NEW YORK (Aug. 29)
In a move that surprised some observers, Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) the nation’s largest conservative youth organization, went on record voicing over-whelming support for Israel at its ninth biennial convention which ended yesterday, it was reported by Steven Loewy, a delegate to the convention.
Nearly 1000 members of YAF–which claims 50,000 followers around the country–gathered at the Statler Hilton Hotel to hear nationally known speakers, elect officers and pass resolutions on various topics.
In one of its resolutions, the right-wing group affirmed its “fundamental support for a militarily strong Israel capable of preserving peace by resisting attack” and for “continued ties with moderate anti-Communist Arab countries,” and claimed that “the forced return of Israel to its pre-1967 borders would only encourage Arab and Communist aggression.”
In addition, the delegates called for the United States to withdraw from the United Nations, in part because the majority of UN member states “have taken a fanatical line contra to the U.S. ally of Israel, and that such states are dedicated to the destruction of the Jewish republic.” The youth group branded the PLO as a “Marxist terrorist organization determined to create a Marxist state, and to destroy the state and people of Israel.”
WILL LOBBY FOR AID TO ISRAEL
Newly elected chairman John Buckley, a cousin of former Senator James Buckley, pledged that YAF–which has an advisory board of 100 members of Congress–would lobby vigorously in support of foreign aid legislation to bolster Israel’s defense capability.
Ronald Reagan, who addressed the convention, at a banquet Thursday evening, said he was “very happy to see Menachem Begin become Israel’s Prime Minister.” He echoed the views of two of the other dinner speakers, Congressman Philip Crane (R.III.) and Congressman Robert Dornan (R.Cal.) who last week were quoted in Israeli papers as hailing Begin’s domestic and foreign policies.
Lakewood Yeshiva alumnus, Rabbi Abraham C. Nussbaum, after delivering an invocation and benediction at the dinner featuring Reagan, remarked, “It was a pleasure to view such a large Jewish representation in the leadership echelons of YAF, as well as the organization’s support for tuition credits for yeshiva students, and opposition to abortion and the Equal Rights Amendment.”
One additional development at the convention was the announcement by Boro Park architect lra Streitfeld of a new national body calling itself Conservatives for a Just Peace in the Middle East. According to Streitfeld, the group plans to “mobilize national conservative opinion behind Menachem Begin’s sensible foreign policy initiatives. “Streitfeld said that the initial response to the group was “extremely positive.”