New York (May. 10)
Julius Berman, president of the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, announced that the Union and its affiliated synagogues throughout the country “will do anything and everything” to assure that the Reagan Administration plans to sell arms to Saudi Arabia do not see the light of day.
“We will not cut corners in our opposition to such a dangerous proposal for fear of upsetting a relationship with a new administration,” Berman declared. “Let Washington know that the entire Jewish community is at one on this matter.”
Berman made his comments to 1000 Orthodox lay and rabbinic leaders attending the Orthodox Union’s 83rd anniversary national dinner at the New York Hilton Hotel. The Union president said that just as all Jews prayed as one for President Reagan’s recovery after last month’s assassination attempt, the entire Jewish community now unites in protesting the proposed sale of annaments.
“Being devoted to, and praying for the health and safety of our leader in Washington,” Berman stated, “we are simultaneously ever mindful of the foreign policy of the new Administration and its prospective effect upon the safety and security of Israel.
“All of us are fully familiar with the patent dangers to Israel presented by the proposed supply of arms to Saudi Arabia,” he continued. “Be it the new fuel tanks for the F-15′s, tankers to allow in-air refueling, the new air-to-air missiles, and, the most awesome plan, the proposed supply of AWACS–the Airborne Warning and Control Systems–few of us, no matter how we voted last November, expected this kind of development so soon from a new administration that promised a new chapter of friendship with Israel.”