NEW YORK (Oct. 2)
After meetings with top State Department officials and the Austrian Ambassador to the U.S., leaders of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations announced plans today for a “nationwide mobilization of public opinion against yielding to Arab terror and blackmail.”
Jacob Stein, chairman of the Presidents Conference, and Max Fisher, past chairman of the Council of Jewish Federations, and Welfare Funds, led a delegation that met for an hour yesterday with Undersecretary of State Kenneth Rush and George Scott, head of the State Department’s Austrian desk. Leonard Garment, special counsel to President Nixon, joined the discussion shortly after it had begun.
Reporting on the meeting, Stein told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency he was “deeply pleased and encouraged” by the Administration’s “positive response” to the Presidents Conference position and plans for a nation-wide campaign on the dangers of surrendering to Arab extortion.
During the discussion Stein expressed the Conference’s appreciation to Rush for the Department’s “sympathetic understanding and recognition. that Soviet Jewish emigration must continue unrestricted and that the transit facilities in Austria must continue to operate.”
The delegation to the State Department, which flew to Washington immediately following an emergency meeting of the Presidents Conference in New York, also included Albert Arent, past chairman of the National Jewish Community Relations Advisory Council; Mrs. Charlotte Jacob-son, chairman of the American Section, Jewish Agency-World Zionist Organization; Mrs. Rose Matzkin, president of Hadassah; Rabbi Israel Miller, president of the American Zionist Federation; and Yehuda Hellman, executive director of the Presidents Conference.
Stein, Mrs. Jacobson and Hellman then met for an hour at the Austrian Embassy in Washington with Ambassador Arno Halusa who was urged to call on the Austrian government to reverse its position so that Soviet Jewish emigration would continue uninterrupted through Vienna. The Austrian official, who expressed no opinion in the matter, promised to transmit the Presidents Conference’s views to Vienna, Stein said.