NEW YORK (Dec. 25)
Billy Graham. America’s leading evangelist, supports Israel’s efforts to negotiate directly with the Arabs, and urges Israeli officials not to yield to pressures that could jeopardize their nation’s physical security. Mr. Grahams views on Israel and Jews appear in an article published this week in the current issue of the ADL Bulletin, national organ of the Anti Defamation League of B’nai B’rith. He said he is convinced that Jerusalem will be reunited as a Jewish city, and is certain that Jews will provide Christians and Muslims free access to all holy places.
The evangelist sought the opportunity to clarify his views, the article says, because he was “disturbed by the attitude toward Jews of some evangelicals” and by the fact that, “while dialogue between American Jews and most denominations of American Christians was increasing, it remained almost non-existent between Jews and evangelicals.”
Interviewed at his home in Montreal, N.C., by Rabbi Arthur Gilbert, author and lecturer and former director of the League’s department of religious curriculum research, Mr. Graham revealed that, during and immediately after the Six-Day Mideast war, he had been in touch privately with American political figures, urging support for Israel’s right to survival. He said he had delayed making any public statements because of the pleas of evangelical Christians in Arab countries who feared reprisal from their host governments. “The Jews are God’s chosen people,” Mr. Graham declared in the article. “We cannot place ourselves in opposition to Israel without detriment to ourselves.”