Menu JTA Search

Herzog Slams Uganda President

Uganda’s President Idi Amin has diverted world attention from the murder of thousands of Black Christians by creating artificial crises–a technique similar to that being used by Arab states to cloud the real issues in the Middle East, according to Chaim Herzog, Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations. In a luncheon address here before the Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago (not the United Jewish Appeal as previously reported), Herzog also said that the degree of American Jewry’s support for humanitarian programs in Israel is considered an important indicator of Israel’s strength by governments both friendly and unfriendly to Israel.

The audience of more than 250 leaders of Chicago’s Jewish community responded enthusiastically to Herzog’s call to let the “echoes of our voices and our concern resound so that generations to come will remember us with pride.” Special Gifts chairman Edgar L. Cadden reported substantial giving increments that brought the 1977 Jewish United Fund-Israel Emergency Fund campaign total to $11.5 million.

Herzog was introduced by Jewish United Fund general chairman William Levine who told the gathering that because of inflation, contributions would have to be increased 30 percent in order to maintain the level of local and overseas services provided by JUF locally, nationally and overseas in 1976.

In his address, Herzog charged that Amin used American citizens to draw attention from the “slaughter of tens of thousands of Africans.” He pointed out that Amin used the same technique following reports that he authorized the murder of 73-year-old Mrs. Dora Block, a hostage at Entebbe who reportedly had been in a Ugandan hospital at the time of the Israeli rescue. In that instance Amin created the illusion of an impending war with Kenya, Herzog said.

In the Middle East, the Arabs have attempted to parallel this technique by posing Arab-Israel strife as the barrier to peace, whereas the real problem is “the inherent immaturity and instability of Arab governments,” Herzog said. As evidence, he pointed to recent inter-Arab wars in Lebanon, Yemen, Iraq, Sudan and Jordan.

Herzog cited other hostilities, such as those between Egypt and Libya, between the PLO and various Arab states, and in a post-luncheon press conference he enumerated a total of 70 revolutions in Arab lands (25 of them successful) since Israel was established in 1948. This instability makes it difficult for Israel to negotiate a peace, since there is no guarantee that the governments who sign a treaty will be there to observe it, Herzog said.

NEXT STORY