WASHINGTON (Oct. 13)
Vice President Richard M. Nixon’s campaign headquarters here has issued a statement declaring that an Israeli newspaper “called upon all its readers to exert whatever efforts they could upon their relatives and friends in the United States to cast their vote in November for Nixon and the policies for which he stands.”
The statement was issued by Herbert G. Klein, press secretary to the Republican candidate for President, who cited an editorial that appeared recently in a Tel Aviv newspaper, Yedioth Achronoth, The newspaper is a non-party daily.
Three eminent American Jewish leaders–Philip M. Klutznick, Irving M. Engel and Rabbi Israel Goldstein–telegraphed Mr. Nixon today, calling upon him to repudiate the Klein statement. They said: “This shocking appeal for votes from Americans of the Jewish faith is an insult to our faith and to the political integrity of American Jews without regard to political affiliation.”
Mr. Klein’s statement, sent out from Nixon-Lodge campaign headquarters here, said:
“A plea to the people of Israel, calling for the support of the election of Vice President Richard Nixon, was the subject of an editorial in Yedioth Achronoth, the oldest daily newspaper in Israel. The editorial went on to criticize Senator John Kennedy as ‘the incarnation of American political infantilism.’”
The last paragraph of the Tel Aviv newspaper’s editorial, according to Mr. Klein, “pointed up the fact that there were 2,000,000 Jewish votes in the United States and, that for the sake of Israel, they should be cast for Vice President Nixon.”
The newspaper, said Mr. Klein, “called upon the Jews of Israel to do all in their power to bring this about, not that this would be construed as meddling in the affairs of the United States, but that it should be looked upon as an important safegueard for Israel.”
The Klein statement concluded: “The paper did not call for Governmental endorsement of Nixon, but called for the people of the country to come forth as volunteers for the cause of a Nixon-Lodge victory, by explaining that aid and comfort, via votes, to the Democratic Party could result in a policy of appeasement and the destruction of Israel.”
In their telegram to Mr. Nixon, the three Jewish leaders stated:
“Your Press Secretary, Mr. Herbert G. Klein, in a statement issued October 10 from the Nixon-Lodge campaign headquarters, made references to a purported danger of the ‘destruction of Israel’ if Sen. Kennedy is elected. Mr. Klein’s press message contained allegations that Israeli elements were seeking a pro-Nixon vote as a ‘safeguard for Israel.’
“The release is an unfortunate distortion of the relationship of American Jewry with Israel, and a disservice to Israel-American relations. Americans of Jewish faith vote their individual conscience. A political party, for partisan advantage, should never try to tell Americans of any faith how elements in a foreign nation allegedly want them to vote.
“When Mr. Klein cited an Israeli tabloid as an authority on how Americans of Jewish faith should vote, we feel he made a grave error that must immediately be repudiated. We do not wish to believe this press release reflects your own personal thinking. However, since Mr. Klein is your authorized spokesman, we must assume he was speaking with your authority in this official release. A clarification of your views on this serious matter is urgently requested.”