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World Jewry Stands Shoulder to Shoulder with Israelis

Noting that “in 1973 Israel experienced its own Pearl Harbor.” Edward Ginsburg, chairman of the Joint Distribution Committee, said today that the response of world Jewry “assured the Israelis that we stood shoulder to shoulder with them in their struggle for survival and in their efforts to achieve peace.” Ginsburg was addressing some 400 delegates to the 59th annual meeting of the JDC at the New York Hilton Hotel, a day before the 32nd anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. “Now at last we can dare to hope that peace will come.” Ginsburg said. “Arab and Jew are talking face to face and as long as they continue to talk we can continue to hope.”

Ginsburg, who was re-elected chairman today, noted that through the war “JDC continued its health, welfare and other humanitarian services but with fewer people. Many of our staff members were called up. Those who remained behind worked harder and many residents in the old age homes, who were able to, volunteered to help wherever needed.” He expressed concern about the repercussions of the war on Jews in Arab and Moslem countries. “The Jews in Syria and Iraq, harassed and persecuted under normal circumstances, are facing even greater hazards at the present time.” he said. “We must be prepared to assist those Jews who require help in Israel, the Arab and Moslem countries and Europe.”

Jack D. Weiler, chairman of the JDC’ National Council, noted that the Yom Kippur War “has affected every facet of Jewish life all over the world.” The war has been brought to a halt, “and as we meet here it appears as though our long cherished dreams for peace in Israel may have some hope of realization,” he said. Israel, Weller declared “does not want heroes; Israel needs workers and farmers. Israel does not want victories but to live in peace. We, for our part, would much prefer to express our solidarity on less destructive occasions than open warfare. We want to get on with our program there, reestablishing and expanding community services for the aged and for handicapped children, for educating professionals and other specialized technicians to fill Israel’s manpower needs and building homes for the aged and infirm.” Weiler added: “We want to get on with our work in the Arab and Moslem countries bringing to our people there vital material aid and renewed hope. In Eastern Europe, primarily Rumania, we must continue a truly life-saving program among a generally elderly and impoverished Jewish community.”

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