KIAMESHA LAKE, N.Y. (Nov. 15)
The congregational movement of American Conservative Judaism has approved a moderate resolution on the Vietnam war, favoring phased withdrawal of American troops and United Nations intervention to achieve a cease-fire.
The action followed a lengthy debate on the Administration’s policy in Vietnam, and contrasted with findings of an informal survey among the delegates to the biennial convention here of the United Synagogue of America. The survey was directed by Henry N. Rapaport, of Scarsdale, N.Y., president of the organization.
The approved resolution, which also opposed any change “in the restrained character of this conflict through military escalation” until “a negotiated settlement is achieved,” followed generally a position taken last year by the Synagogue Council of America, the coordinating agency for Reform, Conservative and Orthodox congregational and rabbinic groups.
The survey, taken previously among 583 delegates, showed that 62 percent opposed the Administration’s Vietnam policy and that 73 percent opposed escalation, while 63 percent favored an end to the bombing of North Vietnam only if “there is a prior reciprocal indication from Hanoi.” In the survey, 84 percent rejected immediate and unilateral United States withdrawal, and 63 percent favored a phased withdrawal.
An attack on Congress for its “failure to pass meaningful anti-poverty legislation” was made at the convention by Rabbi Morris Laub, executive director of the United Synagogue’s joint commission on social action. He called the 90th Congress “a do-nothing, know-nothing Congress, one of the worst in recent history.” He urged that synagogues and their members should “speak up, write their Congressmen and make their views known.”