NEW YORK (May. 16)
Elmer L. Winter president of the American Jewish Committee, in a special press conference today during the group’s 68th annual convention, urged the United Nations to condemn “the Arab barbarism at Maalot” but stressed that Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger must “redouble his already arduous efforts for peace.” Charging that the “massacre at Maalot is the bitter fruit” of the United Nations Security Council condemnation of Israel. Winter declared:
“It is high time for the U.S. government to acknowledge its error in having joined in that cynical condemnation of Israel, even to the point now of following up on Secretary Kissinger’s expression of outrage yesterday by urging the entire United Nations to denounce this latest act of terrorism.” Winter added that to allow “the first serious and courageous effort in recent years for peace in the troubled Middle East” to fail would acknowledge that terrorist action succeeded. He also urged Arab states to condemn Arab terrorism and for Lebanon in particular to stop sheltering the terrorists.
Daniel Shapiro, president of the AJ Committee’s New York Chapter, noted that the chapter adopted Maalot after a group of its members visited the development town in 1968. He said a delegation from the chapter would leave soon to visit the town and express American Jewish solidarity with the Israelis and see what help the town needs.
URGE SOLIDARITY OF WORLD JEWRY
A gathering last night of the American Friends of the Hebrew University at the Americana Hotel to pay tribute to its president, Avraham Harman, turned into a demonstration of indignation over the latest terrorist carnage in Maalot and a show of solidarity with the State of Israel. Harman, addressing some 500 dinner guests, said the murderers who took 90 children hostage were motivated by the same fanaticism that has motivated the Arabs since the State of Israel was born 26 years ago. “They want to annihilate us,” he declared, “and kill all of us. They do not believe in co-existence between Jews and Arabs.” By murdering school children, he continued, they are aiming “at the heart of the Jewish people.”
His voice trembled with anger as he recounted the nefarious deed of the terrorists. He declared that Israel and the Jewish people are now more than ever determined to resist the enemy and to continue to build the Jewish homeland. “We are obsessed by a passion for life.” Harman said, adding that the Jewish people is united in this passion.
The audience paid tribute to the victims in Maalot with a minute of silence. Paul Zuckerman general chairman of the United Jewish Appeal, and Sam Rothberg, chairman of the Board of Governors of the Hebrew University, called for increased financial efforts for Israel “in this grim hour.”
MUST BE STRONG AND DETERMINED
In a separate statement. Zuckerman declared: “This deplorable act of senseless violence can only knit closer the bonds of unity of the Jewish people. We share the suffering and the sense of loss of the families, friends and neighbors of Maalot. Whenever Jewish blood is spilled–when innocent children. Jewish children are killed and used as pawns by terrorists–our reaction must be one of strength and determination. We stand solidly with the people of Maalot and the people of Israel and pledge to provide them with the humanitarian help they urgently need.”
Mrs. Rose E. Matzkin, national president of Hadassah, scored the United Nations for “its failure to condemn acts of Arab terrorism and brutality,” said that the UN must, as a result, “bear the brunt of the responsibility for each new assault upon Israeli lives,” and deplored “the passivity, the apathy of the international community that implicitly encourages terrorism to flourish.”
Leaders of the National Women’s Division of the American Jewish Congress marched yesterday from the Stephen Wise Congress House to the nearby Lebanese Consulate where they, along with some 1000 youths and adults, picketed, protesting the Arab terrorist attack on Maalot. In a statement outside the Consulate, Mrs. Jacqueline Levine, president of the women’s division and co-chairwoman of the Congress’ National Governing Council, called for “worldwide expressions of revulsion over these atrocities and an international program to thwart terrorism in the future.”
DENUNCIATION MUST ACCOMPANY SHUTTLE DIPLOMACY
In other statements condemning the terrorist attack and the passivity of the civilized world toward such acts, Herman L. Weisman, president of the Zionist Organization of America, said: “Can shuttle diplomacy be cavalierly renewed without a forthright denunciation by Syria and the other Arab countries of terrorist assaults, without their commitment once and for all to withdraw shelter, arms and encouragement from all terrorist groups?”
Dr. Judah J. Shapiro, president of the Labor Zionist Alliance, declared that the Maalot outrage “can be traced to the kind of action, or inaction, of most governments with respect to Arab terrorism. There ought to be some way of removing from civilized councils governments that aid and abet this Arab terrorism.”
Prof. Howard Adelson, speaking for the United Zionist Revisionists in America, said the Maalot and the Kiryat Shemona atrocities are “reminiscent of the worst excesses of the holocaust.” In light of these outrages, “it is clear that peace should only be made with the Arab governments after they have taken steps to suppress terrorism and given guarantees that the borders (Israel’s) will be inviolate.”
Others who condemned the carnage and called for prompt, effective action against Arab terrorism, included the Rabbinical Council of America, Pioneer Women. Rabbinical Assembly, American Professors for Peace in the Middle East, United Synagogue of America, the New York Board of Rabbis and Bnai Zion. Jewish Labor Committee.