NEW YORK (Mar. 14)
Some 500 people rallied today across from the United Nations at the Isaiah Wall to express solidarity with the settlers in northern Sinai who are opposed to the Israeli withdrawal from the peninsula, scheduled to be returned to Egypt April 25 as part of the Camp David peace agreement.
At the same time, rabbinical leaders and Jewish community representatives, who addressed the gathering, sponsored by 16 organizations, including the Americans for a Safe Israel, draped a 12-foot long placard at the steps of the Isaiah Wall which they said would more closely correspond with the anti-Israel actions of the UN. The sign, a passage from the Book of Isaiah (54:17), said: “No weapon that is formed against thee (Israel) shall prosper and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment shall be condemned.
The present inscription on the wall, which quotes from Isaiah 2:4, declares: “They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning tools; nation shall not lift up sword against nation. Neither shall they learn war no more.” The present inscription on the Isaiah Wall became the focus of criticism following the Feb. 5 UN resolution condemning Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights and calling for the total isolation of Israel.
RALLY FOCUSES ON SEVERAL THEMES
The speakers at today’s rally focused on several themes which included charges that: the Reagan Administration has reneged on its commitments to Israel by its continued efforts to sell weapons to moderate Arab countries; Egypt has committed “multiple violations” of its peace treaty with Israel; Premier Menachem Begin signed the Israeli-Egyptian peace accord under the “duress” of the military buildup by its other Arab neighbors. Some of the rally participants carried placards reading: “First Yamit, next Jerusalem”; “Yamit is Israel”; and “Next year, Yamit.”
Rabbi Avraham Weiss, of the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale (NY), said that Begin operates by “assuming certain strengths” in the American Jewish community will support him. He said that if Begin decides not to withdraw from Sinai, the American Jewish community will support his actions. Weiss announced that on April 25, the day Israel is scheduled to withdraw from Sinai, an organization called the “Movement to Stop American Abandonment of Israel” will march on Washington.
Included among the groups supporting the rally at the Isaiah Wall were: The Rabbinical Alliance of America, Poale Agudath Yisrael (Religious Labor Party), Hebrew Institute of Riverdale, Herut of Washington, and the Council of Orthodox Synagogues of the Greater Washington area.