Concern Expressed over Pows

Three major American Jewish organizations expressed concern today over the delay in arranging an exchange of prisoners of war in the Middle East and appealed to the U.S. government, the United Nations and the International Red Cross to take urgent measures to resolve the POW issue.

Mrs. Rose E, Matzkin, president of Hadassah, urged UN Secretary General Kurt Waldheim to use his office to persuade Syria and Egypt to cooperate with the International Red Cross in the implementation of the Geneva accords regarding Israeli POWs. She pointed out that Israel has already fulfilled the Geneva requirements and continues to do so.

The Pioneer Women, at the opening session of its 23rd biennial convention last night at the Concord Hotel, called on the IRC to use its good offices to obtain the release of the names of Israeli POWs held by Egypt and Syria. The 750 delegates attending the convention urged immediate action on humanitarian grounds, particularly since the Israeli government has already supplied the Red Cross with the names of Arab prisoners held by them.

David Blumberg, president of B’nai B’rith, sent telegrams to President Nixon and Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger expressing hope that “you will press vigorously for the immediate exchange of all prisoners.” B’nai B’rith also congratulated Nixon and Kissinger for their “firm response” to the Soviet threat of direct intervention in the Middle East.

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