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Berman: Israel Should Beware of Supporting Rightwing Christian Ambitions in the United States

Israel should beware of supporting rightwing Christian ambitions in the United States, an American Jewish leader said here. Julius Berman, chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, was commenting on the warn relations that former Premier Menachem Begin of Israel established with American fundamentalist movements such as the Moral Majority led by the Rev. Jerry Falwell.

Describing this as one of the most delicate issues facing American Jewry, Berman said he did not mind Israel cultivating good relations with the Moral Majority elements in the hope that they would have a favorable influence on U.S. foreign policy. But, he told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, “U.S. Jewry does not accept that Israel should also give them a quid pro quo over their internal policies in the United States.”

APPROVES SHULTZ’S EFFORTS

Berman, who was accompanied by Yehuda Hellman, executive vice chairman of the Presidents Conference, voiced strong approval of U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz’s efforts to ensure that any disagreements between the U.S. and Israel — as for example on the West Bank settlements — would be worked out “without any massive confrontation.”

He also said that Sen. John Glenn (D. Ohio), who is seeking the Democratic Party presidential nomination, has had some success in his efforts to “reach out” to the American Jewish community. The substantial number of Jews who had voted for Ronald Reagan as President in the last national election had shown the Democrats that American Jewry “cannot be taken for granted.”

Berman was speaking at the end of his two-day visit here during which he held talks with British Jewish leaders aimed at strengthening ties between the Presidents Conference and its British counterpart, the Board of Deputies of British Jews. Berman and Hellman left for Paris last night for similar talks with French Jewish leaders.

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