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Solon Vows to Fight Any Attempt to Make Israel a Scapegoat in Arms Deal

Sen. Christopher Dodd (D. Conn.) vowed Tuesday night to fight any attempt to make Israel “a scapegoat” in the growing uproar in Washington over the Iran arms affair.

“I will not allow the State of Israel to become a scapegoat in this crisis,” Dodd told more than 800 participants, many of whom are Holocaust survivors, at the Israel Bonds International Holocaust Survivors Tribute Dinner at the Pierre Hotel here.

Dodd said that Israel is the United States’ best ally “not only in the Middle East but anywhere in the world.”

Elie Wiesel, Nobel Peace Laureate for 1986, also expressed concern that Israel might become a scapegoat in the current crisis in Washington. “Israel’s name was mentioned today (Tuesday) too many, much too many times,” Wiesel noted, referring to the events surrounding the resignation of Vice Admiral John Poindexter as National Security Adviser and a statement by Attorney General Edwin Meese charging that Israeli representatives deposited money paid by Iran for arms in Swiss bank accounts set up by the Contra rebels in Nicaragua.

Wiesel presented in the course of the dinner the Bonds’ International Elie Wiesel Remembrance Award to Sigmund Strochlitz, a prominent businessman and Jewish leader, who, like Wiesel was an inmate in the Auschwitz concentration camp during World War II. Strochlitz and Wiesel have been active on the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council, of which Wiesel is chairman. The dinner Tuesday night was also sponsored by the Elie Wiesel Holocaust Memorial Museum Endowment Fund in Washington.

The award presented to Strochlitz was a bronze statue by sculptor Chaim Gorss with an engraved quotation from Isaiah 58:1: “Cry aloud, spare not/lift up thy voice like a trumpet.” Strochlitz received the award in recognition of “his dedicated efforts to keep alive the memory of the Holocaust,” said Miles Lerman, dinner chairman.

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