NEW YORK (Feb. 15)
The American Jewish Congress today announced resumption of its members’ travel program to Mexico. Rabbi Arthur Hertzberg, president of the AJ Congress, made the announcement following a meeting of the organization’s national executive committee last night.
Hertzberg led an AJ Congress mission to Mexico last month and met with President Jose Lopez Portillo, former President Miguel Aleman, who heads the Mexican National Tourist Council, and leaders of Mexico’s Jewish community. “On the basis of our conversations with Mexican government officials and with representatives of Mexican Jewry,” Hertzberg said, “we believe it is appropriate to resume our members’ travel program to Mexico.”
He noted that the AJ Congress was persuaded “that there is an eagerness on the part of our Mexican neighbors to strengthen relations with the United States, with Israel and with American Jews and to adopt policies that will strengthen the cause of freedom everywhere. For all these reasons, our mission recommended unanimously to lift the suspension of the American Jewish Congress travel program to Mexico. I am pleased to report that this recommendation was adopted unanimously by our national executive committee.
Hertzberg said that the Congress would resume its group tours to Mexico next October. Some 25 departures for more than 1000 members are now being scheduled. The AJ Congress suspended its members’ travel program to Mexico in November, 1975, following Mexico’s vote at the United Nations in support of the General Assembly resolution equating Zionism with racism.
In his statement today, Hertzberg noted two recent “positive actions” taken by Mexico–the signing of a new air agreement inaugurating regular flights between Israel and Mexico and the decision by Mexico to join the United State, Britain, France and West Germany in abstaining from a UN resolution condemning “collaboration by Israel with the South African racist regime.”