Jewish Leaders Hail Ford’s Statement Deploring Third Committee Measure

President Ford’s statement deploring the approval by the United Nations Third Committee of a draft resolution equating Zionism with racism was hailed by Jewish leaders as in the “noblest tradition” of the United States. The President, in a formal statement on the Third Committee action, said “it has been a general principle of the United States to take grave exception to any action that weakens the United Nations as an effective forum for the peaceful resolution of international dispute.”

Ford declared that “we deplore in the strongest terms the recent vote in the United Nations Social Committee characterizing Zionism as a form of racism. Such action undermines the principles upon which the United Nations is based. The spokesmen for the United States have expressed well and forcefully the views of this Administration and the American people on this issue.”

Ford’s statement last Friday was the second issued by the White House last week on the anti-Zionism vote. Earlier, Presidential Press Secretary Ron Nessen, in response to a question, said “We strongly opposed the recent vote characterizing Zionism as a form of racism and believe such a resolution can only undermine the principles upon which the United Nations is based and compromises its ability to function in the future.”

IN KEEPING WITH NATION’S TRADITION

The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations sent a telegram to Ford praising his “clear and unequivocal statement strongly condemning the recent vote” in the UN committee, Rabbi Israel Miller, Conference chairman, said that Ford’s “assertion of moral leadership is in keeping with the noblest traditions of our country. Anti-Semitism in any forum or in any form must be vigorously comb attendees uprooted.”

Rabbi Miller also noted “we are doubly grate full” that the statement by Ford and the American representatives at the UN against the resolution “were not merely in response to what some would call Jewish pressure but represented the deeply felt convictions of our country’s leadership.” Rabbi Miller added, “there has been and is and will continue to be an ongoing relationship between the Jewish community and the leadership of our country both in Washington and in New York. We believe these contacts have played a significant role in the stand our country has taken at the United Nations and in the world.”

The American Jewish Committee described Ford’s message as “forthright” and “most welcome.” In a telegram to Ford, the AJCommittee expressed hope that the President’s statement “will serve to destroy whatever chance the resolution had of passing the General Assembly.”

The Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith called upon other world heads of state to follow President Ford’s lead in deploring the anti-Zionism vote. In a telegram to Ford, Seymour Graubard, ADL chairman, welcomed the President’s statement and expressed hope that “your forthright leadership will inspire other heads of state to do everything in their power to prevent adoption of the resolution when it comes before the UN General Assembly.”

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