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World Union of Mapam, International Service and Kibbutz Artzi — Hashomer Hatzair
Vol. 6, No. 1 October 1979
MAPAM SUPPORTS BEDOUIN RIGHTS
Mapam held a press conference in Te! Aviv with the heads of the settle-ments. The press conference obtained wide coverage in the whole communica-tions system, particularly television and radio. The next day we organised a pro-test demonstration in front of the Knes-set in which hundreds of Bedouin dele-gates participated. Two days later we published a pamphlet, distributed among the Bedouin public, calling upon them to continue the fight by consolidating their ranks and strengthening the co-operation with their Jewish friends.
In the Knesset’s first-call vote on the bill there were 46 in favour and 44 against. One can say that we almost sue-ceeded in overthrowing the bill. ׳In order to stand up against the harsh criticism of the bill, the administration was forced to make several changes in the Bedouin's favour. But this is not enough, and we are continuing the effort to abort the bill.
The Negev Bedouin land settlement problem has been in existence for many years. We have been supporting this righteous struggle all along. A few months ago, a delegation from Mapam Head-quarters, headed by General Secretary and Knesset Member Meir Talmi, met with the heads of the settlements in order to find a solution to the problem of the lands. The plan is to build airfields on Bedouin land, (in conjunction with the peace agreement with Egypt). At our suggestion, the Bedouin pleaded in writing to the Prime Minister and the Minister of Defense to negotiate with them in order to come to an agreeable settle-ment. Not only were the Bedouin not answered, but the administration pre-ferred to introduce a bill for a monstrous law taking away the Bedouin’s basic right of turning to the courts, in fact expro-priating their lands by force, in exchange for pitiful compensation.
A Private View
A Project of Society
—------------------- by Dov Barnir
Today it is clear to every child that the Begin government is a national cata-strophe. All the public opinion polls point to the Likud’s steep decline and the Alignment’s recovery. Still, it is not clear whether the present troubled government coalition will continue to crawl up to the coming elections in two years or dis-integrate on the way and make room for earlier elections.
We thus have hopes for the future but don’t these hopes also contain some grains of concern? Is the labor movement prepared to draw all the lessons of the 1977 defeat and take a really pioneering and socialist road ? We cannot be sure of that. And we must not forget that the Likud government will leave scorched earth behind — a shattered economy, in-flation of cosmic dimensions, a negative balance of payments, astronomic dollar indebtednesses, demoralization among the population, polar gaps between the “nouveau riche", the speculators, the black capitalists and the income tax eva-ders on the one hand, and on the other, the distresses of wage laborer and the pockets of poverty that arouse cur pain and fears. If the labor movement returns to power it will find itself with two conflicting choices :
1. There is no doubt that there will be need for austerity, belt-tightening, sacrifices in the standard of living, in order to save our national economy from the danger of bankruptcy. The easy way will be to impose the burden on the working people, on employees whose incomes are apparent, without any need for economic police or confrontations with possible coalition partners. If it does this the labor movement will pull the chestnuts out of the fire to the anger of the working people and the cheers of the business community. But, after pulling the economy out of its straits it will fall again in a wave of unpopularity
(Continued on page 2)
Meir Talmi talking to Bedouin at Jerusalem Demonstration
Institute for Strategic Studies Predicts a Palestinian State
Gaza Strip. For that purpose Israel would have to agree to the presence of an Egypt-ian representation in the Strip and also to grant the autonomy broad and full powers except for some matters that are vitally important, like a senior share of respon-sibility for internal security, and the ab-rogation of economic borders between the autonomy and itself.
Israel's concessions would be reflected in limiting the number of settlements to be established, in dividing state lands between the autonomy and Israel, in agreeing that the source of authority would be a standing committee (or an Israeli-Egyptian committee in the case of Gaza) that would stand above the auto-nomy, in granting the right to vote for the autonomy’s administration to East Je-rusalem Arabs (in negotiations over autonomy for the West Bank). The course's success in Gaza would create a more favorable climate for its accept-ance in the West Bank as well.
The study was in preparation for nine months. In the course of amassing the data about fifty persons were interviewed, among then nine Gaza Strip and West Bank mayors. The study also relied on declarations and public policy statements made by persons involved in establishing the autonomy. As an appendix the study presents a survey of the legal aspects of autonomy, written by Professor Amos Shapira and Moshe Drori, formerly assist-ant to the Legal Advisor of the Judean and Samarian Command.
Against Selling State Land
Mapam has come out against the gov-ernment's plan to sell state lands to private persons in order to absorb money from the economy. The resolution says that the surplus money in the economy should be siphoned off by taxes on the wealthy rather than by selling state land which must be held to meet the needs of agricultural and industrial development as well as for popular housing for im-migrants and inhabitants alike.
In Mapam's view selling state land to private enterpreneurs would not make housing cheaper but would turn this land into an instrument for speculation and personal enrichment.
