WASHINGTON (Nov. 4)
American Jewish organizations will undertake immediately a nation wide three-point program in support of policies regarding the Middle East set forth by the United States and Israeli governments. The program was announced by Jacob Stein, chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, at a news conference Friday within an hour after Israeli Premier Golda Meir had addressed approximately 400 leaders of the 31 groups affiliated with the Presidents Conference.
The meeting, speedily arranged after announcements in Jerusalem and Washington that she was to meet with President Nixon, was held behind closed doors. Both the leadership session and the news conference were at the Washington Hilton Hotel. Elements of the program. Stein said, are “a heartfelt priority to do everything we can to expedite the full exchange of prisoners” between Israel and “her Arab attackers,” support for the Nixon Administration’s request to Congress for an appropriation of $2.2 billion in emergency funds to help meet Israel’s financial drain to obtain weapons as a result of “Soviet machinations, pure and simple,” and to urge the Nixon Administration “to stand up to Russian threats and pressures,” presumably a reference to the Soviet threat at intervention in the Middle East war that brought a precautionary U.S. military alert and Soviet actions in the United Nations.
Stein cautioned the newsmen that we are in a fluid situation and events may change that program. Solidly supporting Mrs. Meir’s statements in her news conference here Thursday and apparently at the organizational meeting again Friday, that Israel is not under Nixon Administration pressure on phases of the war situation. Stein said, “I take her word for it,” Pressed further by newsmen who suggested that other Israelis, including Defense Minister Moshe Dayan, had spoken of U.S. pressures with regard to the trapped Egyptian Third Army, Stein said that he himself had talked with State Department officials over the past three or four weeks, the last time within the last two days, and that “there is no pressure on Israel.” He also said that “no nation has arrived at plans which would cause it to put pressure on any side.”
Noting that he was not “privy” to all the information. Stein added that elements exist in the cease-fire arrangements beyond individual Israel, Soviet or American interests and observed: “Israel has one friend–that is the United States–and she has had to take that into account.” Asked why Mrs. Meir came to Washington if there were no pressures on Israel, Stein replied that “she came to find out from her good friend (President Nixon)” answers to questions that have arisen and to obtain reassurances for Israel. “Her trip here was worthwhile to learn that there was no pressure on Israel,” Stein said, although Israel and the, U.S. “don’t agree on everything.”