NEW YORK (Oct. 18)
The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organization said today that it was “deeply distressed” by remarks attributed to Gen. George S. Brown, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, that Israel was a military burden to the United States. The Zionist Organization of America, in a statement issued by its president, Rabbi Joseph P. Sternstein, demanded the “Immediate dismissal” of Brown for his remarks.
Rabbi Alexander M. Schindler, chairman of the Presidents Conference, said he was “profoundly shocked” that Brown was also quoted as saying that the U.S. had no “stomach” to face up to the Soviet Union and that Great Britain was “pathetic.”
Schindler declared: “We trust that President Ford will see to it that American foreign policy will continue to be made by civilian and not military authority and that this policy shall include –as it has since 1948–an unequivocal and enduring commitment to the security and survival of Israel.” He added, “Certainly the Jewish community cannot permit to go unchallenged the statement that Israel is a ‘burden’ to the United States.”
Sternstein said Brown’s comments, if undenied, were “a serious breach of discipline and a sign of interference by the military in American foreign policy.” He said, “It is an affront to the State of Israel and does not reflect the sentiments of our nation.”
Sternstein added: “Gen. Brown has once again demonstrated a lack of judgement and discipline which, together with respect for civilian authority, is required in a military leader in a democracy. We call therefore upon the President and the Secretary of State to order his immediate dismissal.”