U.S. Representative to the Oas Says Israel and the U.S. Have Mutual Interests in Central America

Ambassador William Middendorf, the United States representative to the Organization of American States (OAS), maintained here yesterday that the U.S. and Israel have mutual strategic interests in Central America.

Addressing a luncheon sponsored by the Center for International Security, a Washington-based non-partisan organization headed by Dr. Joseph Churba, Middendorf said: “Soviet-prompted activities, coupled with the current instability in Central America, have the potential for causing a diversion of resources needed to contain the USSR in the Eurasian theater and to weaken our response to Soviet proxies in the Middle East, Africa and elsewhere.”

He said the Soviets have promoted violence in Central America and the Mideast “through a network of surrogates and terrorists. For this reason, the Jewish community and Americans in general need to devote careful attention to Central America which, like the Mideast, is vital to our national security.”

Middendorf noted that in Central America today a battle is being waged by “atheistic Communism to destroy our Judeo-Christian civilization.” He said that Communism in Central America is facing opposition from religious people — and therefore the church is often Communism’s target. He cited Nicaragua as an example, stating:

“Among the most out spoken anti-Sandinista forces in Nicaragua have been some of the churches and clergy in that country … The Sandinistas have made the religious institutions of their country a principal target of their activity and propoganda. “

THE FATE OF JEWS IN NICARAGUA

Referring to the fate of the Jews in Nicaragua he said: “The small Jewish community in Nicaragua has been so intimidated by Sandinista actions and rhetoric during and after the revolution that virtually the entire community has fled the country. Today, no more than

“More recently, when the issue of the confiscated synagogue received considerable publicity in the United States, the Sandinistas offered to return the synagogue, but the few remaining Jews in Nicaragua have stated that they do not have the resources to maintain it properly. The government has not offered to reconsider the expropriation of property owned by Jews.”

CITES NICARAGUAS ANTI-ISRAEL POSITION

Middendorf also pointed out Nicaragua’s anti-Israel position and its close relations with the PLO. He said that the Sandinistas allow the PLO to maintain an office in Managua. “The PLO provided military training to the Sandinistas even before they overthrew the Somoza government in 1979,” the Ambassador noted.

Noting that Nicaragua broke diplomatic relations with Israel in 1982 over the Lebanese war, Middendor said: “The Sandinista-inspired press has long been filled with anti-Israel attacks which, in the summer of 1982, became openly anti-Semitic. Articles accused Jews of having crucified Christ, of having used the ‘myth of the chosen people to massacre Palestinians’, and of having financial power to gain political control of the United States. They referred to ‘synagogues of Satan’ and said that ‘world money, banking and finance are in the hands of Jews, the etemal protectors of Zion’.”

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