NEW YORK (Aug. 25)
American Jewish organizations bitterly denounced the Iraqi executions today and warned that more could be expected unless world opinion and the United Nations acted to avert them.
Philip H. Hoffman, president of the American Jewish Committee called the executions “an effort by the government to lead the mass of Iraqis to believe that the country’s social and economic problems have not been solved because of alleged subversive elements involved in spying for Israel.” He said “We call upon the United Nations and men of good will everywhere to halt this travesty of justice and to end once and for all the persecution of Jews and other minorities” in Iraq.
The American Jewish Congress, in a telegram to U Thant, urged the Secretary General to extend his personal protection to Jews living in Moslem lands who face “persecution and terror” as a result of Arab demands for a holy war against Israel. The message, signed by Rabbi Joachim Prinz, chairman of the AJ Congress international affairs committee, warned that “the brutal executions of a group of alleged spies for the U.S. and Israel today…may prove to be a foretaste of the revenge which bloodthirsty Arab tyrants have sworn to wreak against Israel as a result of the unfortunate fire at the El Aksa mosque in Jerusalem.”
Rabbi Israel Miller, chairman of the American Zionist Council, noted that the execution of 15 alleged spies in Iraq came at a time when spokesmen in Cairo and other Arab capitals were “capitalizing on a fire in Jerusalem which, as the whole world knows, was the work of a misguided non-Israeli” not of the Jewish faith.
Rabbi Herschel Schacter, chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, expressed “deep regrets” today over the failure of diplomatic efforts to save the executed Iraqis. He charged the Iraqi regime with planning further “mock trials” and executions and urged “enlightened public opinion” to raise its voice against “further acts of barbarism.”
In Washington today, Rep. Leonard Farbstein, New York Democrat and a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, asked Secretary of State Rogers to file a U.S. Government appeal at the UN to deter Iraq from further executions and to condemn Iraq for its past actions. Rep. Farbstein added that a way must be found to facilitate the emigration of Jews from Iraq before they are exterminated.