NEW YORK (May. 3)
A total of 40 volunteers made door-to-door canvasses last Sunday in Berkeley, Califormia, in what was described as part of an organized effort to defeat an initiative now on the ballot for the June 5 California Presidential primary, which calls for cuts in United States aid to Israel equal to Israeli expenditures for settlements in the occupied territories, an official opposed to the initiative said today.
John Kaufman, coordinator for the Coalition for Middle East Peace and Justice, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, in a telephone interview, that the coalition hopes to field an ever-larger number of volunteers for every Sunday between now and the June 5 primary day.
He told the JTA that the first canvassers reported considerable sentiment expressed against the initiative called Proposition E. He said similar efforts were underway in Los Angeles and New Orleans but he did not have any details about the efforts in those cities.
The American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, which has headquarters in Washington, confirmed to the JTA previously that it had organized the campaign in the three cities.
Kaufman stressed the feeling of leaders of the Coalition that it was imprudent to discount the campaign by pro-Arab American groups, and that it should be considered a determined attempt to sway United States policies of aid to Israel.
He also said that plans for direct mailings to the 72,000 registered voters in Berkeley were underway but that more funds were needed to complete preparation of the mailings and to start their distribution. He said he hoped to start mailings next week.