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December 11, 1987 - Image 72

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1987-12-11

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

WATERBED WORMING.

WISHES YOU AND YOURS
A MOST HAPPY 8( HEALTHY
HANUKAH!

DETROIT

ORCHARD LAKE

4242 E. 8 Mile

3240 Orchard Lk.

891-1666

681-6700

LIVONIA

19711 Middlebelt

474-2644

Advertising in The Jewish News Gets Results
Place Your Ad Today. Call 354 6060

-

Best Wishes
for a

Happy Chanukah

THE GORNBEIN FAMILY
AND STAFF

Carl and Myra Gornbein
Mark Gornbein • Fay Fries
Norman Gornbein
Arline Allen • Arthur Greenwald
Frankie Fish • Lillian DeRoven
Lane Trubey

GORNBEINO

357-1056

SUITE 110 — HERITAGE PLAZA
24901 NORTHWESTERN HWY.
SOUTHFIELD

JEWELERS

72

-

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 11, 1987

HOURS: MON.-FRI. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. • SAT. 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

Unexpected Attention
On Zionist Congress

HELEN DAVIS

Israel Correspondent

erusalem — Thanks to
the fractious World
Zionist Congress tak-
ing place here this week, and
the bitter political dispute
leading up to it in recent
months, Israelis have discov-
ered, or rediscovered, orga-
nized Zionism.
For years, Israelis have
regarded the Zionist estab-
lishment with attitudes rang-
ing from cynicism to outright
contempt.
Zionist institutions were
widely perceived as the trash
can of unfulfilled ambitions;
the last refuge of failed Israeli
politicians; a burial ground
where the major Israeli blocs
could dispense favors, pay off
debts and decently dispose of
their dead wood.
The Zionist movement itself
— an incomprehensible behe-
moth, an anachronism in the
age of statehood — was per-
ceived as hardly touching or-
dinary Israelis or having any
relevance to their lives.
For many who bothered to
think about it at all, the
Jewish Agency- and World
Zionist Organization (WZO)
were creatures of the Dia-
spora, nourished and sus-
tained by Diaspora Jews as a
form of charity to Israel, a
way of throwing their money
at the Jewish state in order to
ease their collective con-
science.
The subsequent battle for
the Labor Party nomination
for the post of WZO chairman
was a cliff-hanger, pitting two
party stars, Simcha Dinitz
and Mordechai Gur, against
each other and against the
mediagenic, Tunisian-born
Nissim Zvili, chairman of the
Jewish Agency Settlement
Department and favorite son
of Labor's Young Guard.
Gur bowed out when the
fund raisers made clear their
preference for Dinitz. And
when the Labor powerbrokers
convened, Dinitz beat Zvili by
a whisker, making him a vir-
tual shoo-in for the post of
Jewish Agency-WZO chair-
man in the final showdown
with Likud candidate Gideon
Patt late this week.
But perhaps the most im-
portant spin-off of the affair
was that, for the first time in
years, Israelis sat up and took
notice of what was happening
in the Zionist world.
The 31st Zionist Congress,
which might have come and
gone without the Israeli

j

public really being aware that
it had been held at all, ignited
Israeli public interest.
Suddenly the fate of the
Jewish Agency and World
Zionist Organization found a
place on Israel's daily agenda;
suddenly, it was the subject of
intense debate among or-
dinary Israelis.
Chutzpah! Who did these
Diaspora leaders think they
were? Pushing Israeli leaders
around, dictating who should
be elected to high office?
What was this Zionist move-
ment anyway? Chutzpah!
Nowhere was this newfound
interest given more strident
expression than in the Israeli
media—on television, on
radio, but most of all, in the
Hebrew-language press.
Newspapers, which might
once have barely noted the
convening of a Zionist con-

For the first time
in years, Israelis
sat up and took
notice of what was
happening in the
Zionist world.

gress, this week opened their
columns to major editorials
on the issue of Zionist leader-
ship in particular and the role
of Zionism and the Zionist
organizations in general.
Among the most severe
critics was the mass-circula-
tion Yediot Ahronot, which ex-
pressed its exasperation and
despair, wondering if there
will be "even one just person
among the 530 delegates to
the Zionist Congress who will
muster sufficient courage to
declare that Zionism is aliyah
and that a Zionist movement
which does not practice
aliyah has gone bankrupt?"
The paper described the
Zionist institution as "ossi-
fied," and a wasteful self-
serving apparatus which
resembles an international
travel agency for the move-
ment's functionaries."
The respected daily
Ha'aretz noted that the
Jewish Agency and the World
Zionist Organization have
failed to cultivate ties needed
between the Diaspora and
Israel. The paper said the
leadership crisis which
preceded the congress
"showed once more the extent
to which the Zionist move-
ment lacks personal and
ideological thrust."
It called on congress dele-

Continued on page 74

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