Israel will apparently have to yield and allow the autonomy to become a Palestinian political identity. The histo-rical experiences of autonomies and the political desires of autonomous popula-tions show that a Palestinian national identity (state) will develop and come into being despite Israel’s opposition and political conflict with the United States. These are the conclusions presented in a paper recently published by the Institute for Strategic Studies of the Tel Aviv University. The study, authored by Col. (Res.) Aryeh Shalev, is entitled: “The Autonomy — Problems and Possible Solutions.”
Following this conclusion the author goes on to state: “Israel could initiate steps now, when it is in a better political situation than in the future and strong militarily, for an alternative. That would be a step aimed at altering the situation to give it some bargaining cards. In essence one step would be the expres-sion of Israeli readiness to recognize the Palestinians’ right to self-determination after the autonomy transition period.”
Reservations that Could Be Obtained
The study sets some limits to a course of this kind and affirms that such Israeli readiness would come only after it was promised a number of conditions that in the author’s view could be obtained from the Palestinian side (with PLO blessings). These conditions are: the liquidation of the dispute with Israel and normalizing relations, the gradual implementation of the right to self-determination after the transition period, a federative (or confed-rative) link between the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and Jordan, changes in the 1967 borders in view of Israel's secu-rity needs, and agreement to settle most of the refugees in the Arab countries and especially Jordan.
Colonel Shalev goes on to explain his conviction that the proper time for Israel to conduct these negotiations is now by the fact that after the approaching elec-tions in the United States that country’s policies would change to Israel's detri-ment.
First Stage in Gaza Strip
The study recommends that autonomy be established, as a first stage, in the
A Project of Society
(Continued from page 1)
and give way once again to a triumphant
2. There is also a second road, one which does not evade the responsibilities but does a national service by imposing the burden on all the classes. Equality of sacrifice — that must be its banner and policy. In saying this we have only begun to chart the course the renewed labor movement must follow. Fundamen-tally — Israel is in continuing distress be-cause of the burdens of immigration, the weight of the security outlays, the pres-sures of poverty and distress, the gaps between the communities of European and Arab origins.
This Israel cannot be a classic capitalist state, cannot rely on the “market" alone; it must be built on national planning, on government inter-vention in economic processes, on the domination of the public sectors as com-pared to private enterprise, on an equaii-tarian goal in dividing the national in-come. It must be a pioneering country under a socialist leadership. It must be a country marked by cultural progress and social justice.
One-half of Israel's wage-workers are employed by government and Histadrut enterprises, with almost one-quarter of the country's wage laborers working in the Histadrut and labor movement economy.
Here we come to the main point: if we could ground the public and worker economy on the fundamentals of indus-trial democracy and workers' self-manage-ment, or at least on workers’ participa-tion in management; if we could turn every labor movement factory into a social community in which people did not only work but also were involved in social life, culture, general and profes-sional education; if we could establish such industrial plants in every develop-ment town, in Galilee and Negev, based on the most modern technology, we would thereby raise the oriental communi-ties to a level of true equality with their Ashkenazic fellows. And finally, if we built public housing enterprises based on moderate rentals and wide and varied social services... If... if... if...
I do not know whether the leadership of the Labor Party is ready for this. One thing I do know — that is what this historic hour demands. And one thing more : given such a state we could come to every young Jewish person in the diaspora and tell him : come and join us.
Editorials from the daily Al-Hamishmar
Words in the UN — Actions on the Ground
The United Nations Assembly presently in session is loaded with problems. To our sorrow, however, this year too the Middle East is going to take a prominent place. The Arab “refuseniks” are attempting to turn the UN platform to the area for an offensive against Israel. This year, once again, there will take place a repeated and shameful attempt to join Zionism and racism and to indict them together.
This year, however there is a change for the “better.” Israel will not be alone in this offensive. Together with Israel, Egypt will be the target for the arrows of the Arab Rejection Front, the Soviet bloc and not a few countries of Asia and Africa.
The real answer, however, to the war of words does not lie in the UN Assembly but in the relations between Israel and Egypt. The greater the progress in the normalization process with Egypt, the larger the facts of cooperation become in relations between the two countries, the more the Israel government avoids committing actions detrimental to peace and harmful for its prospects, the further Israeli policy goes in presenting a solution of the problems of the future of the Palestinians and the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, the weaker the UN offensive will become.
Earlier Elections — the Answer
From every side we hear the demand to advance the elections to the Knesset. The demand that the government's composition be changed or that new elections be held has now been raised by some of the coalition parties. We have here clear proof of the crisis in which the government finds itself. True, the Prime Minister did attempt in his television broadcast on the eve of the New Year to make light of the matter and whitewash it away, but these attempts only make the need deeper and more evident.
