NEW YORK (Feb. 25)
The Board of Directors of the Council of Churches of the City of New York, in a resolution urging face to face negotiations in the Middle East, warned “our fellow citizens and particularly all church members, to be vigilantly on guard against the dangers of hate propaganda intended to set group against group in our country, in connection with tensions arising out of the present energy shortage.”
The Middle East resolution was recommended by Dr. James Sheldon, chairman of the executive committee, who exhibited the Dec. 1973 and Jan. 1974 issues of the American Nazi Party’s monthly “White Power,” which carried headlines saying “We need oil–not Israel,” and “Jews to Blame for Energy Crisis.”
The Council, which represents 1700 churches and 34 Protestant denominations in New York City, called “upon all parties concerned in the Middle East conflict to engage in direct negotiations with each other, with a view to establishing permanent boundaries along just and secure lines.” There was no call for an Israeli withdrawal as a condition for negotiations.
The resolution also condemned the Syrian government for refusing to provide a list of Israeli prisoners of war and to allow Red Cross inspection of the POW facilities. “Minimum humanitarian considerations require that every government in the world abide at least by these rules, which help to mitigate the terrible evils of war,” the Council said. The Arab oil embargo was condemned by the Council which said it “violates principles of the United Nations, endangers the peace of the world, and harms the lives of millions of innocent people.”
The resolution concluded by declaring that “we look forward to a new era of peace in a land which has the deepest meaning for Christians, Jews and Moslems alike, and we shall support policies of economic assistance for the purpose of rebuilding the destruction which a succession of wars has saddled upon all of the suffering peoples of the Middle East.”