American Jewish Leaders Eulogize Eshkol, Cite His Contributions

President Arthur J. Goldberg of the American Jewish Committee and the organization’s honorary president, pledged to Acting Prime Minister Allon “our renewed efforts to help create the just and lasting peace in the Middle East that would be the finest memorial to Levi Eshkol.” The American Jewish Congress lauded a “friend and beloved colleague” for his efforts to “establish Israel as an exemplar of Justice and democracy in the Middle East.” The National Community Relations Advisory Council said that “all mankind has lost a man of profound humanity.” William Haber, president of the American ORT Federation, described Mr. Eshkol as “a figure on whom world Jewry looked with love.” A statement by B’nai B’rith described Mr. Eshkol as a “pragmatist and visionary” and cited his self-effacing humor, Yiddishkeit and constant concern for the faith in the cultural unity and advancement of the Jewish people.” Condolences were also expressed by the Synagogue Council of America, Rabbinical Council of America, Central Conference of American Rabbis, Union of American Hebrew Congregations, Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, Mizrachi Women, B’nai Israel, American Technion Society, New York and Chicago Boards of Rabbis, National Federation of Temple Sisterhoods, United HIAS Service, and Jewish Labor Committee.

In Montreal, cables expressing sympathy were sent to the Israel Government by Samuel Bronfman, Canadian Jewish Congress honorary president, who spoke for the Canadian Jewish community, and by officials of the CJ Congress and the Zionist Organization of Canada. Other condolences were sent by the Buenos Aires Jewish community and the DAIA, central representative body of Argentine Jewry.

American Jewish leaders will attend a national memorial service in honor of Mr. Eshkol tomorrow at 1 P.M. in the auditorium of the Jewish Agency, 515 Park Avenue, New York. The service, a few hours after the interment of Eshkol on Mt. Herzl, Jerusalem, will be sponsored by the American Section of the Jewish Agency for Israel in cooperation with the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and the American Zionist Council.

Speakers will include Dr. Emanuel Neumann, chairman of the American Section, Sen. Jacob Javits; Rehaveam Amir, Consul General of Israel, who will represent the Israel Government; Dr. Joachim Prinz, former chairman of the Conference of Presidents; Pinchas Cruso, honorary president of the United Labor Zionist Organization, a long-time personal friend of Mr. Eshkol, who will speak in behalf of the American Zionist Council; and Edward Ginsberg, of Cleveland, chairman of the United Jewish Appeal. Cantor David Kusevitsky will chant “El Moleh Rachamim,” the traditional prayer for the dead.

Two leading dailies, the New York Times and the Washington Post, said editorially that the selection of a successor to the late Premier Eshkol had to be considered by Israel in terms of the possible effects on Israel’s foreign policy, particularly toward the Arab states. The Times declared that if all-party unity was continued, “compromises are conceivable as peace negotiations go forward” but that without it, “there could be a shift toward a more hawkish policy and even an appeal to intransigence for domestic political gain.” The Times concluded, however, that the likelihood was that’ “shifts in nuance and style will be greater in the next Israeli Government than substantial shifts in policy.”

The Washington Post noted that whoever assumes the Premiership between now and the November national elections “will have an awesome responsibility of preserving the security of Israel and peace in the Middle East.” The editorial declared that “already several Arab countries have tightened their security as an indication, no doubt, of their apprehension about the policies of Mr. Eshkol’s successor.” The Post added that Israel’s political leaders “would be wise to measure their loss” in the death of Mr. Eshkol “in terms of that talent he had for reconciliation and restraint.

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