The National Religious Party is deeply disappointed and its heads openly declare that if the government's composition is not changed within a short time new elections will have to be called. There are also voices from the Likud's main parties that are warning : give us new elections or we fall.
However, everybody knows that these are only words. The Prime Minister is unable to make changes within his government. If he pulls out one brick the whole edifice will crumble. For that reason Herut MK Kaufmann has proposed the formation of a government of “national unity” as the way out. The National Religious Party has also always preferred that idea. The reasons are quite simple: the critical political situation, the no less critical economic situation, the troubled labor relations. But that is only smoke in our eyes. All these subjects — social, political and economic — are the core of the conflicts that have been troubling the public for months. Because of the government’s failures in all these fields we have come to the present impasse; a government of national unity would only add tumult and confusion and would solve nothing but only make the situation even worse. The only profit would be to save the government's honor and more widely divide the failure. The country’s good demands that those who have proven their dismal failure in governing this country clear the way and turn to the public.
Avoid a Serious Mistake
If the Prime Minister does not change his mind and continues to refuse to meet with American Negro leader Jesse Jackson, that will be a serious mistake not only for Israel but for American Jewish interests as well.
The official reasons given for Begin’s refusal are not very convincing. The fact that Jesse Jackson has adopted stances that are not exactly balanced on the Middle Eastern issue or that he differs with Israeli policies, or has met with Arafat, do not rule him out for meetings with Israelis in general and with the Prime Minister in particular.
It is precisely because Jackson inclines towards the PLO views that it is important to make a maximum effort to tell him what Israel's views are. We should remember that we are not concerned with a single individual but a leader of the American Black community. Insulting him is liable to increase the alienation between blacks and Jews in the United States and further decrease sympathy for Israel among the American Blacks.
(Continued on page 5)
English Speaking Left Socialist Zionists Meet
Progressive Israel, a left socialist Zionist movement of English speaking Israelis, held its first meeting of the new season on September 8 at a picnic plus discussion at kibbutz Hatzor. Sixty-five newcomers and vatikim from English-speaking lands participated in the day's program.
After a tour of the kibbutz, picnic and lunch at the pool, a meeting was held in the Moadon. After brief presentations by David Livne and Yoram Mitke of kibbutz Hatzor, draft proposals for the platform of Progressive Israel were read. A lively and wide ranging discussion culminated in the following proposals.
1. A continuation of the peace process by mutual recognition of Israeli and Palestinian rights, an end to settle-ment on the West Bank and Gaza and active participation in the Peace Now Movement.
2. An economic policy based on concern for the underprivileged; and a direct and equitable system of taxation which places the burden on those most able to pay; encouragement and strengthening of the Histadrut in its struggle to protect workers’ rights.
3. A solution to the housing problem by building low cost and middle income housing projects and providing long term government-controlled rental housing.
4. Active opposition to religious coercion and support for a pluralistic society.
5. Equal rights and obligations for all citizens under the law, regardless of religion, race or sex.
6. Encouragement of pioneering, Socialist-Zionist aliya.
7. Mobilization of all forces to bring about the downfall of the present government.
Economist Sever Plutzker to Address “Progressive Israel”
“Al Hamishmar" writer on eco-nomics will speak at a meeting called by the Progressive Israel group on
Thursday, 8 p.m., October 18, at Beit Mapam.
4 Ittamar Ben Avi St., Tel Aviv.
”Bang and We‘re Finished! Is No Answer”
An Evil Wind Is Blowing,
Amos Oz tells Peace Now
"There is an evil wind blowing in Israel from the adventurist fringes of the old 101 paratroopers' unit (the IDF’s reta-liatory commando headed by Ariel Sharon in the 1950s), from the fountain of the Revisionist Movement ideology, and from Mercaz Harav Yeshiva (the spiritual centre of Gush Emunim)."
This was the theme of an address by leading Hebrew author Amos Oz to a meeting of the Peace Now movement. Oz warned the movement’s members that they should not be misled to believe that the political debate in Israel centered around the issues of Judea and Samaria.
“What the debate is really about is an ambitious attempt to redefine and distort what Zionism is all about.”
Referring to reports about publication of the details of the atrocity committed by an Israeli officer during the Litani campaign, Oz declared, “l fear that Rav Aluf (Raphael) Eitan is an honest man, and l fear that the real meaning of the clemency he extended to the convicted officer is that ‘Raful’ truly believes that killing a few ,Arabushim’ is not such a terrible thing."
The meeting, attended by some 800 kibbutz members from kibbutzim in the south and center of the country, was told by Oz that the continuation of the Middle East conflict and continued rule over the Palestinian people “imperilled Israel’s democratic character.”
Mapam Delegation to New Outlook Conference
Mapam's leadership has decided to accept the invitation to participate in the Jewish-Arab conference that the monthly "New Outlook" is sponsoring in Washing-ton in October. Its agreement to parti-cipate included the following points:
1. Mapam reiterates its readiness to meet with Palestinians who are ready to recognize the State of Israel, to accept Security Council resolution 242, and to forego the use of terror.
