Squadron Hits Statement by 56 U.S. Jews Critical of Begin Govt. Policies

Howard Squadron, who assumed office today as chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, sharply criticized the statement released in Jerusalem last night in which 56 prominent American Jews, including three of his predecessors, took issue with policies of Premier Menachem Begin’s government.

In a statement here, Squadron said: “I find it most regrettable that American Jewish leaders should engage in this kind of public debate concerning the policies pursued by the government of Israel. Such debate is always unhelpful and divisive. It creates the inevitable impression that the differences within the Jewish community are more important than the areas of agreement. In fact, the Jewish community is united on the most important matters:

“First, that Jerusalem shall remain undivided and the capital of Israel, with free access to all faiths. Second, that the Camp David accords represent a great achievement for peace and that the effort to achieve a workable autonomy arrangement for the West Bank and Gaza should be persistently pursued. Third that Israel is a functioning democracy and that its government will rise or fall on the basis of the wishes of the people of Israel, who are quite capable of carrying on great debates among themselves.”

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