NEW YORK (Aug. 2)
Calling the approaching period of political change a “challenge which is both a danger and an opportunity.” Rabbi Joseph P. Sternstein, president of the Zionist Organization of America, urged a partnership of American, Jewish and Israeli leadership to work to mobilize a vast nation-wide “campaign of enlightenment.”
Addressing a meeting yesterday of the ZOA National Executive Committee, Sternstein said that “no matter how well-intentioned and warm toward Israel new American political leaders and spokesmen will be, they will be laboring under the difficulty of a relative lack of intimate experience with the complexities of the Middle East.” He urged American Jews and Israelis to work together in a campaign which would “prevent the new political leaders from falling prey to falsified and simplistic slogans which are being widely purveyed.” He cited, as examples, “momentum for peace,” “return to 1967,” “occupied territories,” and the “need for a Palestine state.”
Sternstein referred to a second and vital effort which he felt must be quickly undertaken by Israel. “Long overdue,” he said, “is the need to develop concrete political programs for the Arabs living in the administered territories, so that they can attain identity and responsibility.” He voiced his disappointment with Likud for not being more forthcoming with “unambiguous proposals. They must begin to assume the aspect of a responsible entity if they wish to serve as a true opposition,” Sternstein said.