2. After the New Outlook editors an-nounced that the conference would be based on the Yariv-Shemtov formula, Ma-pam recommends participation in the conference on the following conditions: no members of the PLO will take part, no resolutions or summations will be adopt-ed, care will be taken to ensure that the conference will allow the expression of a wide gamut of views.
3. In view of the present political si-tuation Mapam suggests that the site of the conference be reconsidered.
by Y. Nur
which are not analagous about “two kinds of terror" still hold good. It is in-cumbent upon these people, to the ex-tent of their influence, to work against the acts of infiltration, to prevent the reformation of the PLO commando units and to make the UN a peace guardian capable of fulfilling its mission. This as soon as possible. If they do not do this, their talk of balance is one-sided and deceitful.
But that is not the end of the matter. Our demands upon ourselves are even more urgent.
The Israel Government can no longer, for reasons of principle as well as for practical ones, continue to use methods that are self-defeating. The defense against terrorist penetrations from South-ern Lebanon must be subject to controls, restraints and limitations. By breaking these limitations — political and moral, by breaking the necessary balance be-tween security and statemanship, we only harm ourselves. We harm Israel’s status in the world, its moral image, the pros-pects of the negotiations with Egypt, the maintenance of normal relationships with the United States. And we must not forget that in this combination of cir-cumstances, our security, even if tempo-rarily improved, would be harmed.
Statesmanship, morality and the de-fense of security are joined together.
Tour and Seminar
The Annual Tour and Seminar of Americans for Progressive Israel (United States) and Friends of Pioneering Israel (Canada) to Israel, this time with the name THE KIBBUTZ IN ACTION will leave New York on December 22. The tour will spend two weeks in Israel and will parti-cipate in the meeting of the World Council of the Progressive Zionist Movement and Mapam.
More information may be obtain-ed from A.P.I., 150 5th Avenue, N.Y.C. 10011. U.S.A. or FPL 272 Codsell Ave., Toronto, Canada.
The Security Council concluded its dis-cussion on Southern Lebanon without any vote or resolution. Current Chairman Andrew Young called for an end to the hostilities and condemned both Israeli and PLO actions. UN Secretary Kurt Wald-heim also adopted a balanced tone and recalled that he had in the past con-demned the PLO's terror against Israel when he appealed for an end to the bombings and for the maintenance of the ceasefire.
The Israel Government will have to weigh its position very quickly. The pres-sure of public opinion is growing, the US has been hinting that it will consider measures if Israel's use of American weapons continues. The Egyptian Prime Minister also declared, on the eve of Sadat’s arrival in Haifa, that Egypt would not agree to continued Israeli bombings in Southern Lebanon. He also criticized, no less, the PLO terror and called on the Palestinian organizations to recognize re-solution 242 and Israel’s existence.
Israel has two extreme alternatives, neither of which it can adopt. We cannot continue the massive bombings which by their very nature harm innocent persons and arouse the whole world in condemns-tion. At the same time we cannot permit the terrorists to penetrate the area under the UN’s unobservant eye and prepare for further actions against Israel.
Our claims against the outside world and against those who make analogies
Progressive Culture at TZAVTA
In an effort to encourage popular cultural activity, the Kibbutz Artzi Federa-tion has spearheaded the formation of a large number of TZAVTA Clubs in Israel's cities. Tzavta, which means unison, is a center for intellectual elements and for young people who are seeking music and art expressions and other cultural pro-grams, not commercially available. Start-ing with the TZAVTA in Tel Aviv, which now has many of its programs broadcast on TV and Radio, additional clubs are functioning with regular programs in Jeru-salem, Haifa, Natanya, Rishon Lezion and Affula. Jerusalem’s Tzavta has hosted Yom Kippur Services for observant Jews affiliated with the Reform Movement.
Al Hamishmar (Continued from page 3)
The Whip of Unemployment and the Shadow of Depression
The government which has not succeeded in solving even one social or economic problem is now planning to deal a blow to the principle of full employment. The Treasury Ministry’s plans for cuts in development investment and the loss of tens of thousands of jobs sound a loud alarm.
The government wants to solve the problems of economics and inflation by the panacea of rightist parties since time immemorial — the creation of mass unemployment. The Minister of the Treasury swears that he does not intend a depression. But who will be fooled ? What does firing tens of thousands of workers mean ? Isn't that the beginning of a slowdown which can end who knows where ?
The Histadrut will take its firm stand in defense of the workers, to defend the principle of full employment as a fundamental of a just society and of the fulfillment of the goals of immigrant absorption, balanced economic growth and social progress.
