NEW YORK (Feb. 27)
In a public statement on the Viet Nam war, the American Jewish Congress called yesterday on President Johnson to suspend the American bombing of North Viet Nam and to make an offer of negotiations that would include the Viet Cong at the bargaining table. The call was issued by the organization’s national executive committee.
“Without disregarding the responsibilities our presence in South East Asia has created; without denying the validity of American concern for freedom in all parts of the world, we nonetheless believe that the overriding moral imperative of this moment is the need to return peace and freedom to the torn and agonized land of Viet Nam. For only when there is peace can freedom thrive,” the statement said.
The statement urged President Johnson: 1) “To offer an immediate cease fire to be observed as long as the cessation of hostilities continues on both sides; 2) “To offer to negotiate without prior conditions all points now outstanding between the adversaries in Viet Nam, these negotiations to be carried on with all states, governments and groups that are engaged in or have a direct interest in the hostilities in Viet Nam; and 3) “To support the proposal of Secretary General U Thant acknowledging the right of the people of Viet Nam in free elections to choose their own government from among any and all elements within their country without interference in any way with their choice of government or its composition.”