WASHINGTON (Jun. 6)
“There has been a fundamental change in U.S. policy toward Israel,” Rep. Benjamin Rosenthal (D.NY) told the meeting of the National Executive Committee of the Zionist Organization of America here yesterday. Rosenthal attacked the sale of advanced jet planes to Egypt and Saudi Arabia as “an unbelievable thing” and said that such aid should have been tied to a movement toward peace. He urged the ZOA to “let the government know that we are very dissatisfied with this policy.”
Addressing last night’s session, Rabbi Joseph P. Sternstein, ZOA president, said “We find ourselves in a sort of hiatus between the arms vote and the new burst of Administration activity in the Middle East. We must not permit this to pass without energetic activity so that all American Jews are clear as to the challenges we face.” Stemstein urged the American Jewish community leadership to act with “statesmanship and courage and not confuse our responsibilities” with a favorable reception by high officials in Washington. “Our responsibility is advocacy: advocacy of Israel’s righteous position and explaining its fullest case before the bar of American public opinion,” he said.
The ZOA leader said Israel’s case must be pressed to the “maximum dimensions” in the U.S. and that American Jews “should not grow weary” of repeated presentation of Israel’s case. Jacques Torczyner, member of the World Zionist Organization Executive and a former ZOA president, saw a “basic change in the U.S. position vis a vis Israel. If we wish to alter this we will find the answer in the ballot box,” he said. He changed that the U.S. was “trying to disguise this change of policy, but we must not be fooled by it.”