LOS ANGELES (Nov. 19)
On the final day of his West Coast tour, Israeli President Chaim Herzog hammered home the twin themes of anti-Israel prejudice in the United Nations and the media, and the responsibility of American Jewish leaders to counterattack against such hostile attitudes.
At a community rally on Sunday morning, Herzog expressed his concern “that in the present difficult times, Jewish leadership is allowing our enemies to dictate the form and even the content of the Jewish agenda.”
Stressing that the battle now is for the minds and hearts of the Jewish people, Herzog demanded that Jewish leaders everywhere “rally our people . . . to counterattack and take back the initiative from our enemies,” and to confront “the main issue facing us today, our belief in ourselves and the justice of our cause.”
Herzog’s speech was interrupted by enthusiastic applause from some 1,500 listeners at the Stephen S. Wise Temple, an event organized by the Jewish Federation Council in support of Operation Exodus.
On Sunday evening, at a black-tie dinner hosted by the Simon Wiesenthal Center, Herzog blistered the United Nations and the West for the U.N. Security Council resolutions condemning Israel for the Temple Mount riots.
“To what limits can prejudice go if the world community, led by the great Western nations, condemns before the facts have been ascertained?” he asked. “A real Alice in Wonderland situation: ‘No, no, sentence first, verdict later,’ said the Queen of Hearts.”
Before the dinner, Herzog and his wife attended the premiere of “Echoes That Remain,” a documentary film on the lost world of the East European shtetl, produced by the Wiesenthal Center. The hour-long film included some rare documentary footage accompanied by a musical score.