Cairo Press Report Stirs Ire Against Britain’s Chief Rabbi

A report in the Cairo daily Al Ahram quoting Chief Rabbi Immanuel Jakobovits of Britain as supporting the creation of a Palestinian state, elicited another vow from Premier Menachem Begin that this would never occur and a blast against Jakobovits from Ashkenazic Chief Rabbi Shlomo Goren which amounted to a virtual call for his excommunication.

Goren issued his statement today although he was aware of Jakobovits’ denial of the Al Ahram report. “This Satanic declaration” as well as previous declarations by Jakobovits “disqualifies him from leading a Jewish congregation,” Goren said. He called on the “rabbis of the world and the Jews of Britain to remove this dangerous man from our midst.” Jakobovits has been a frequent critic of the settlement policies of the Begin government.

Begin, addressing the national convention of the American Red Magen David for Israel here, did not refer directly to the Al Ahram report. However, he reiterated Israel’s position never to permit a Palestinian state on the West Bank and its intention to retain permanent control of security in that territory. “Should we turn over this part of our land of our forefathers to those who want and swear that they will strive to liquidate the Zionist entity?” Begin asked rhetorically.

He also appealed to the international Red Cross in Geneva to extend formal recognition to the Magen David Adom which was established 50 years ago and now has some 100,000 members and supporters in 123 branches in the U.S. It has 61 branches in Israel and a fleet of 700 ambulances.

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