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Agudath Israel Expresses Support for Dixon on Vietnam Peace Efforts

The 47th national convention of Agudath Israel of America overwhelmingly adopted a resolution expressing support for President Nixon’s “intensive efforts to achieve an honorable peace in Vietnam.” The resolution declared that “Orthodox Jews overwhelmingly have fullest confidence that the American Government is leaving no stone unturned in a sincere quest to end the war in Vietnam and to bring a just and lasting peace to that war torn region.”

The resolution was adopted, with only two dissenting votes, after the convention was told that “the preponderance of Jewish names associated with the anti-Vietnam activities do an untold harm to the Jewish people in this country.” The convention was told that “Orthodox Jews who are traditionally committed to a deep patriotic sense of loyalty to the government, must counteract the effects of the damage that the Moratorium and the militants are doing to the Jewish image.”

Rabbi Menachem Porush, vice-mayor of Jerusalem, reported to the convention that the Agudath Israel will not enter the new coalition government being formed by Premier Golda Meir. He said the Agudath position was the result of the government’s refusal to change the autopsy laws in Israel, to revoke the “indiscriminate” granting of licenses to firms to work on the Sabbath, to halt television programming on the Sabbath and other religious demands which he said “are of major importance if Israel is not to slowly turn into another-Levantine state in the Middle East.”

In other actions, the 1,000 delegates attending the parley endorsed a call to Orthodox Jews throughout the world to adopt a “new militant posture of Orthodox self-assertion.” Rabbi Moshe Sherer, who was reelected executive president, declared that “a new Torah offensive, utilizing all the tools of modern communication media, can enable classic Judaism to win its due recognition as the only viable force in Jewish life which can assure the continuity of Judaism.”

The convention, which closed last night, decided to extend the organization’s efforts to obtain Federal and state aid for yeshivas and to “insist upon the state and Federal governments accepting the burden of financing the secular courses provided at the non-public schools.”

A message from President Nixon expressed “the gratitude of all Americans to the Agudath Israel Organization for enriching the lives of all citizens by instilling spiritual tenets and moral values in its young people.”

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