NEW YORK (Jun. 28)
Rabbi Alexander Schindler, the outgoing chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, accused the Carter Administration today of abandoning the role of a mediator in the Arab-Israeli dispute and siding with the Arabs. He said that there is a constant pressure on Israel to make concessions before it reaches the bargaining table. “This policy makes me extremely unhappy. It pains me,” Schindler said, noting that he had supported the election of President Carter.
It was Schindler’s last press conference as chairman of the Presidents Conference. His term ends June 30 and he will be succeeded by Theodore R. Mann of Philadelphia. Schindler is to leave for Israel tonight. He said that he was invited to join Vice President Walter Mondale’s entourage which leaves for Israel tomorrow and that he accepted the invitation but, for various reasons, he had to leave for Israel earlier.
Assessing his two-and-a-half years as chairman of the Presidents Conference, Schindler noted that he gave expression to the consensus of the Jewish community in America rather than expressing his own personal opinion. He said that he also played the role “of a unifying factor” during his chairmanship.
Asked about his reaction to Sen. Jacob Javits’ (R.NY) recent statement criticizing Israel government policies, Schindler said that Javits ” is the representative of the state of New York and speaks as a United States Senator. He was not elected by the American Jewish community and he is not responsible for expressing the consensus of that community.” He said that Javits’ speech as a whole was “balanced” but that it was reported in the media in an unbalanced way.