U.S. Urged to Help Arrange for Release of Israeli Pows
Menu JTA Search

U.S. Urged to Help Arrange for Release of Israeli Pows

Download PDF for this date

Rabbi Israel Miller sent telegrams today to President Nixon and Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger urging them to help, through the United Nations, to arrange for the release of Israeli prisoners of war, especially the wounded, held by Egypt and Syria. Rabbi Miller, president of the American Zionist Federation, referred in his telegrams to the statement of Ambassador John Scali, the U.S. UN representative in the Security Council that such POW exchange would be sought by both the U.S. and the Soviet Union.

The telegram said: “It is inconceivable to us that Israel should be asked to take the unprecedented action of providing its enemy with provisions while that enemy continues to fire upon Israeli soldiers and has no intention of surrendering its arms. That enemy continues to flout the Geneva Convention by refusing to give the International Red Cross the names of captured Israeli soldiers while Israel has not only submitted the names of its captured Arab prisoners but is even at this moment offering to return the seriously wounded.”

The telegram continued: “We ask that the humanitarian issue of prisoner exchange be taken up concurrently with discussions on the conditions of the cease-fire so that thousands of families, both Arabs and Jews, will not suffer the agonies of uncertainty of the status of their loved ones.” Rabbi Miller had previously sent commendatory messages to Nixon and Kissinger for their “forthright action in facing up to the Soviet challenge to send troops to the Middle East.” Meanwhile, Mrs. Henry N. Rapaport, president of the Womens League for Conservative Judaism, has also appealed to President Nixon to intervene on the POW issue.

Residents of Borman Hall and Prentis Manor of the Jewish Home for the Aged in Detroit contributed $1315 for the Israel Emergency Fund. One 93-year-old woman at Prentis Manor gave $500–the total she had saved to cover her funeral expenses.

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund