JERUSALEM (Jul. 15)
Theodore Mann, immediate past chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, has come out publicly in support of President Carter’s reelection. Speaking at a public debate here organized by the American Jewish Congress, Mann said: “We are not trying to choose the perfect President, but only the best one. With all his weaknesses and mistakes, Jimmy Carter comes out first — as the best candidate by for — as I weigh all the factors in the balance.”
Howard Squadron, Mann’s successor at the Presidents Conference, predicted that Jews would play a crucial role in determining the outcome of the American Presidential election because of their heavy representation in New York State which Carter “must win” to gain reelection. No Democrat in this century had been elected without winning either N.Y. or California, he noted, and it was to be assumed that Ronald Reagan, a local man and a former governor, would top Carter in California.
Squadron warned that unless there were progress soon in the autonomy talks, the pressure on Israel “will be so strong that it may not matter who is elected President of the U.S. “Richard Cohen, a New York City public relations consultant, spoke in the debate in support of John Anderson’s candidacy. He has “the keenest intelligence, the richest power of articulation, and surest qualities of leadership and an unsurpassed pro-Israel record,” Cohen said of Anderson.
The debate preceded the AJCongress annual Israel-American Dialogue here which this year is devoted to “Israel and American: The Right to Participate in Each Others Affairs.”