Zionist Leader Accused of Trying to ‘undermine’ Israeli Premier

A major representative body of American Jewry accused one of its members Thursday of publishing “a falsehood in The New York Times” and trying to “undermine the prime minister of Israel.”

The charges were made in a statement issued by Seymour Reich, chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. They referred to an op-ed article by Menachem Rosensaft published Tuesday in the Times.

Rosensaft was one of five American Jews who met with the Palestine Liberation Organization leader Yasir Arafat in Stockholm on Dec. 7. He is also president of the Labor Zionist Alliance, a constituent of the Conference of Presidents.

Reich said it is “without foundation” to write, as Rosensaft did, that “there were concerted, albeit unsuccessful, efforts” to bar him from meetings of the conference.

Rosensaft said in his op-ed piece that it is “naive to think that Prime Minister (Yitzhak) Shamir will present a credible peace proposal when he visits Washington this spring.”

Reich called this “a pre-emptive strike to undermine the prime minister of Israel.” He added, “In pre-judging the prime minister’s forthcoming visit, Mr. Rosensaft damages the cause of peace, wounds Israel and harms U.S.-Israel relations.”

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