NEW YORK (May. 19)
A new effort to mobilize public support and understanding in the United States for Israel will be launched at a two-day national leadership assembly of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations on May 26-27. The assembly will be attended by more than 300 delegates from all over the country and will be held at the Delmonico Hotel here.
Rabbi Israel Miller, chairman of the Presidents Conference, said today at a press conference that the meeting will aim at reaching the Jewish community and all other segments of American society and will mobilize “public support and understanding of the moral and strategic imperatives of American support for Israel.
“The first step in this effort,” he said, “must be the education of our own Jewish community, for only if there is a knowledgeable and informed American Jewry will we be able to tell the story effectively and persuasively to the community at large.”
ARAB BOYCOTT TO BE DISCUSSED
Another important item on the assembly’s agenda will be the Arab boycott and its implications for American society. Rabbi Miller maintained that holding the assembly on the eve of President Ford’s meetings with Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Premier Yitzhak Rabin of Israel has special importance. He pointed out that it is significant that the Jewish community will be mobilized “to show the Ford Administration how united we are.”
Three major figures at the United Nations will be among the speakers addressing the assembly, Rabbi Miller said. They are: Yosef Tekoah, Israel’s UN Ambassador; John Scan, the U.S. Ambassador to the UN; and Arthur Goldberg a former U.S. Ambassador to the UN.
Rabbi Miller asserted that there is a recognition among the American people that Israel was not at fault for the breakdown of Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger’s efforts to reach a second-stage agreement between Israel and Egypt. He said that during the recent visit to Washington by a delegation of Jewish leaders, he found “feeling of support” for Israel in Congress.
Yehuda Hellman, executive director of the Presidents Conference, who just returned from a short visit to Europe, said that there is a change of attitude in Europe toward Israel, and pro-Israeli sentiment especially among the socialist parties is on the rise. He said that one of the purposes of the upcoming assembly will be “to call the American Jewish community for action” and to lift its morale which, according to Hellman, is in a state of despair.