Schindler Urges the State Department to Cool the Rhetoric

Rabbi Alexander M. Schindler, president of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations (UAHC) called on the State Department last night to “cool the rhetoric” and let Egypt and Israel move toward a final peace agreement “without further American pronouncements that could upset the delicate balance.”

Schindler, addressing the annual convention of the Reform Synagogue group’s Pennsylvania region, commented on a charge by Secretary of State Cyrus Vance last to enlarge some settlements on the West Bank was “a very serious matter” and that the U.S. was” deeply disturbed by it.”

Schindler declared: “It is neither helpful nor appropriate for our country, which has played such a positive role in bringing the parties together, to criticize Israel For asserting a policy which is entirely in keeping with the Camp David agreements and which President Carter himself approved in his statement to reporters on Sept. 28. There is no reason why Israel’s policy on settlements in the West Bank should affect progress toward peace with Egypt.

“But if our own country publicly rebukes Israel for restating that policy, Egypt will be encouraged to own position and perhaps even break off negotiations. Such a step could jeopardize the whole movement toward peace in which the Carter Administration has played such a vital role.”

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