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Rustin Honored by Mizrachi Women; Praises Israel’s Aid to Black People

Bayard Rustin, executive director of the A. Philip Randolph Institute, was honored here today by a national Jewish women’s organization for his initiative in mobilizing Black support for Israel. Mr. Rustin accepted the 1970 “Annual America-Israel Friendship Award.” of the Mizrachi Women’s Organization of America from Mrs. Milton S. Jacobson, of New York, national president. The award which has been conferred annually since the establishment of Israel in 1948 upon public figures not of the Jewish faith who have contributed substantially to the promotion of friendship between the peoples of the United States and Israel. “One of the most significant and heartening events of the past several months,” Mrs. Jacobson said in presenting the award, “was the appearance in late June of an appeal by more than sixty Black leaders of great prominence calling upon our government to give full support to Israel at a time when Israel urgently needed that support.” Continuing, she said: “In honoring Mr. Rustin, who initiated that effort by a broad spectrum of the Black community, we express our gratitude on the eve of the Jewish New Year to all who participated and continue to participate in strengthening the edifice of America-Israel friendship, and the fabric of our democratic heritage.”

Accepting the award in the name “not only of the 64 Black leaders who signed the appeal for U.S. support of Israel, but of the millions of Black people in the U.S. who have good reason to support Israel,” Mr. Rustin cited Israel’s role in working with developing nations in the Middle East and Africa. Also, he expressed appreciation for the “great contributions that the Jewish people have made to Black people here in our struggle for freedom.” “We support Israel because she is an oasis of democracy in the midst of feudal states which are determined that she shall be destroyed. Every democrat, wherever he is, will by logic have to support Israel.” Mr. Rustin continued to state. “We support Israel because she attempts to uphold the highest sense of charity in that she is prepared to work with Arabs and African States’ people in that way which Maimonides has described as the highest form of charity–that which one does which does away with the need for charity.”

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