TORONTO (Dec. 12)
Israel’s need for U.S. support does not give Washington a “warrant” for determining what is necessary for Israel’s survival, former UN Ambassador Arthur Goldberg warned yesterday in an address to the 55th biennial convention of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations here.
“Help for Israel by our government is justly owing to this democratic country friendly to the United States, “he said. “It is not a warrant for seeking to assume the paramount role in determining what is essential to the nation’s survival.” Goldberg spoke after receiving the UAHC’s Maurice Eisendrath Award “for service to the Jewish Community.” The award is named for the former president of the UAHC, who had been the rabbi of Holy Blossom Temple here.
Goldberg told nearly 4000 delegates from Reform synagogues in the U.S. and Canada at the closing session of their five-day meeting here that “American Jews should remember the ancient teaching that Jews should not put their trust in princes. As American citizens we should support our government if we conceive it to be right. We should oppose it if we deem it to be in the wrong.”
The former Ambassador, who served as Secretary of Labor under President Kennedy and was appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court by President Johnson, cautioned against any “confrontation” between Israel and the United States.
“There may be and there are differences, inevitable in matters of foreign policy where no one can be sure of the correct answers,” he said. “But there must never be a severance of the special relationship that exists between Israel and the United States.”
Goldberg said that “avoidance of such a severance requires sensitivity and restraint both on the part of our government and the government of Israel. Israel must recognize that the United States has global interests and concerns,” he said. “The United States must be sensitive to the fact that Israel is a sovereign country with democratic institutions which chart the nation’s course.” American Jews must also “accept this reality,” Goldberg said.
ROLE OF U.S. JEWS
He added: “It is academic to argue whether American Jews should speak publicly about their differences with the decisions of Israel’s democratically elected government. American Jews, like all Americans, are accustomed to the right of free speech and rightly or wrongly, will exercise it. But in the final analysis, Israel’s leadership–elected by its democratic processes–must make the final determination on the peace issue and all others affecting its sovereignty.”
On the identification of American Jews with Israel, Goldberg said: “Israel is central to Jewish life in America and wherever Jews exist. There is no need either to deny this or apologize for what is an indisputable fact. The concept of dual loyalty is not even worthwhile discussing, except to say that it must and should be rejected out of hand.”