Ajcongress ‘call to Conscience’ Urges Commitment to Justice
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Ajcongress ‘call to Conscience’ Urges Commitment to Justice

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— The American Jewish Congress, in a sweeping statement of principles and goals, has issued a “Call to Conscience” that rejects “both the politics of selfishness and the politics of despair” and urges a “fellowship of commitment and action” for a “world based on justice and the rule of law.”

The statement, issued at the AJCongress’ annaul meeting here, welcomed the debate in which “Americans are engaged in a profound rethinking of many long held policies and the very purpose of government.”

On the domestic scene, the statement affirmed that “government must continue to be an active force for enhancing social justice and human dignity.” On that score it decried the growth of “moral vigilantes whose political agenda consists of a dangerous imposition of government control, in the name of religion, over the classrooms, free speech and women’s right of choice.”

This kind of politics, the statement continued, “tears at the delicate fabric of accomodation and compromise that holds a pluralistic society intact. It debases our public life.” It rejected the idea that “government is at the root of all our ills”; welcomed the new Administration’s “commitment to oversight and fiscal responsibility”; and affirmed that “the great social legislation of the last half-century–from Social Security to the Voting Rights Act–has made America more just, more humane and more free.”

VIEW ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS

In foreign affairs, the AJCongress statement expressed “gratification” with the Administration’s “announced intention to act decisively against terrorism, both domestic and international,” but rejected “the suggestion that somehow the campaign against terrorism must be at the expense of the campaign for human rights.”

The statement reaffirmed “our commitment to the survival and prosperity of Israel,” and called on the Administration to “oppose and reject” efforts to undermine the Camp David peace process by the “so-called European initiative and by demands by the Arab world for additional offensive weapons that can only encourage the launching of the promised jihad against Israel.”

Continuing the statement said: “In foreign affairs, as in our domestic life, simplistic solutions will not work. Our defenses must be strong enough to defend ourselves and our allies and to act as a deterrent to aggression by tyrants of any political stripe. But increased military strength, alone, is not sufficient to meet the challenges we face.”

“Overpopulation, depletion of resources, starvation and nuclear proliferation–the modern Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse–remain America’s enemies and the enemies of all who hope to build a more stable, freer world,” the statement warned, and “these problems will not yield to a foreign policy based solely on resisting Soviet expansion.”

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