NEW YORK (Aug. 25)
Abraham Hirschfeld, a former Israeli and for the past 25 years a New York businessman, who is now seeking the Democratic Party nomination for the U.S. Senate, called today on the U.S. government to fulfill its obligation to furnish Israel with military and economic aid so that the Jewish State can defend itself and preserve its existence and identity.
In a position paper titled, “Israel–America’s Ally in the Middle East,” he said that for the past three years, the U.S. “has sold more than $12 billion in military arms to the Persian Gulf states. Only $5 billion went to Israel.” Israel, he added, “is important not only to Jews but to America and democratic nations throughout the world.”
Hirschfeld, noting that Israel’s rescue of more than 100 hostages at Entebbe Airport was a lesson and a moral victory for the entire free world, also urged that strong action must be taken to combat terrorism and hijackings. “With America’s prestige at an all-time low, the United States can take a lesson from Entebbe on how to regain the respect of the rest of the world” when “other nations and international organizations violate basic human freedoms.”
Hirschfeld came to Palestine in 1934 at the age of 14 when his family left Poland. He began working in an assembly plant and later organized the first union there. His family later moved to a border village where he worked in an orange grove during the day and served in the Hagana at night. At the age of 27 he became Deputy Mayor of Bnai Brak. In 1950 he came to the U.S. to buy equipment for a steel and brass tube mill in Israel and decided to remain.
In his position paper, Hirschfeld also called on the U.S. government to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and to move its embassy there. “This should be done,” he said, “forthwith and without any hesitation.” Noting that for 20 years, Syria used the Golan Heights as a strategic base from which to launch attacks on Israeli settlers, Hirschfeld said he would support Israel’s reluctance to return the Heights.