Rabbi Yosef Speaks Out
Israelis of all religious and political shades should welcome Sephardi Chief Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef's recent pronouncements on territorial compromise and on negotiating with Palestinian Arabs who recognize Israel. Even those who disagree with the opinions he expressed should celebrate this rare phenomenon of one of our chief rabbis addressing himself to any of the broader issues facing the nation as a whole, and doing so in concrete terms rather than in platitudes.
Rabbi Yosef has many times since his election said that the Halacha permits — even requires — Jews to relinquish parts of Eretz Yisraei if our military-political leaders maintain that doing so is likely to save lives.
But perhaps the most important ramification of Rabbi Yosef’s pronouncement is an unexpected side effect. Many people, some of whom should have known better, reacted to his statement as though it were sensational news that an Orthodox personage of Zionist convictions does not hold with the stereotypic Gush Emunim “not-an-inch” position. As though there were not many elements in the Religious Zionist Movement who are opposed to Gush Emunim ideology and policies.
He has, unwittingly, had a salutary effect on our social air in that he has caused everybody to notice that, on the territorial issue, as on many other issues, Orthodox Jewry is not a monolith of the Gush Emunim or any other variety.
Supreme Court Justice Witkon hit the nail on the head when he expressed his doubts, in the hearings in the Eilon Moreh lands case, as to whether the Gush Emunim settlers constituted an asset or a distinct liability to the cause of Israel's security on the West Bank.
The latest demonstrative activities of a group of settlers from Kiryat Arba, a Gush stronghold, which left one soldier seriously injured, should leave little doubt as to the inimical influence of the self-appointed Spokesmen of the Muse of Jewish History on Israel’s security interests in that region.
It is no secret that the settling of Eilon Moreh was forced on Prime Minister Begin by Gush Emunim. The site itself did not figure very prominently even in settlement czar Ariel Sharon's order of priorities. The government, however, feels constrained to give in to the golem it itself has created for a tragic reason : the movements represented by Messrs. Begin, Sharon and Levy, have no potential settlers of their own, having sneered at the very idea of settlement activity since! their founding. Without Gush Emunim, Arik Sharon would have no people, no matter how tentative their commitment, to settle in his Potemkin villages.
The issue of settlement obviously divides the country, and the cabinet. But even if one accepts the rationale guiding the policy — if one could call it that — of the cabinet majority, there is room for serious criticism regarding the government’s loss of control over the entire settlement issue. When it comes to the question of location, timing, and sense of priorities, Arik Sharon’s uninhibited initiatives and Gush Emunim's feral visions carry the day.
That is government by stealth and confusion at its worst.
Young People in Kibbutz
The Kibbutz Artzi has now enrolled 40 Youth Aliya Groups in its kibbutzim, where youngsters mainly from underprivi-ieged homes in Israel are sent to live work and study at a kibbutz for a period of five years. This affords each youngster a high school education, which he would be deprived of, otherwise. A successful program for students from Latin America has recently begun at Kibbutz Sarid and a new program for youngsters from English Speaking Countries is to begin in January 1980 at Kibbutz Nir David.
Keep our Actions under Tight Control !
The air-battle over Beirut ended as in the past, successfully for Israel. Our airforce downed four Syrian Mig 21s. We must not, however, view this battle as only a serious incident. According to all the signs it is liable to lead to a dete-rioration on the northern front in general and in Lebanon in particular.
There is no question that Israel is allowed and even responsible to take measures to meet the dangers lurking in the commando concentrations in Leba-non. At the same time, we cannot avoid asking whether the government has crys-tallized a policy towards Lebanon and whether this policy is being implemented in practice. There is the impression that more than a few of our security activities — even when justified — are often im-provizations and not the fruit of a clear and consistent policy.
We support closely supervised activi-ties by the Israel Defense Army to pre-vent attacks against Israel. That right should not however be interpreted as allowing us to act in Lebanon without any restraints. Israeli planes over Beirut necessarily belong to those actions that demand very close examination. There is a difference between some overflight that is necessary and a feeling that Beirut's skies are open territory for Israeli planes.
Ever since the Litani operation, and actually even before it, there has been a need to set definite targets for Israeli policy on what is going on in Lebanon. As far as we know the government has not yet managed to find time for this task.
In any case, the government and all the other security factors are called upon to maintain a maximum of caution con-cerning any action liable to lead to dangerous escalation on the northern front.
3. Relationships and reciprocal ties be-
tween Israel and diaspora.
Groups or individuals interested in being present may obtain further informa-tion by writing "Progressive Israel”.
Eighth Mapam National Convention
Mapam's eighth national convention will convene at Kfar Maccabia near Tel Aviv from December 27 to 29. The parti-cipants of the world conference will be invited to be the guests of the convention.
French Mishmar Group
The French Mishmar group held a seminar in Israel during the month of August. Their program included work and study in kibbutz Shaar Hagolan, visits to Arab villages and development towns in the Galilee and Golan, visits to Jerusa-lem and other parts of the country with an in-depth study of local problems, and a concentrated seminar at Givat Haviva. The group met with heads of Mapam and the Kibbutz Artzi in Tel Aviv.
