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CJF Resolution on Mideast Expresses Concern That Recent U.S. Actions May ‘subvert’ Peace in the Mide

A resolution recognizing President Carter’s “commitment to a genuine peace, Israel’s security and well-being, and his public declaration that it is not the intention of the United States to impose a settlement” in the Middle East, was adopted unanimously by the 2000 delegates attending the 46th General Assembly of the Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds, which concluded its four-day session here yesterday.

At the same time, the resolution expressed concern “about U.S. statements and actions which may subvert the peace that both the United States and Israel so deeply desire.”

The importance of the resolution, which was carefully honed and phrased to express all the nuances and bases for Jewish concern regarding the future of Israel’s security and well-being, was stressed by Jerold C. Hoffberger, president of the CJF, who was reelected to a third term.

He told the delegates that Secretary of State Cyrus Vance, who addressed the Assembly Thursday night, had asked to receive a copy of the resolution as an aid to help him understand the Jewish community’s point of view on the Mideast in general. Hoffberger said that he would personally deliver a copy of the resolution, titled, “Israel and the Middle East,” to Vance in Washington either today or tomorrow.

‘PREFER’ IS TOO AMBIGUOUS

Prior to the adoption of the resolution, a number of delegates argued for the inclusion of stronger formulations rejecting the Administration’s position on the Mideast and calling for unconditional opposition to any Palestinian state. Several delegates noted that Carter, in his speech two weeks ago in Washington at the World Jewish Congress, said the U.S. would not “prefer” a Palestinian state.

Hoffberger agreed that Carter’s phrase was ambiguous and a sign of procrastination on this issue by the Administration. He said that when he and a number of other Jewish communal leaders met here with Vance prior to the Secretary addressing the Assembly, Vance was told that “prefer is not sufficient. If the U.S. really does not want to see such a state, or is opposed to it, it should say so unequivocally.”

The resolution stated that there is “great danger” in the “tendency of U.S. policy to support the concept of ‘Palestinian rights.'” It noted that the Arabs, especially the Palestine Liberation Organization, and the Soviet Union would view this as a signal to create a separate Palestinian state.

“We fear that Israel’s enemies can be expected to construe this posture of our government as an indication that the U.S. will pressure Israel to agree to the creation of an independent Palestinian state.”

The resolution said that such a state would inevitably be PLO-dominated and a threat to both Israel and “other U.S.-oriented Arab nations, including Jordan and Lebanon…and to Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Vital U.S. strategic and economic interests in the region would thereby be destroyed.

FOUR VITAL ISSUES

The resolution called upon the U.S. government to:

* “Reject the concept of a separate Palestinian state, as inimical both to U.S. interests and to peace in the Middle East;

* “Reaffirm its solemn commitment, expressed in a ‘Memorandum of Agreement’ between the United States and Israel, dated September 1, 1975, not to deal with the PLO unless and until it (1) publicly and unequivocally recognized Israel’s right to exist and (2) accepts Resolutions 242 and 338 as the sole basis for reconvening the Geneva conference;

* “Use its good office to bring Israel and the Arab states–Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon–to Geneva only on the basis of UN Resolutions 242 and 338 without change or interpretation, and permit them to negotiate the terms of the peace among themselves, including the commitment to secure and recognized borders, and the proper resolution of the problem of the Palestinian Arabs;

* “Maintain undiminished security and economic aid to Israel.”

OTHER RESOLUTIONS ADOPTED

The delegates also adopted a series of resolutions dealing with international issues, including Syrian and Soviet Jews and the United Nations; monitoring anti-boycott legislation; action on national issues such as energy, welfare reform and the aging; and communal needs, such as resettlement of Soviet Jewry in North America, outreach of Jewish organizations and services and moves to provide equal opportunity for women in executive positions in Jewish communal service.

Regarding the latter resolution, it noted that “the potentials for the employment of women in top-level positions are far greater than have yet been realized, in spite of the pressing need for high quality professionals throughout the field.” The resolution urged “the support of volunteer and professional leadership” to become involved “in the search and promotion process.”

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