NEW YORK (Jul. 9)
Five Jewish women, four of them heads of major American Jewish organizations, have sent a telegram to President Reagan stating that they, “have just learned that a resolution may be proposed” at the United Nations Women’s Decade End of the Decade Conference in Nairobi, Kenya, next week “defining Zionism as an obstacle to development, like racism and apartheid.” (Related story, P.4.)
Bernice Tannenbaum, chairman of the World Zionist Organization-American Section and its delegate to the conference, said the telegram, which had been sent by the five Jewish women leaders who had met with Reagan at the White House last August, urged the President to reaffirm a commitment personally made to the five leaders that the U.S. delegation to the conference would walk out in the event that an anti-Zionist resolution is adopted.
In their telegram, the Jewish women urged Reagan “to instruct the U.S. delegation to walk out of any session if such a resolution should be presented and to state that under the circumstances the U.S. will not finance this UN program.” The U.S. delegation to the conference in Nairobi will be led by Maureen Reagan, the President’s daughter.
The statement released by the White House on August 16, 1984 said: “The President made clear today that the United States will actively oppose any conference agenda item which deviates from important women’s issues and calls for the discussion of non-germane, political issues, including any agenda item that could be used as a vehicle to defame Israel ….
“In particular, the President noted that the United States will oppose any agenda item at the Nairobi conference which associates Zionism with racism. If, despite our efforts, such an agenda item is adopted, the United States will have no choice but to consider seriously cancelling its participation in the conference.”
The telegram to Reagan was signed by Tannenbaum, Frieda Lewis, chairman, WJC-American Section, Charlotte Jacobson, president, Jewish National Fund, Barbara Mandel, president, National Council of Jewish Women, and Midge Decter, executive director, Committee for the Free World.