NEW YORK (Dec. 10)
A left-wing, American Zionist group called today for direct peace negotiations between Israel and the Arab states whereby Israel would relinquish occupied Arab territory with the exception of Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip and defense positions on the Golan Heights in exchange for free navigation through the Suez Canal and Straits of Tiran, and certain border adjustments necessary to Israel’s security. A resolution outlining such a peace plan and envisioning demilitarized Middle East with federative ties between all sovereign states in the area was adopted by 500 delegates to the national convention of Americans for Progressive Israel-Hashomer Hatzair, an affiliate of Israel’s Mapam Party, which is a member of the coalition government in Jerusalem.
Other resolutions adopted at the convention castigated both the United States and the Soviet Union, the former for its Vietnam policy and the latter for its campaign against Israel in the United Nations and for its renewed arming of the Arabs. Avraham Schenker, member of the Jewish Agency executive, was re-elected national chairman; and Moshe Kagan, member of the Zionist Actions Committee of the World Zionist Organization, was elected national co-chairman.
Addressing the convention, Natan Peled, a member of the Knesset (Israel’s Parliament), said that no foreign intervention, only direct negotiations between the Jews and the Arabs, will solve the Middle East problem and, until peace negotiations begin, Israel will maintain the present cease-fire boundaries. He warned, however, that anyone who proposes the annexation of the territories presently held by Israel, as well as those who demand withdrawal to the June 5 boundaries, undermine the struggle for peace and security.”
In a resolution on human rights, the convention deplored the refusal of the United Nations General Assembly, due to pressures of the Soviet bloc and Arab states, to single out anti-Semitism for condemnation in the draft convention on the elimination of all forms of religious discrimination.” The resolution condemned the Soviet Union’s attempt to equate Zionism with Fascism and Nazism.
The convention heard Rabbi Abraham L. Feinberg, rabbi-emeritus of Holy Blossom Temple, Toronto, denounce Soviet policy toward Israel. But the guilt of Russia, he said, does not diminish by one iota the guilt of America in Vietnam. The Vietnam resolution adopted by the convention deplored what it called attempts to equate Israel’s recent war for survival with the war of aggression in Vietnam.”