NEW YORK (Dec. 2)
President Carter’s National Security Advisor told 350 delegates to the Jewish Labor Committee’s biennial convention here last Friday night that he considered Camp David “one of the greatest achievements” of the Carter Administration.
Zbigniew Brzezinski, who spoke at the opening session of the JLC’s 45th anniversary convention, said that “we hope to draw, with Camp David as the beginning, more Arab nations who want to live together with the West, into the treaty process. We want to make Camp David in to a wider reality. We will never do anything to minimize the security of Israel.” Brzezinski also stated that “Islam is not our enemy” and the seizing of the U.S. Embassy in Teheran is “an aberration” that goes against the teachings of the Islamic religion.
Shimon Peres, leader of Israel’s Labor Party, told the delegates yesterday that “the free world” is being “too free” by abandoning its democratic allies at their moments of crisis. Stating that “we in Israel knew in our hearts about the secret links between” Iran’s ruler Ayatollah Ruholla Khomeini and Palestine Liberation Organization chief Yasir Arafat, Peres warned that “unless we stand united against the PLO – type terrorists we shall suffer separately.”
He said that neither Moslems not Arabs were the enemies of the free world, but that terrorists, aided and abetted in the main by the Soviet Union, were. Peres stressed that the links between the PLO, the Red Brigades and the Bader-Meinhof gangs made it incumbent on the democratic nations to unite against such terrorist acts.
Commenting on the situation in Iran, he said the free world seems to be abandoning the United States. “I thought that after all the U.S. has done for Europe, they would act more united with her,” Peres said. “France’s President has patted himself on the back because Khomeini was given refuge near Paris. France’s attitude seems. to be: better the U.S. than us.”
U.S. LABOR STEADFASTLY SUPPORTS ISRAEL
Jacob Sheinkman, president of the JLC and secretary treasurer of the Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union, AFL-CIO, said the failure of the world community to curb and condemn terrorism by the PLO “only serves to encourage more of such acts by others. The events in Iran, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan are but the fruit of such reaction.”
Lane Kirkland, president of the AFL-CIO, in a message to the convention, said the American labor movement “will remain steadfast in its support of Israel, strengthened by the knowledge, made surer in recent months, that to hold the fort for democracy and reason in the Middle East is to hold it for Americans.”
Donald Slaiman, of Annandale, Va., deputy director of the AFL-CIO’s department of organization and field services, was elected JLC president, succeeding Sheinkman who served in that post for two years. Slaiman has held many posts in the labor movement locally and nationally since 1940. These included serving as director of the AFL-CIO Department of Civil Rights from 1964 to 1974.