Menu JTA Search

Reform Rabbis Alarmed over Moscow’s Comparing Israelis with Nazis

Grave concern at Soviet charges against Israel of using “Nazi-like tactics” and “atrocities” against the Arabs was expressed here today at the opening session of the 78th annual meeting of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, central body of the Reform rabbinate.

Several members of the CCAR felt particularly that the charges, published in the Soviet press, might have grave consequences for the Jews in the Soviet Union. Rabbi Albert Lewis of Los Angeles said that last summer during his visit to the Soviet Union, he spoke to many young Soviet Jews who, he said, expressed to him their “deep-rooted identity with the people of Israel.” “Don’t let Russia turn the United Nations into a political Babi Yar,” he declared.

Rabbi Jacob J. Weinstein, president of the CCAR, appealed to the Johnson Administration today not to engage in “package deals” or “covert power politics” to solve the war in Vietnam at the expense of the State of Israel.

He told the 500 Reform rabbis that there was a wide difference between the two wars. “Israel,” he said, “is a country created by the United Nations. It has had our moral commitment through Presidential and Congressional pledges since its inception while on the other hand, we are engaged in an undeclared civil war in Vietnam.” He said he felt that the Soviet Union would insist on being intransigeant on the Middle East as a lever for concessions on settling the Vietnam war.

NEXT STORY