GROSSINGERS, N.Y. (Nov. 14)
The American Zionist Federation today applauded President Carter and his staff for their efforts to achieve peace in the Middle East and hailed the Camp David conference as “a great breakthrough.” The Administration was also praised for its “long-standing policy of non-recognition of the PLO” in a series of resolutions adopted at the closing session of the AZF’s fifth biennial convention here.
The 500 delegates elected Rabbi Joseph P. Sternstein, of Roslyn, N.Y., as president of the AZF, succeeding Rabbi Israel Miller. In his acceptance speech, Sternstein stressed that further growth is “essential” to the Zionist movement.
He announced a membership campaign and urged “non-Zionists” to become “new Zionists” by joining a Zionist organization. Referring to the Middle East, he said “Today is a critical moment in the American diplomatic initiative.” He complained that in U.S. statements “invariably Israel alone is criticized as ‘intransigent,’” and pledged to fight trends in U.S. policy that could only be characterized as “sinister.”
In another resolution, the AZF expressed hope that in the current peace negotiations “full account of Israel’s security needs be recognized and peace come about speedily.” Jewish groups were urged to combat Arab propaganda activities in the U.S., especially on campuses and to mount protests and demonstrations against the UN-sponsored “International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People” on Nov. 29. The United Nations was condemned on several scores, including its “continued reference to Zionism as racism” and “use of the UN as a forum for the glorification of terrorism.”