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2000 Delegates at CJF Assembly Warned of ‘implied Threats’ of Dual Loyalty Against U.S. Jews Support

November 11, 1977
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An American Jewish leader warned here last night that Jews in this country are becoming targets of “implied threats” that they are guilty of dual loyalty and declared that “we cannot accept or tolerate this type of coercion.”

In issuing this warning and calling for counteracting the threats, Jerold C. Hoffberger, president of the Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds (CJF), told the more than 2000 delegates from the United States and Canada attending the 46th General Assembly of the CJF that the CJF “must send two messages to Washington and carry two messages to our own communities.”

These messages, Hoffberger said in his keynote address to the opening session of the Assembly are: “our interests cannot be severed from our fellow citizens, for they are one. We cannot be coerced to compromise our conscience, for our cause is just. All Americans will stand united on the issue of Israel and not capitulate to OPEC blackmail, for commitment to fellow-democracies and courage are inherent to our national character.”

The major thrust of Hoffberger’s address was the urgent and immediate need of the American Jewish community to mobilize its forces and resources to explain to the American public and to Washington its views on the defense of Israel. In the last few weeks, Administration officials and some media elements have hinted that there is a growing dichotomy between Jews and non-Jews on this issue. Only three weeks ago, high Administration officials, including Secretary of State Cyrus Vance, held meetings with American Jewish leaders and Jewish media representatives in what was seen as an effort to remind the Jewish community that this dichotomy might widen if Jewish defense of Israel was seen as more vital than the defense of American Mideast policy. Vance is addressing the CJF Assembly tonight and according to on authoritative source will meet with Hoffberger and several major Jewish leaders here, prior to addressing the Assembly.


In dealing with the issue of implied threats, Hoffberger said: “Despite the lofty goals of Mr. Carter’s Administration to achieve a peace settlement in the Middle East, there are implied threats that the differences of opinion between the United States and Israel might sever the historic good relationships between the Jewish and non-Jewish community.

“We cannot accept or tolerate this type of coercion,” he said. “This tactic implies that there is a division of our loyalties which never has, does not and never will exist.”

Hoffberger told the Assembly that the American Jewish community has the “primary responsibility” that the American people fully understand the issues and what is at stake. He outlined a six point “message,” which he said, “we will send the Administration and Congress:

“I. The American Jewish and non-Jewish community will not be torn apart. United we support a genuine and lasting peace. 2. The peace must be negotiated directly by the parties in the Middle East without foreign intervention or manipulation. 3. There must be no pressure by our government regarding the terms of the peace. 4. The basis of the negotiations, as accepted by the parties, must be United Nations Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338. 5. The resolutions call for secure and recognized borders; they do not define what the borders shall be–nor whether minor or substantial territory shall be returned. Our government should not add to the resolutions nor interpret them. 6. The resolutions make no references to a Palestinian homeland, nor entity, nor state. They make no reference to ‘Palestinian rights.’ They make no reference to the Palestine Liberation Organization. They make no reference to the Soviet Union as a guarantor of peace and security in the area.”

Hoffberger cautioned that this may not be an easy task and warned that “we have troubled times ahead.” What is at stake, he noted, is “far greater than any single organization” faces.


He noted that before the CJF Assembly, the delegates will be addressed by Vance, former Israeli Premier Golda Meir and Israeli Ambassador Simcha Dinitz. “We will keep our lines of communication open with the Administration, the Congress and Israeli leaders,” Hoffberger said. To do the necessary work effectively, the CJF leader urged the Assembly to consider the establishment of “a National Jewish Policy Institute which will serve as a think-tank which will project long-term problems and propose viable alternatives for their solution.”

Right now, he said, the Jewish community operates “largely on a crisis/reaction basis. We have invested in the know-how but not the know-why.” A think-tank, he said, would fill this void. To assure the financing of this think-tank Hoffberger suggested the development of an Endowment Campaign Program in every constituent community. “With proper organization and commitment, one billion dollars is a realizable and realistic figure. This amounts to $170 for every Jew in the United States and Canada.”

In addition, Hoffberger said the CJF “must take innovative steps to increase participation of our young people. We cannot afford a graying of leadership. The future depends upon identifying, attracting and involving young people in the highest level of the Council.” One of the most encouraging signs of this Assembly, according to many present, is that some 25 percent of the delegates are in the early to late 20s and that their participation on all levels of Assembly activity is more pronounced and enthusiastic than in previous Assemblies.

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