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December 05, 1980 - Image 12

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1980-12-05

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



12 Friday, December 5, 1980

NEW YORK (JTA) —
The public address (far-
brengen) by the
Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi
Menachem M. Schneerson,
on the Hasidic festival
known as "Yud-Tes Kislev,"
was transmitted live last
week via satellite to hun-
dreds of cable television
networks across the United
States.
For several years the Re-
bbe's public addresses de-
livered on weekdays were
broadcast by audio com-
munications hookup to
Lubavitch centers around
the world.

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Israel Cabinet Split Over Menahem Begin's Banning
Communist Arab Congress Scheduled for Nazareth

JERUSALEM (JTA) —
Premier Menahem Begin's
cabinet was split over the
advisability of banning the
Communist sponsored
"Arab Congress," a political
gathering of Israeli Arabs to
have taken place in
Nazareth next Saturday.
Begin ordered the ban
Monday in his capacity as
defense minister, citing
regulation 84 of the British
Mandate which is still
applicable under Israeli
law.
Ironically, that regula-
tion was often used by the
Mandate authorities
against Begin's Irgun and
its sister underground
organization, the Stern
Group in pre-statehood
days. It has been invoked
only rarely since the Jewish
state was founded.
It was learned that the
two Deputy Premiers,
Simha Ehrlich and Yigael
Yadin, opposed the ban
as did Interior Minister
Yosef Burg and Educa-
tion Minister Zevulun
Hammer of the National
Religious Party.
They argued that the
views held by the organizers
of the congress were shared
by legitimate political par-
ties represented in the
Knesset, such as the Com-
munist Party and Sheli and
certain elements of the
Labor Alignment. They
contended that it was,

191

Ann and Jules Doneson at the Great Wall, Peking

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therefore, improper to pre-
vent the same views from
being aired by Israeli
Arabs.
But Begin was deter-
mined to outlaw the gather-
ing. He was supported by a
cabinet majority that in-
cluded Foreign Minister
Yitzhak Shamir, Finance
Minister Yigal Hurwitz,
Agriculture Minister Ariel
Sharon, Justice Minister
Moshe Nissim and Health
Minister Eliezer Shostak.
They insisted that the
congress was organized to
identify with the Palestine
Liberation Organization
and thereby create a new
political body that would be
hostile to the state. Security
sources also recommended
the ban.
The congress organiz-
ers have formulated
three targets: and end to
the "policy of oppres-
sion" in the occupied ter-
ritories; equal rights for
Israel Arabs, specifically
the abolition of several
allegedly anti-Arab laws;
and the establishment of
a Palestinian state
alongside of Israel.
They adhere to the posi-
tion of the 1974 Arab sum-
mit conference that the
Palestine Liberation
Organization is the sole
legitimate representative of
the Palestinian people and
claim that the Israeli Arabs
are an integral part of the
Palestinian people.
At the same time, they in-
sist that "the PLO does not
represent Israel's Arabs."
They maintain that Israeli
Arabs have their own repre-
sentative bodies, most
prominently the Committee
of Arab Mayors and the
Committee fOr the Protec-
tion of Arab Land.
Both are guided by the
Communist Party but in-
clude representatives of
non-Communist elements.
The organizers of the con-
gress say its purpose is to
rally Jews and Arabs
against the government's
policies in the name of
Jewish-Arab understand-
ing.
Invoking the defense
emergency regulations
dating from 1945, Begin
declared the planned
congress illegal because
the participants would be
identifying with the
"organization called
PLO." The PLO is out-
lawed in Israel.
Begin's decree did not
mention the Nazareth
gathering specifically. It
noted that any gathering
based on the June 6 charter,
a manifesto published last
summer in the Arab Com-
munist newspaper Alit-
tihad, was illegal because
the manifesto called for the
establishment of a PLO-
ruled Palestine state
alongside Israel.
Decrees of this kind have
been few and far between in
the 32 years since Israel was
founded. Their use to pre-
vent political assemblies
was restricted by a Supreme
Court ruling that "the free-

dom of assembly is one of
the principles of the demo-
cratic system and one of the
basic rights of citizens."
A similar ban was applied
22 years ago against the
Arab nationalist organiza-
tion Al-Ard. The organizers
at the time appealed to the
Supreme Court but lost. The
court ruled -that "no free
system will support a
movement which under-
mines the very same sys-
tem." Begin used almost
identical wording to justify
his ban of the Nazareth
gathering.
The initial reaction
among the Arab population
was moderate. The organiz-
ers of the congress are de-
liberating what steps to
take to fight the ban. They
are considering an appeal to
the Supreme Court. Mean-

while, they intend to launch
a local and international
campaign in support of the
right of Israeli Arabs to
freedom of assembly.

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Palestine Day
Attendees Earn
Israel's Ire

AMSTERDAM (JTA) —
Israel lodged a formal pro-
test with Holland over the
presence of two top Dutch
Foreign Ministry officials at
a Palestine Day reception
held in Amsterdam by Arab
ambassadors.
The Netherlands envoy to
Israel, Iwan Verkade, was
summoned to the Foreign
Ministry in Jerusalem and
asked to convey to his gov-
ernment Israel's "profound
regret."
Palestine Day, the an-
niversary of the Nov. 29,
1947, partition resolution,
was officially designated by
the UN three years ago as a
day of solidarity with the
Palestinian people and
their aspirations.
Until this year, Holland
had ignored the event, hav-
ing voted against the origi-
nal resolution in 1977.

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