Hundreds Sign Petition Affirming Full Support for Premier Begin

A recently formed group, the Ad Hoc Committee of American Jews in Support of Begin, announced today that “a letter signed by hundreds” of American Jews affirming full support to Israeli Premier Menachem Begin “in the great struggle you are waging for Israel’s security” will be hand delivered to the Premier’s office in Jerusalem tomorrow by Gerald S. Strober, co-chairman of the committee.

Strober said that more than 700 signatures were gathered across the country within a 48-hour period this week in a response which he termed “remarkable” and signifying “that the American Jewish community stands firm in its support of Mr. Begin.” Irving Green, a spokesman for the committee, said the group was formed in response to media reports that American Jews are not in full support of Begin.

The letter asks Begin “not to be influenced by negative forces who would try to make you believe that the Jews of America are not wholeheartedly behind your efforts.” It notes that the signers “believe that we represent the grassroots of American Jewry, and that millions of Jews in the United States would subscribe to this letter if they had the opportunity.” It concludes: “Now as never before the Jewish people must be united and we . . . are proud to stand united behind your leadership. . . Am Yisroel Chai.”

CROSS SECTION OF JEWISH COMMUNITY

The committee claims that the signatories represent a cross section of the American Jewish community, including rabbis, businessmen, communal leaders, artists, students and “persons who are highly significant contributors to Jewish and Israeli related causes.”

The founders of the committee, Green said, are Strober, Gary Ramer, a United Jewish Appeal leader from Chicago, and Harry S. Taubenfeld, chairman of Herut-U.S. According to Strober, the letter “clearly demonstrates that recent Administration attempts to split the American Jewish community over the issue of support for Mr. Begin have failed.”

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