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December 05, 1986 - Image 53

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1986-12-05

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

25 to 40% SAVED
On your heat bills by
INSULATING THE INSIDE OF
YOUR DOORS & WINDOWS.

the WZO chose to take the
opposite course.
When the booklets with the
articles reached the annual
Jewish Agency Assembly
this summer — which brings
together 400 of the leading
fund-raisers and Zionist
representatives from around
the world — the heads of the
WZO were aghast.
Before the substance of the
articles could even be dis-
cussed, the leaders of the
WZO focused their outrage
on the illustrations by artist
Giora Carmi that were
printed with the articles.
While I recognize that there
are elements in these car-
toons that could offend
Israeli sensibilities, especial-
ly when they are presented in
an official forum such as the
Agency, for the most part the
illustrations provided the
leaders of the WZO with a
convenient pretext to deflect
attention from what the ar-
ticles actually said. Thus, for
several days after the booklet
made its appearance, some
WZO leaders repeatedly de-
nounced it in the media as
"anti-Zionist" and even as
"anti-Semitic."
Although I found this
chapter of the affair rather
unpleasant from a personal
point of view, I had to admit
that the cries of outrage from
the WZO, whether real or
feigned, actually did a great
service to the articles. If these
leaders had not stirred up
such a fuss, many people
would not have known about
them. Suddenly, the booklet
was the hottest thing around.
Even officials of the Agency
and WZO eagerly sought
copies, and privately, many of
them admitted that what I
wrote was accurate —
especially if it concerned
someone else's department.
One odd reaction to the ar-
ticles came from some Agen-
cy insiders who tried to
dismiss the whole hullaballoo
by saying that the articles
revealed "nothing new." For
them I suppose this is true,
since after all, insiders are
supposed to know what's go-
ing on.
But this criticism was
usually accompanied by the
claim that the issues raised in
the articles were being dealt
with by the Agency's system
of accountability, which
resides mainly in the Board of
Governors with its various
committees.
This claim is only partly
true, since the process of ac-
countability that operates at
this level tends to be for in-
siders only. Crucial informa-
tion on issues involving hun-
dreds of millions of dollars re-
mains bottled up in the rooms
where the Board of Governors
or its committees convene.

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Continued on next page

53

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