengthening the nation dwelling in Zion."
are the inheritors of a historic legacy. This heritage lives in
The Druze spokesman, who shared the platform on
settlements - that stand for life and demand security. An
that historic evening with Abbe Eban and delegates from
evening devoted to settlements had a message to the world,
ARZA, the new Reform Zionist organization, chatted with
to Washington and also to Cairo, that settlements do not
some of the members of the Detroit delegation at the recep-
mean negations and they cannot be transformed into an
tion that was given at the Plaza Hotel in Jerusalem in
argument for harm to Israel. The settlers spoke at the
honor of the newly elected world leader, Leon Dulzin.
international gathering of Jews. The continuity thus de-
monstrated gave courage to the builders of Zion and their
friends in partnership for Zion's security. Creators do not
submit to threats and will not -encourage suicide. Settle-
ARZA ... as a Reform Party
ments, therefore, perpetuate halutziut — pioneering.
on Zionism and Neo-Frustrations
That's how the farmer, the worker, the builder of a new life
ARZA was audible at the WZCongress. Several of its formulates his message to the world for a will to live.
delegates were in the limelight. Rabbis Polish and Lelyveld
were heard often. Therefore, ARZA was significant, be-
The Druze as Zionists
cause its top delegates had Zionist training in the Zionist
Organization of America and more recently in Labor in Comradeship with World Jewry
Zionism. But the newcomers, the balance of the delegation
JERUSALEM — Just as every step in Israel represents
of 15, were composed of neophytes. One of them, a Los
historic experience, so, also, many a delegate from all parts
Angeles delegate, shouted at one of the commission meet- of the globe relate a romance in history.
ings, 'It's my first Congress, I won't come again." He should
Among the truly thrilling occurrences at the World
have been trained by the experienced in his ranks to know Zionist Congress was the appearance of an Israeli Druze as
that there can be frustrations but the views of opponents
a delegate. He could be said to have been the only non-
must by tolerated.
Yussuf is shown, the third from the left rear, with
Jewish associate in the worldwide delegation of 520.
Many often leave.WZCongresses feeling frustrated. They
In the records of the 29th World Zionist Congress will Steven Goldin, Mr. and Mrs. Philip Slomovitz and Dr. and
return because the historical aspects are more important
appear the following, relating to the Druze spokesman's Mrs. Sidney Leib. Also appearing with Yussuf is another
than differences in views, no matter how serious they may .. participation in the session on Feb. 21:
member of the Druze Zionist group which has a member-
ship of 500, Akiva Nasv Edin. Both Druze reside in Daliath
Yussuf Nasser A-Din (Chairman of the Druze-
Karmel. Yussuf is chairman of the Druze Zionist Yout
Zionist Club) - Israel:
Settlements Demonstrate A
Club. Akiva, second from the left, is an associate officer of
"I am the first non-Jew in the history of the
the group. The Druze are associated with the Israel Zionist
Determined Will to Live
Zionist Congresses to appear before a Congress.
Council of which Aryeh Zimuki, the first in the rear row, is
The first connection between Jews and Druze was
JERUSALEM — Settlements are not a problem. They
the national chairman.
during the time of Moses, and it has extended up
are synonymous with halutziut in Israel. They are the right

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