NEW YORK (Jan. 27)
American Jews today reacted with outrage to the execution Monday of nine Iraqi Jews, and five non-Jews, by the Baghdad Government on charges of spying for Israel. The Jewish Nazi Victims Organization scheduled a mass rally and memorial service, expected to be attended by over 1,000, tomorrow in front of the Iraqi Mission to the United Nations.
Arthur J. Golberg, American Jewish Committee president, urged the United States Government, the UN and all member states, together with non-governmental agencies, to condemn the executions so that “hopefully further executions may be avoided.” Expressing “horror and grief.” the American Jewish Congress urged the State Department to use “every available diplomatic means” to prevent the executions of 65 persons still to be tried for allegedly spying for Israel. AJ Congress president Rabbi Arthur J. Lelyveld in a telegram to Secretary of State William P. Rogers said that the executions were “all the more monstrous because Iraq’s 3,000 to 4,000 Jews have been held in house arrest since June, 1967, have been subjected to close surveillance and have been absolutely limited in movement and communication. The fact that it was clearly impossible for Jews in Iraq to have engaged in the alleged subversive plot has in no way deterred the savagery and barbarism of the blood-thirsty court.” The AJ Congress added that “everyone with concern for justice–Jew and non-Jews–should communicate immediately with President Nixon and Secretary Rogers imploring that every step be taken to prevent the murder of those still to be tried.”
Dr. Emanuel Neumann, chairman of the Jewish Agency-American Section, urged in a telegram to President Nixon that Washington intervene through diplomatic channels to forestall further “political assassinations.” He said, “If Iraq wants to be ‘Judenrein,’ it should permit its Jews to leave peacefully for Israel and other lands. Only thus can Iraq preserve whatever it may still possess of humanity and decency.”