Jewish Leaders Laud Carter’s Energy Program; Pledge Cooperation

President Carter’s energy program calling for an immediate sharp reduction of oil imports and the eventual elimination of American dependence on foreign oil was lauded by American Jewish organizations today. They pledged their cooperation.

In a telegram to the President, applauding his nationwide television address last night on energy policies and other issues, Theodore Mann, chairman of the National Jewish Community Relations Advisory Council (NJCRAC), said:

“We join with you in the faith that the American people will respond to the need for equitable sacrifice by all segments in the common effort to achieve the national goal of reducing our dependence on foreign oil. The Jewish community relations field, as represented by the NJCRAC, is committed to a policy, and has embarked on programs, making energy one of our major priorities. We can assure you of the support to these ends of the eleven national organizations and 107 local community agencies which have always worked for a free, just and strong America.”

A similar statement was issued by Harris L. Kempner Jr., chairman of the American Jewish Committee’s Energy Committee, who noted that the President’s proposals were consistent with recommendations made last week by the AJ Committee and II other major, national Jewish organizations. These include: mandatory conservation measures; institution of oil import quotas; incentives for speedy development of synthetic fuels and solar power; and the removal of red tape that has hampered domestic energy development.

“For the sake not only of our economic health but also our political integrity; we must free ourselves from dependence upon foreign sources of energy,” Kempner said. “The President’s speeches have made it clear beyond doubt that this is his goal…. On Behalf of the American Jewish Committee we pledge our fullest cooperation.” Ivan J. Novick, president of the Zionist Organization of America, said, “President Carter has correctly singled out the energy problem as the ‘immediate test’ so that our nation can ‘seize control again of our common destiny.’ I believe the American people will now understand fully that our great nation has been victimized by the oil producing Arab countries dominating OPEC, including some who claim to be America’s friends….We welcome his (Carter) call for a free America and we agree that our nation must regain its traditional precepts of morality and confidence in its ability to meet all challenges.”

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