SOUTHFIELD, Mich (Jun. 14)
Rep. Edward Derwinski (R. Ill.) has called the Israeli military operation in Lebanon “a necessary and long overdue” action and warned that the continued “uncontrolled presence” of the Palestine Liberation Organization in Lebanon creates the “greatest potential” for causing another war in the Middle East.
“The tragedy of Lebanon is caused by the Syrian protected PLO presence in that country, and the Israeli military incursion into Lebanon is a necessary and long overdue move protecting both Israeli and long-term Lebanese interests,” Derwinski, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said in an address to the national executive committee of the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) which met here this weekend.
Meanwhile, the ZOA presented Philip Slomovitz, editor of the Detroit Jewish News with the ZOA Justice Louis Brandeis Award at a luncheon yesterday attended by several hundred national representatives of the ZOA. Ivan Novick, ZOA president, in presenting the award to Slomovitz, said he “never forgot his roots or his people.” “He knows what the Zionist commitment really means,” Novick declared.
SLOMOVITZ: ‘NEVER BE SILENT’
Slomovitz, a vice president of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, said that his Zionist credo was that “for the sake of Zion, never be silent,” as well as, “have no fear.” He called on those present “to work for justice for our people.”
Also noting Slomovitz’ dedication to the Jewish community and Zionism was Max Fisher of Detroit. Fisher, who is the chairman of the board of Governors of the Jewish Agency, called for unity in the American Jewish community and said that American Jews would again be called on to stand by Israel and help her in these difficult days.
Derwinski, in his address to the ZOA national executive committee, warned of the danger posed by the continued PLO presence in Lebanon. “As long as the PLO, with Syrian military support, maintains an autonomous status within Lebanon and used the territory of that country for attacks and raids on Israel, an outbreak of hostilities was inevitable,” he said. “As long as the PLO has a major uncontrolled presence in Lebanon, the situation there had the greatest potential for causing another Middle East war.”
Derwinski said that the obvious solution to the PLO presence in Lebanon would be to have various Arab governments substitute their hearts for their rhetoric and absorb the Palestinian refugees. He said this would diffuse the security situation facing Israel and would end the tragedy in Lebanon, permitting the fragile but workable Lebanese governmental structure to be re-established. He added “I am optimistic that the recent Israeli movement into Lebanon will not in any way provoke a further Middle East conflict.”