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Sadat May Resume Limited Military Action Along Canal After Summit, Stein Warns

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Jacob Stein, chair-man of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, warned today that President Anwar Sadat of Egypt might seek to resume limited military action along the Suez Canal following the US-Soviet summit meeting in Moscow. Stein addressed a luncheon meeting here attended by more than 100 local members of Presidents Conference constituent organizations. Rabbi David Polish of Chicago, president of the Central Conference of American Rabbis–a constituent of the Presidents Conference–chaired the meeting, which was the first of its kind since the Presidents Conference was founded in 1955.

In his address, Stein said he did not anticipate any “deals” on the Middle East during the Moscow visit. “President Nixon is not likely to put forward any proposals in view of the wide gap that exists between the Moscow and Washington interpretations of Security Council Resolution 242,” he declared, adding: “In the likely absence of any action in Moscow, Sadat will find himself under increasing pressure to move toward war or peace. The increased unrest in Egypt threatens the political stability of Sadat and I believe he will soon take a course of action designed to unite the country, strengthening his political position.”

Stein predicted that following Nixon’s visit to Moscow, “irrespective of any action taken by Cairo, there will be increased pressure on Egypt and Israel to enter talks aimed at reopening the Suez Canal. However,” Stein added, “it is very unlikely that our government will withhold military supplies or economic assistance to Israel to pressure her into changing her negotiating position.”

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