NEW YORK (Dec. 16)
Jewish organizations condemned the vote by Mexico last night in the UN General Assembly and said it did not conform to what Mexican President Luis Echeverria told 15 American Jewish leaders in Mexico City last week. Rabbi Israel Miller, chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, said today;
“We are deeply disturbed by the failure of Mexico’s representative in her vote and statement at the United Nations last night to make clear the position conveyed to Jewish leadership last week by the President of Mexico–namely, that Zionism is completely incompatible with racism and cannot in any way be equated with it and that the Jewish people has the right to a national homeland in Israel.
“We are convinced that this is the attitude and the position of the people of Mexico and we were gratified to hear it confirmed by the President of Mexico himself. We therefore find it difficult to understand that the President’s encouraging statements were not reflected in the action of the Mexican delegation to the UN.
“At his home on Friday, President Echeverria spoke sympathetically and warmly of Zionism and of the national aspirations of the Jewish people. We respectfully urge him to direct the representatives of his government to reflect and demonstrate that same understanding and sympathy in all future votes at the United Nations and other international forums.”
Rabbi Arthur Hertzberg, president of the American Jewish Congress said; “We were distressed by the wide disparity between the assurances given by President Echeverria last Friday and the action and vote of the delegation at the UN last night. We do not understand how the Mexican government can reasonably take one position in Mexico City and another position in the halls of the General Assembly. We therefore have no basis at present for changing our decision to suspend AJ Congress travel programs to Mexico.” Many Jewish organizations in this country, which had cancelled tours to Mexico, were waiting to see how Mexico would vote on the resolution to determine future policy.