Dov Barnir to Australia
Dov Barnir, Mapam Central Committee member and member of the Presidium of the Zionist Executive, and also writer and member of “Progressive Israel”’s Editorial Board, is going on a tour of Australia at the invitation of Bet Mordecai Anielewitz and other Mapam-affiliated groups.
In the course of his tour he will meet and talk to various groups and organiza-tions, among them : the Jewish Board of Deputies, the Zionist Council Executive, Brit Ivrit Olamit, Friends of Labor Israel, labor parties and trade unions, as well as with academic people and others.
Bent Bludnikow, one of the leaders of the Danish "New Outlook” group, has come to Israel for a half-year's stay and is studying Hebrew at the kibbutz Givat Oz ulpan.
Naftali Ben-Moshe to Roumania
Naftali Ben-Moshe, member of the Histadrut's Central Committee and Ma-pam’s Leadership Center (Rikuz) has gone to Roumania as an official guest of the Roumanian Communist Party. He will spend two weeks there and will visit agricultural and industrial undertakings, trade unions, and heads of the Com-munist Party.
the other hand, they must support Israel, its just demands for security and the right to exist. These are unconditional, Govern-ments may pass but Israel must continue to live I
How do we make sure that our state will continue to live ? Do we maintain our domination over another people which does not want it and which, in the long term, could become so dangerous an element within the boundaries of the Greater Israel as to put a question mark to Israel’s character as a democratic Jewish state, and to Zionism itself ? Or do we choose another road ? I think it must be our road, that demands recogni-tion of Israel’s security needs while also recognizing the fundamental rights of our neighbors.
That is what is at stake in this debate. Every Zionist must take part in it.
Meeting in Paris
Representatives of Mapam and other affiliated groups coming to Paris for the World Zionist Organization Dor Hemshech European Assembly on November 11 will also hold a conference of their own on the same occasion. On the agenda for that meeting :
Our status in the Jewish communities and ways of involvement and action in the Zionist movement;
Our position in the diaspora and our relations with left and socialist parties in view of the official positions of Israel's government;
Coordinating activities in Europe: pub-lications, meetings, seminars, etc.
Israeli Mapam will be represented by Avraham Shenker, Mapam representative in the WZO Executive, and Aryeh Shapir, World Union Secretary.
The meeting will be coordinated by Shmuel Engelmeyer; further information may be obtained from him at 17 rue de la Victoire, Paris 75005.
World Conference in December
The World Union of the Progressive Zionist Movement and the World Union of Mapam will convene at the end of December. Participating will be groups and circles affiliated with the World Union, Jewish Zionist and socialist groups, and other interested groups and indivi-duals. The discussions will fall under three main headings :
1. Jewish identity and social progress;
2. Challenges for the Zionist left in Israel;
The Diaspora Must Participate in the Debate
by Aryeh Shapir
[Aryeh Shapir is the General Secretary of the World Union of the Israeli United Workers Party (Mapam) and a member of kibbutz Nachshonim. After representing his party at the Congresses of the Italian Communist Party and the French Socialist Party he made a brief stop-over in Brus-sels, where he was interviewed by “Re-gards”, published by the Secular Jewish Community Center. We are reprinting his answer to one cardinal question — the role of diaspora Jews in Israeli political debates].
There is a very important national debate now going in Israel, which, in the near future, will take on unprecedented importance. That is the discussion over the future of Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) that only got started with the negotiations over the very vague autonomy plan contained in the Camp David agreements. It is clear that every-thing done in these territories will affect not only the relations between Israelis and Palestinians, but also Israel’s rela-tions with Egypt, the United States and the whole of the democratic world. We are thus actually discussing Israel's very future.
I hardly see how the Jews of the diaspora can remain indifferent or silent on the subject. I cannot conceive how Jews who define themselves as Zionists can even think of not taking part in the discussion. Israel is, after all, today the center of Jewish life. Everything done or decided there has its repercussions in all the Jewish communities throughout the world. They therefore have not only the right but even a duty to express their views.
However, in utilizing this right and fulfilling this duty, diaspora Jews must observe two reservations:
First, diaspora Jews have the right to express opinions, to formulate their ideas, even to give advice. The final decisions on its security and frontiers, the ultimate choice in these matters belong to Israel’s inhabitants alone, to the Knesset and to the Israel Govern-ment.
Second, in expressing their views and formulating their criticisms, diaspora Jews, like Israelis, must make a very clear distinction: on the one hand Israel Government and its ministers, who are fallible, who come and go, and to whom we owe no unconditional obediance; on
Havana and agree that the King is looking for some entry to the negotiations.
