Chicago Jews Denounce Sadat: Egyptian Welcomed by Mayor
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Chicago Jews Denounce Sadat: Egyptian Welcomed by Mayor

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The Jewish United Fund’s Public Affairs Committee said at a press conference Thursday that Egyptian President Anwar Sadat’s professed concern for peace during his visit to the United States was dubious. Sadat arrived in Chicago last Thursday and was given an official dinner attended by Mayor Richard J. Daley and other city officials. However, all of the city’s seven Jewish aldermen as well as other Jewish leaders did not attend.

At a press conference here, Sadat said he was displeased by President Ford’s economic aid package, which would provide $1.6 billion in military aid to Israel and none to Egypt. He said Ford should enforce an “even-handed” policy in the Middle East.

The JUF Public Affairs Committee said it called its press conference to “provide Chicagoans with a balanced view” of the Mideast situation. The committee raised the question whether a man of peace would say “Israel is an existing fact and whosoever wishes to wipe it off the face of the earth, he is welcome to and believe me I will clap my hands. The committee-said the statement, which it quoted from a Sept, 8 Kuwait newspaper interview, was typical of “inflammatory” statements Sadat had made to Arabs in Arabic since the signing of the second Sinai interim accord.


Maynard I. Wishner, chairman of the Public Affairs Committee, cited Sadat’s tale, given during his speech to the National Press Club in Washington, about his inability to buy a radio from a Jewish merchant in Cairo in 1952.

Wishner said of Sadat’s assertion that “Zionism” had made the merchant refuse to sell him a radio was a “perception” which could be found “almost verbatim” in “Mein Kampf.” He said for Sadat to have such a view “does not bode well for the future.” He said the American press should look at and analyze what Sadat says to his own people.

The Chicago Board of Rabbis held a special prayer service at the Chicago Loop Synagogue on Thursday, attended by the city’s Orthodox, Conservative and Reform rabbis and 30 representatives of Chicago’s Jewish organizations.

Rabbi William Frankel, president of the rabbinical group, said that, on the basis of what Sadat has said during his visit, he has not justified hopes that he seeks a genuine peace with Israel. He stated that “wherever the Egyptian president has spoken, he has left a trail of anti-Israel and anti-Jewish invective.” Rabbi Frankel added “we have found no cause for reassurance nor for faith in Sadat’s alleged stance of moderation. Rabbi Frankel said Sadat had “abused” the nation’s hospitality “to spread Nazi-like venom among us.”

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