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ZOA Leader Warns Against Pact

A Zionist leader warned here yesterday against “the easy illusion” that the Egyptian-Israel interim agreement arranged by Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger was a “major step toward a Middle East peace.”

Dr. Joseph P. Sternstein, president of the Zionist Organization of America, urged that the American people “not be misled into understanding the agreement as the result of brilliant diplomacy or as a triumph of a negotiation for peace.” He asked instead that the accord be viewed as “the product of brute and cruel pressure that has victimized Israel and encouraged its enemies to regard the United States as their newest bludgeon against the Jewish State.”

The Zionist leader underscored in this connection that American behavior was in “contradiction of pledges given by President Ford and his predecessors that the U.S. would not impose a settlement between Israel and the Arab states. Speaking to the ZOA’s national staff, Dr. Sternstein denounced the negotiations and the interim agreement as “a crude and outrageous effort and device conceived and consummated by the United States with the plain objective of reducing Israel to the level of a vassal state.”

Dr. Sternstein, who is also rabbi of Temple Beth Sholom of Roslyn, N.Y., urged that Americans “not be taken in” by what he termed “Washington’s stratagems.” “In dealing with the Arabs and Israel,” he declared, “the Administration has limited itself to arranging an interim–meaning a temporary–agreement. Ought not that to serve as proof that there was no serious effort for a peace treaty and the establishment of normal relations between Israel and the Arabs?”

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