NEW YORK (Feb. 28)
Israel Chief Rabbi Shlomo Goren warned Israel and its supporters in the United States not to become too complacent in the expectation of a Middle East peace agreement. “Peace has still not come to Israel,” he said, “and we must prepare ourselves for any eventuality.”
“Instead of just hoping for peace,” Goren stated, “we have to go back to out former ways and that includes self-sacrifice in building the economy, defending the nation and preparing for an uncertain future.”
The Chief Rabbi made these statements yesterday at an expanded meeting of the Greater New York Rabbinic Cabinet of State of Israel Bonds at the Fifth Avenue Synagogue, which was attended by more than 60 leaders of the Orthodox, Conservative and Reform Movements in the New York metropolitan area.
Goren said that it is important for Jews throughout the world to fight for Israel politically and financially as individuals and as part of the Jewish community. In the United States, he emphasized, Jews must demonstrate to President Carter that they support Israel and are willing to make sacrifices to defend its integrity.
Goren said that he perceived a change of attitude toward Israel in the White House in recent months. In view of this new development, he stated, “if Jews all over the world remain ###ited, with one heart, no power on earth will be able to diminish our rights in the whole of Israel.” He added: “If peace comes without giving away vital areas in Israel it will open a period in the area that I would consider the beginning of the salvation of Israel and the Jewish people. This would be considered the start of the Third Commonwealth of the Holy Land.”In response to a question dealing with the recent upheaval in Iran, Goren asserted that “the religious revival in Iran goes together with hatred of Israel and Judaism. This may grow to be a new type of anti-Judaism. The entire Jewish world should take stops to stop this anti-Jewish wave that comes from the same group of individuals that is fighting the State of Israel and sending their gangs to terrorize our people.”