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Presidents’ Conference Urges Johnson to Back Israel

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The Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations called on President Johnson today to provide Israel with “material assistance and political support” to end for all time the Arab threat to destroy Israel. Dr. Joachim Prinz, chairman of the group, said today in outlining the organization’s position, that Israel’s cause in seeking to end Arab aggression and maintain the freedom of the seas was “identical” with American interests in the Middle East.

He said that American action in the current crisis, “whether in concert with other peace-loving nations or unilaterally,” must seek “to halt Arab aggression permanently, to terminate Arab threats against freedom of the seas, to end Arab refusal to live as neighbors with the people of Israel.”

The Conference spokesman declared that only when the Arab states accepted the permanent presence of Israel in the Middle East “can a beginning be made to the constructive tasks of justice and harmony among all the peoples of the region.”

Dr. Prinz said tens of thousands of Jews from all parts of the country would be in Washington for the two-day national emergency leadership conference sponsored by the presidents’ group, opening tomorrow night.

AMERICAN CREDIBILITY AN ISSUE, ABRAM DECLARES

Morris B. Abram, president of the American Jewish Committee, urged the United States to bring about “the conclusion of binding treaties to guarantee permanent peace” in the Middle East where Israel is battling the armies of four Arab countries, Mr. Abram will be one of the principal speakers at the rally in support of Israel Thursday near the White House.

He said in a statement that the stake in the Middle East crisis was not only “the existence of Israel, to which four of our Presidents have pledged our support and our honor,” but also “the whole position of the United States in the area and the credibility of its commitment to international peace and security.”

Asserting that the war had been brought about by “the provocative and belligerent acts” of Egypt, and that “from Asia to the Western Hemisphere, the eyes of people everywhere are on us.” Mr. Abram added that “we urge our Government firmly and publicly to reaffirm its guarantee of the independence of the nations in the Middle East and to make clear to the Arab states and their allies that we are prepared to take concrete action to make that guarantee meaningful.”

The Jewish Labor Committee called upon President Johnson to “take steps now to bring a speedy and just end” to the war in the Middle East. The organization said that “the security and territorial integrity of Israel, and free access to the Gulf of Akaba” must be part of any settlement of the war.

Malcolm A. Tarlov, national commander of the Jewish War Veterans, called on the U.S. Government to live up to its commitments in the Middle East. These, he said, “are to ensure the territorial integrity of all Middle East borders.” He asserted that “the savage attack on Israel by a Communist-backed and supplied regime is reason enough for the United States to actively pursue a fulfillment of these commitments.”

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