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Conservative Leader Criticizes Christians on Israel, Negro Anti-semitism Issues

A lay leader of Conservative Judaism claimed here today that Christian leadership in general has failed to understand and support the Jewish position on Israel or to speak out against manifestations of Negro anti-Semitism. Henry. N. Rapaport, national president of the United Synagogue of America, made his charges at a press conference during a visit to Conservative synagogues in the Los Angeles area. He said these alleged failings on the part of Christian leadership could be remedied by a wide range of organizational and grass roots dialogues and educational programs on Israel. He also pleaded for a direct statement by the “voice of Christianity to squelch the militant hate-mongers in the Negro community who espouse anti-Semitic and unwarranted charges against Jews.”

Mr. Rapaport said he was heartened by Pope Paul’s recent vigorous condemnations of the hangings of alleged Israeli spies in Iraq. “I can only wish that American Christian institutions had spoken–or even whispered–as strongly,” he said. He claimed that while many Christians supported and admired Israel for its achievements, “they fail to understand such questions as the peoplehood of Israel and the relationship between the Jews of Israel and their world-wide religious counterparts.”

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