WASHINGTON (Aug. 26)
Deputy Secretary of State Kenneth Rush told a delegation of Jewish leaders here Friday that the United States would oppose any punitive measures against Israel at the general assembly of the International Civil Aviation Association (ICAO), according to Rabbi Israel Miller, a member of the delegation.
Rabbi Miller, acting chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, said the delegation met with Rush to express the concern of the American Jewish community over any such measures before the ICAO, a specialized UN agency.
The possibility of such action by the ICAO stemmed from a resolution adopted unanimously by the UN Security Council on Aug. 15, condemning Israel for its Aug. 10 interception of a Lebanese airliner. The resolution called on the ICAO to consider the Security Council’s action in discussing at its general assembly, measures to safeguard international civil aviation against such incidents.
A similar condemnation of Israel and request to the ICAO general assembly to consider the Israeli interception was approved unanimously at a meeting in Montreal on Aug. 21 of the ICAO general council. The meeting was a special one requested by Lebanon.
OPPOSE VIOLENCE AND TERROR
Rabbi Miller, who is also president of the American Zionist Federation, said the delegation told Rush that any punitive measures against Israel would be “unjustified” and incompatible with United States policy, as well as with the Security Council Aug. 15 resolution, which did not call for sanctions. Rabbi Miller said that Rush responded that the United States was fully in accord with those views and would oppose any such measures, which the United States deems illegal.
The delegation members reiterated the opposition of the Presidents Conference to acts of violence and terror and were assured that the United States representative to the ICAO general assembly would support measures by the international community to effectively outlaws terrorist acts. Rabbi Miller expressed satisfaction with Rush’s statement and added that the deliberations in Rome would be watched with “great concern” because the composition of the ICAO general assembly is heavily weighted against Israel.
Other members of the delegation were Yehuda Hellman, executive director of the Presidents’ Conference; Isaiah Minkoff, executive vice-chairman of the National Jewish Community Relations Council; Philip Baum of the American Jewish Congress; and Hyman Bookbinder of the American Jewish Committee.