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Orthodox Rabbinical Alliance Assails Reform Leader’s Remarks on Vietnam

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A Reform Jewish leader’s sharp criticism of President Richard M. Nixon’s Vietnam war policies was denounced by an Orthodox rabbinical group today. Rabbi Abraham Gross, president of the Rabbinical Alliance of America, called the remarks by Rabbi Maurice N. Eisendrath in Miami Beach last month “irresponsible” and claimed that Rabbi Eisendrath “is not a spokesman for the American Jewish community.”

Rabbi Eisendrath, president of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, spoke at the UAHC’s biennial convention. He accused the Nixon Administration of trying to placate “public opinion and cool dissent” by withdrawing troops in “agonizingly small installments” from Vietnam. Denouncing South Vietnam’s military establishment as “corrupt and tyrannical,” Rabbi Eisendrath said that young Americans would not “be hoodwinked by the sleight-of-hand timing of off-again-on-again bombing halts, token withdrawals and diminution of draft calls cynically synchronized to college reopenings.”

The Orthodox Rabbinical Alliance, taking a different view, wired President Nixon that it supported his “concerted efforts in obtaining an honorable settlement.”

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