The truth is, however, that President Sadat once again succeeded in making a surprise move indirectly proving that he is in no hurry. The President of Egypt even replied to a question by explaining that he would not be obstinate over dates. There is a growing impression that Sadat had decided to sign a peace treaty with the Prime Minister. This was given some confirmation after we learned details of a telephone conversation Sadat had with his deputy, Husni Mubarak, when the Israeli election results became known in May 1977. Sadat then told Mubarak that there are two persons with whom he could sign a peace treaty — with Golda Meir, who was then still alive, and the then new Premier, Menahem Begin.
Who Will Be the Heir?
We can say now that Sadat has decided to sign on peace with Begin and to conduct the negotiations on autonomy with whatever government head comes after him. Sadat is apparent-ly not interested, we learn from private talks, in drawing up the fundamental lines that would also obligate his own country on the matter of autonomy, since, he thinks, he will be able to obtain more comfortable results from Israel's next Premier.
On this matter, it is hard to avoid the impression that President Sadat and his top assistants have decided that the Israeli Prime Minister's physical condition after his last illness, will not allow him to lead Israel for a long time. It was impossible to ignore the matter-of-fact and sometimes even impolite questions by members of the Egyptian party con-cerning the identity of the heir to follow Begin. It is also impossible to ignore the demonstrated esteem and approval enjoyed by Defense Minister Ezer Weizman as Menahem Begin’s potential heir according to Egyptian estimates. The special favor shown by President Sadat and the meetings he holds with opposition leader Shimon Peres, to the chagrin of the heads of Israeli protocol, teach us something about the thinking in Cairo.
Sadat is thus in no hurry to achieve a solution for the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, especially after he has promised that he does not intend to ease up on this issue. The Egyptian President knows by heart the election dates for the Knesset in Israel and for the presidency in the United States. He also believes that this tight time table will create pressure working in Egypt's favor.
In days gone by you were quite a treasure,
And richly you served my need or pleasure: Wine, to banish a tear or a frown...
Dinner... an evening on the town.
Of travel also you had the knack :
You took me far, you brought me back —
You were my staunch, responsible friend,
A requisite part of life’s agenda.
But that was back in the days of yore,
Dear ally Whose power is no more —
Your face is the same as long ago,
Your name is the one I used to know,
And all is exactly as it was then Except your influence over men:
You’ve fallen upon a wicked era —
Can it mean you’re near your end, poor Lira ?
DAVID E. H1RSCH
Sadat Is In No Hurry?
by Smadar Perry
Only an exercise in time-tables, with an eye towards this and next year's calendars, can explain the success of the Haifa summit, from the Egyptian as well as the Israeli point of view.
In the presidential plane carrying Sadat and his entourage back to Cairo, the President told the seven newspaper editors on board about his impressions of the Haifa visit and the working-discussions he had with Prime Minister Menahem Begin.
We now must make a small leap backwards and recall what President Sadat had said and what he committed himself to before leaving for Haifa. This was in an address at Abu-Kir at the dedication of a fertilizer plant. In addition to words like "my friend Menahem", Sadat did not cease talking about the Palestinian issue and even promised that the subject of the autonomy would find its solution even before the end of the present year. Simply put — Sadat undertook to reach a final formula on the subject of autonomy in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip within three months I
There was a great deal of tension about raising the Palestinian issue and the attempt to find some kind of joint statement, which would be important not for what it said but because it had been agreed upon by both leaders. All the members of the Egyptian party disseminated statements about the desire and need finally to achieve some breakthrough.
"The supply of petroleum, the multinational force in Sinai and an earlier Israeli evacuation, these are all matters that can be solved in a quarter of an hour." That is what a well-informed source said before the first meeting of the Israeli and Egyptian heads. "What is really important is that here in Haifa we give some serious momentum to the subject of autonomy."
And indeed, the subjects of oil, the Sinai force and the earlier evacuation did come to a joint statement, supported by both sides, even if only after intensive efforts ...
What happened to the gap created between Sadat’s promises in Abu-Kir on Saturday and the statements and smiles handed out on Wednesday at the press conference on the hotel lawn in Haifa ?
One of the early conjectures after the publication of the details of the two summit meetings at the Dan Hotel was that President Sadat and Premier Begin had decided between them-selves not to raise the Palestinian issue, to be satisfied with sewing up the thin threads of more amenable subjects and to allow the matter of the autonomy to rest — for the time being. This was, Israeli observers thought, one more public step after Israel and Egypt had joined in thwarting the American initiative to amend 242 and the American proposal for UN observers in the Sinai.
Allow Jordan to Join
There was also another Israeli estimate that won some positive head-nodding from the Egyptian side. It was that Sadat and Begin had decided not to make any statement in order to gain time and make it possible for Jordan to join the circle, without making commitments Jordan could not accept at present. We can no longer ignore the patter of information about some hints coming from Hussein’s capital to American ears that the King of Jordan can no longer allow himself to sit by idly. Such hints, it can be revealed, were heard in Israel two months ago without passing the censor’s barrier. Last week they won the ratification of both Israel and Egyptian sources. Both sides are not too impressed by Hussein's denials in
MAPAM LEADERS TO EUROPE
Mapam General Secretary Meir Talmi, and International Relations head Dov Zakin, have left for meetings with heads of European Socialist parties and Socialist International leaders.
