Menu JTA Search

Continuing Support for Israel Urged

The American Jewish community must redouble its efforts to retain Congressional support for Israel at previous levels, an Illinois Congresswoman said at a meeting held in the Jewish Federation offices. Rep. Cardiss Collins (D. Ill.), a Black legislator who was a member of a Congressional delegation that recently visited Israel and Egypt, told nearly 100 leaders of 37 major Chicago Jewish organizations that the increased activity is needed to offset possible erosion in traditional support.

Speaking at a meeting of the Public Affairs Committee (PAC) of the Jewish United Fund, Rep. Collins, who serves on the influential House International Relations Committee, said that while she foresaw continued substantial U.S. aid to Israel, appropriations would be limited to levels which the U.S. can afford, given its current economic difficulties.

In response to questions, she said that Israel’s people, despite a sincere desire for peace, felt the imminence of war. Because of their past wartime experiences, this causes them great anxieties and a need for allies and constant assurances of support, America’s Black community, she noted, was too concerned with its own economic problems to become actively involved in the problems of Israel or the American Jewish community. However, the Black Congressional caucus (of 17) has given substantial support to measures favoring Israel.

Rep. Collins also said that African nations have moved away from a staunch pro-Arab stance. In her recent meetings in Africa with leaders of 11 nations, she sensed the consensus that Israel should not be ousted from the United Nations. “Arab promises of low-priced oil and economic support to African nations have not been kept.” she stated. “The Africans realize that the Arabs are not their friends.” But rather than taking positive stances toward Israel, African nations are “neutral” at present. Considered here a staunch supporter of aid to Israel, Rep. Collins recently criticized Ford Administration moves to sell missiles to Jordan.

There will be no Bulletin dated Monday, Sept, 1 due to Labor Day, a postal holiday.

NEXT STORY