NEW YORK (Sep. 28)
Two Jewish communal leaders who have accepted key roles in the Carter Mondale election campaign to win Jewish votes for the Democratic ticket, said today their goal was to bring Jewish votes for that ticket on Nov. 2 back to the 85 percent received by Sen. Hubert Humphrey when he was the Democratic candidate for President against Richard Nixon in 1968.
That goal was announced at a press conference here by Edward Sanders, Los Angeles Jewish communal leader, who resigned on Sept. 8 as chairman of the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee to become deputy national campaign director for the ticket headed by Jimmy Carter and Sen. Walter F. Mondale, and Stanley H. Lowell, former chairman of the National Conference on Soviet Jewry. Lowell said he would describe his position with the campaign as coordinator of efforts to win Jewish votes for Carter and Mondale.
Sanders, a former president of the Jewish Federation-Council of Los Angeles, reiterated his statement, when he accepted the director’s post, that Carter understands the needs of the American people and that "he will do something about it." He also said that as a Jew, "I am concerned about the survival of Jews in peace and freedom in Israel" and that he believed Carter was "dedicated to that proposition."
Sanders emphasized, as did Lowell, that American Jews were concerned not only with such specific issues as Israel’s security and the plight of Soviet Jewry but also with the basic problems of joblessness and inflation. Sanders also said that he was "deeply concerned" about the quality of Jewish life in the United States, because "as a Jew, I feel that in difficult economic times, Jews may be the first target" of unrest.
BELIEVES CARTER CAN DO THE JOB
Declaring he wanted the United States to be "strong and healthy," he declared he believed that "Jimmy Carter can do the job." He said he believed that Carter could put together the elements of the coalition for national progress developed by the late Presidents Roosevelt, Truman and Kennedy. Asserting that "I don’t think" President Ford "can do it," Sanders said "I am comfortable" with Carter’s position "on all these issues."
The two Jewish leaders expressed the conviction that Carter would do "a more effective job" in helping to ease the plight of Soviet Jews by making "more vigorous and effective efforts" in that area of U.S. policy.
In the interview, held at the Carter-Mondale New York campaign headquarters, Sanders and Lowell denounced the Ford Administration for its opposition to effective anti-boycott laws. They assailed Ford Administration proposals to sell offensive weapons in huge quantities to Saudi Arabia. They said Carter favored better relations with the Arab states but that he would oppose providing the confrontation states with offensive weapons.
SPECIFIC ACTIVITIES OUTLINED
The two leaders outlined some of the specific activities planned to persuade Jews to vote for the Carter-Mondale ticket. They said they planned to bring the nominees into discussions with Jewish leaders and to bring in national Democratic personalities to New York City to speak to Jewish audiences for the Democratic ticket.
They listed, among others, Sen. Henry M, Jackson, who they said will be here Oct. 5, Sen. Edward F. Kennedy of Massachusetts; Sen. Biroh Bayh of Indiana; Sen. Frank Church of Idaho; Rep. Charles Vanik of Ohio, co-sponsor of the Jackson-Vanik amendment to the Trade Reform Act; and other Democratic leaders committed to support of Carter.
They said the New York metropolitan area was being divided into 20 campaign areas for parlor meetings, distribution of literature, motorcades and related campaign efforts aimed at Jewish voters. They also said they planned to seek endorsements from Jewish community leaders for the Carter-Mondale ticket.
A newsman raised the question of the Democratic platform commitment to move the United States Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, while Carter himself has said he does not want to make a final commitment until he has a chance to analyze that issue in detail. Both Sanders and Lowell cited Carter’s comment at a meeting at the New York Board of Rabbis that he felt it would be helpful for him, in seeking peace talks between Israel and the Arab states, that the United States have some "bargaining positions," implying that one of them should be the status of the American Embassy.