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Rabbi Urges Greater Aid for Israel Even if It Means Belt-tightening

If financial aid to Israel means some degree of belt-tightening by American Jews, then they must do so rather than reduce such aid, according to Rabbi Alfred Gottschalk, president of the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. He stated this also means that more vigorous fund-raising efforts are then demanded to provide for local needs of Jewish institutions in this country.

“Saving lives, defending borders and protecting schools from terrorist attacks are a clear human priority over anything else,” Dr. Gottschalk told the opening session of a three-day convention of the Midwest Region of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations here.

The head of Reform Judaism’s institution of higher learning warned that a new possibility for a Middle East conflict existed because “Israel was becoming a pawn in the oil chess game.” He referred to the recent threat made by Arab leaders here and abroad, indicating that there would be no reduction of oil prices unless Israel continued to make concessions in a peace treaty.

Dr. Gottschalk praised Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger’s efforts in achieving a Middle East peace since “he has gained the confidence of both sides and represents the only individual able to keep the two sides together talking peace.” He cautioned, however, that Israelis must be on guard in such peace negotiations against what he described as “Mr. Kissinger’s ‘salami diplomacy’ in which he appears at each stage of the negotiations to be giving away a slice of territory at a time.”

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