NEW YORK (Mar. 22)
A delegation of evangelical Christians and leading conservatives in the metropolitan area issued an “open letter” to Israeli Premier Menachem Begin expressing “deepest sympathy” with the people of Israel concerning the “unspeakable atrocity” of the terrorist massacre of 32 people on March II and calling for the New York office of the Palestine Liberation Organization to be closed down.
The delegation represented a recently formed group, the Ad Hoc Committee to Encourage Prime Minister Begin and Israel, headquartered in New York, and the group’s view was stated in “An Open Letter to an Israeli Patriot, Prime Minister Menachem Begin, From Patriotic Americans.”
The letter, written on a special parchment paper and signed by more than 30 people, was handed to Yehial Kadishia, director of the Prime Minister’s Bureau, at the Waldorf Astoria just before Begin left for Washington Monday. The delegation was headed by Rev. Roger Fulton, chairman of the ad hoc committee, and Rev. Nathan Haughton, the committee’s vice-chairman.
The letter expressed “admiration and appreciation” for Begin’s “record of unswerving commitment to the promises of your election campaign, including the promise to see that the West Bank of the Jordan should never become a PLO-dominated region.” In a statement when the letter was delivered, Haughton said: “We stand side by side with Lebanese Christians and we pray that Israel will never give in to Soviet-UN pressures that would jeopardize the security of Lebanese Christians and those Israelis in border areas and elsewhere who have been victimized by wanton PLO terrorists.”
Among those whose names were on the letter were Gov. Meldrim Thomson of New Hampshire; Serphin R. Maltese, New York State Conservative Party executive director; Rev. Ithiel C. Clemmons, Bishop for the Chaplaincy of Armed Forces and Institutions, Church of God in Christ U.S.A.; Ralph de Toledano, syndicated columnist, contributing editor of the National Review; Rev. Edward H. Flannery, director of Continuing Education of the Clergy, diocese of Providence, R.I.; William Loeb, publisher, Manchester (N.H.) Union Leader and Sunday News; and Sister Rose Thering of Seton Hall University, South Orange, N.J.