NEW YORK (Oct. 29)
Rabbi Alexander Schindler, president of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, representing Reform synagogues, today assailed as ‘both false and grossly offensive’ President Reagan’s claim last week at a political rally in a North Woodmere, Long Island synagogue that American marines were sent into Lebanon to prevent another Holocaust of Jews.
Schindler pointed out that the American troops were sent to Lebanon to oversee the evacuation of the PLO from beirut. He added that Reagan’s assertion also “denies a fundamental aspect of U.S. -Israel relations. Israel has stated publicly on numerous occasions that it will never ask for American troops to defend its borders or the lives of its citizens. It asks only for the military and economic support necessary to do the job itself.”
Continuing, Schindler said: “Equally important, we are offended because the President’s statement demeans significance of the Holocaust. The genocidol effort to eradicate the Jewish people throughout the world simply because they were Jews was a unique event in human history. Evoking the memory of the six million Jews murdered by the Nazis, at a political rally in a synagogue 10 days before the election for clearly partison purposes, insults the feelings of American Jews and the intelligence of the American people.”