CHICAGO (Nov. 14)
Six hundred American Jewish leaders pledged more than $18 million here last night toward the United Jewish Appeal-Israel Emergency Fund 1975 campaign at what was described as the most successful inaugural dinner in the UJA’s history. Paul Zuckerman, of Detroit, UJA general chairman, presided at the affair which was the earliest campaign inaugural in 36 years. He shared the fund-raising task with Albert B. Adelman of Milwaukee, a national chairman of UJA.
The assemblage was addressed by Israel’s Minister of Information, Aharon Yariv, who flew in from Jerusalem yesterday and by Mrs. Silva Zalmanson, recently released from a Soviet labor camp after serving four years of a 10-year sentence for an alleged airplane hijacking attempt. Yariv, a retired Israel army general who negotiated the Kilometre 101 cease-fire agreement with Egypt last winter, was grim over the prospects of peace in the Middle East at this time.
“If there was any hope after the Yom Kippur War for a change or a new spirit in the Middle East, the Arab summit conference at Rabat eliminated it.” he said. “I am not too hopeful because of the tone which was set at Rabat. No Arab leader can go against the tide .Arab leaders are feeling the power of this movement and this will be reflected in their actions with regard to oil. to peace, to international affairs,” he said.
Referring to PLO chief Yasir Arafat’s speech to the UN General Assembly yesterday, Yariv said “Nothing is more expressive of the times that we live in…the man in dark glasses with a gun on his hip being acclaimed by the nations of the world.” He urged his listeners not to be misled. “What is happening to Israel is only an indication of what can happen to the free world.” he said.
Yariv also referred to Israel’s current economic crisis. “Our government had to take decisive steps. We have a deficit of $3.5 billion in balance of payments; we are heavily taxed; we spend 50 percent of our budget, 30 percent of our gross national product on defense.” he said.
Mrs Zalmanson, whose husband and two brothers are still in Soviet prison camps, said: “My release is you victory. It is essential that we do not relax our efforts. I ask that you never give up your efforts on behalf of the Prisoners of Zion.”