U.S. Jewish Leaders Ask Eisenhower to Oppose Sanctions on Israel
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U.S. Jewish Leaders Ask Eisenhower to Oppose Sanctions on Israel

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The presidents of 17 major American Jewish organizations, with a membership of over 2,500,000, today wired a plea to President Eisenhower to oppose any move in the United Nations to impose sanctions on Israel. The direct appeal to the President by the Jewish leaders was made after an emergency conference convened on 24 hours’ notice, at which it was reported that communities throughout the country were “profoundly concerned” over possible American involvement in sanctions on Israel.

The full text of the telegram to the President reads:

“As Americans we are profoundly concerned over the announcement that the Government of the United States would give ‘serious consideration’ to recommendations of sanctions on Israel. We appeal to the Government and the people of the United States to judge the case of Israel with that sense of equity and fair play which has characterized American policy at home and abroad.

“Having withdrawn its forces from the Sinai Peninsula with the exception of Sharm el Sheikh and Gaza, Israel now requests that the United Nations obtain from Egypt a promise. of non-belligerency upon the complete withdrawal of Israeli troops. Such an elementary promise by Egypt to desist from the blockading of Israeli shipping and from the slaughter of Israeli citizens through fedayeen raids, will constitute an action which, in the words of the UN resolution, ‘would assure progress towards the creation of peaceful conditions.’ It is simple humanity to meet this request for a promise of non-belligerency. We respectfully appeal to you to use the good offices of our delegation to the United Nations to this end.


“Furthermore, to apply sanctions on Israel for non-compliance would stand out in striking contrast to the failure of the United Nations to impose or even to suggest the imposition of sanctions on Egypt for its six-year defiance of the Security Council resolution on Suez or against the Soviet Union for its inhuman and ruthless suppression of the Hungarian struggle for freedom.

“We cannot believe that the American people would support economic sanctions on the people of Israel at the very moment when Israel is admitting a stream of refugees from Hungary, other Eastern European countries and Egypt. Most earnestly and respectfully do we appeal to you, Mr. President, not to allow our Government and our people to be involved in what history will surely judge to be a double standard of morality.”

The statement was signed by the following presidents on behalf of their organizations: Rabbi Philip S. Bernstein, American Zionist Committee for Public Affairs; Joseph Breslau, American Trade Union Council for Labor Israel; Mrs. Moise S. Cahn, National Council of Jewish Women; William Carmen, Jewish War Veterans of the U.S.; Dr. Maurice S. Eisendrath, Union of American Hebrew Congregations; Moses S. Eisendrath, Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America; Dr. Miriam Freund, Hadassah; Dr. Israel Goldstein, American Jewish Congress; Dr. Nahum Goldmann, Jewish Agency; Adolph Held, Jewish Labor Committee; Philip M. Klutznick, B’nai B’rith; Rabbi Isaac Stollman, Mizrachi Hapoel – Mizrachi of America; Rabbi Irving Miller, American Zionist Council; Dr. Emanuel Neumann, Zionist Organization of America; Charles Rosengarten, United Synagogue of America; Louis Segal, Labor Zionists, and Bernard H. Trager, National Community Relations Advisory Council.

In identical telegrams to President Eisenhower, Secretary of State Dulles and Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge, U.S. delegate to the UN, the New York Board of Rabbis charged last night that “the member nations of the United Nations would be guilty of a cynical disregard for the ethical code of civilization if they were to support a dual standard of morality, whereby Israel, because of her smallness and regard for law, would receive unmerited punishment, while larger and more powerful states, such as Russia, India and Egypt, can flout United Nations resolutions because they are able to muster partisan support.”

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