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Leader of Reform Jewry Bids Senate Reject Administration’s Abm Defense System

A leader of Reform Judaism urged the United States Senate today to defeat the Administration’s proposed ABM defense system because it “could become the first step in leading the world into a nuclear disaster.”

The appeal was made by Rabbi Roland B. Gittelsohn. of Boston, president of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, the rabbinic association of Reform Judaism in the U.S. and Canada. “This may be humanity’s last chance to turn back from a disastrous course,” Rabbi Gittelsohn said, recalling that the CCAR’s convention in June adopted a report “in the strongest terms” rejecting the ABM safeguard system. The Senate will vote on the ABM proposals tomorrow.

Rabbi Gittelsohn said, “We are thoroughly convinced that in the first instance, the system will provide no effective defense. The overwhelming weight of scientific evidence supports this assertion. Furthermore,” he said, “we are convinced that deployment of the ABM system will render all attempts to reach an accord on armaments with the Soviet Union impossible, and will alarmingly escalate an already dangerous international arms race.”

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