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ZOA Leader Blames Jarring for Mideast Peace Impasse; Urges Action for Soviet Jewry

The head of the Zionist Organization of America urged President Nixon and the State Department last night to take immediate steps to halt further deterioration in the Middle East crisis by bringing about direct negotiations for peace between Israel and the Arab states. Herman L. Weisman, ZOA president, asserted that “prospects for peace in the area are at their lowest ebb since August, 1970, due principally to Ambassador Gunnar V. Jarring’s misplaced reliance upon ‘indirect negotiations.’ ” In a statement to more than 100 leaders attending a two-day meeting of the ZOA National Executive Committee, Weisman said “Ambassador Jarring can save the peace-making efforts of the United Nations from pitiful failure by turning immediately to the obvious alternative which is to sponsor and exert the greatest possible pressure on the Arab countries to accept direct peace negotiations with Israel.” Discussing Soviet Jewry, he declared that the ZOA will “by all appropriate means, call upon the Soviet government and its representatives to end its campaign of anti-Semitism disguised as anti-Zionism, and terminate its group libel against the Jewish people and the Zionist movement.” Declaring that the ZOA will persist in its demands on the USSR to grant applications of Jews for exit permits to Israel, Weisman said: “The ZOA will initiate this program by declaring the week of Passover as the ‘Soviet Jewry Week,’–‘Let My People Go,–From Soviet Russia to Israel.’ “

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