Israel’s Population — 3,800,000
Israel's population is now estimated to be 3,806,600 persons, 3,194,100 Jews and 612,500 non-Jews. This was reported by the spokesman for the Central Bureau of Statistics at the beginning of the Jewish New Year.
During the past year the Jewish popu-lation had grown by 2.5 percent (93,000) as compared to 2.2 for the year before. The bulk of this additional growth had come from immigration — 35,000 as com-pared to 24,000 the year before.
The Arab population had increased by 21,500 or 3.6 percent, the same rate as previously.
Egyptian Sailors in Kibbutz Shaar Ha’amakim
About 200 Egyptian seamen and offi-cers, the crews of the Egyptian naval ships that had accompanied President Sadat to Haifa, came to Kibbutz Shaar Ha'amakim. They were received in the kibbutz’ sport hall where. After light re-freshments of cakes, fruit and drinks, they were welcomed by the kibbutz sec-retary in Hebrew and in Arabic by another kibbutz member, Shlomo Alfia. The latter was cheered by the sailors when he told them that “For decades we have been looking at each through our rifle sights even though we never ceased hoping and believing that a day would come when the walls dividing us would fall." The guests then toured the kibbutz in three guided groups and at the end of the tour gathered again to receive presents — panoramic pictures of the kibbutz and 15 ceramic bells (the “Bells of Peace”) made by an artist in the kibbutz.
adoption of the "Arad Program” and offi-cial support (including financial) dwindled and sometimes ceased completely.
With the Likud's rise to power and the resultant changes within the Zionist Organization, WUJS was declared anti-Zionist and banned.
I could add that the other resolutions of the Congress — on Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, support for the struggles of the Syrian and Russian Jews, the struggle against PLO terror, are in no way different from former stands. In my own contacts with WUJS from 1974 to 1976, during my stay in London as the representative of Mapam's World Union, I could see how active WUJS was in these fields especially.
The English Jewish Student Organiza-tion and their Italian colleagues have not adopted the new line on the Palestinian issue and that is apparently the reason that they suspended their membership in the world organization after the Jerusa-lem Congress.
I don’t know how much the Jerusalem Program expresses the essence of Zion-ism in our time. Perhaps there is some progress when this program is adopted by non-Zionist Jewish organizations now veering in the direction of full identifica-tion with the organized Zionist movement.
For WUJS, which to the best of my knowledge always filled an important Zionist role, replacing the “Arad" pro-gram by the “Jerusalem" one is a step backward. It is no more than an attempt (unfortunately successful) at "gleich-schaitung” with the present Zionist poli-cies of settlement in the occupied ter-ritories, confiscation of Arab lands, the dubious autonomy program, and the Be-gin government’s refusal to recognize the Palestinians' national rights.
The about-face may make some Zionist leaders happy but it will alienate progres-sive Jewish youth from Zionism. Mapam has no reason to be happy about it.
Published by World Union of Mapam and Kibbutz Artzi, Hashomer Hatzair 4 Itamar Ben-Avi St., Tel-Aviv Monthly except July and August Editorial Board:
Shmuel Beeri, Valia Hirsch,
Meir Jaffe, Aryeh Shapir
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WUJS in Retreat ?
by Nahum Sneh
“Pro-Zionist About-face in WUJS” as the Israeli daily “Ha-aretz" headline put it, was one of the many that seemed to imply that the World Union of Jewish Students had suddenly taken a stand in favor of Zionism at its last Congress in Jerusalem.
Do the Congress' resolutions really testify to a real Zionist revolution as compared to the organization’s previous stands ?
I think that even “Al-Hamishmar’s" headline-writer was caught in the same trap when he wrote : "WUJS... Has Re-turned to the Principles of Zionism and Israel”. WUJS’ program, which stated that the Jewish people and the Palestinian people have equal rights to Eretz Israel is after all not very different from Ma-pam’s view that Eretz Israel is the joint homeland of the Jewish people returning to its country and of the Palestinian people living in it.
The organization's former “Arad Pro-gram” was adopted at the beginning of the seventies as a result of the radical'!-zation that had taken place among wide
circles of Jewish students in the sixties and the beginning of the seventies. These students felt that the only was they could argue with their non-Jewish com-rades of the left for the Jews’ right to self-determination and Zionism was by also recognizing a similar right of self-determination for the Palestinians along-side Israel.
The former government, headed by Mapai the Labor Party, had also looked askance at some of WUJS’ views, which did not always follow the official line. This attitude became sharper after the