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Emergency Meetings, Massive Rallies Launched by Jewish Communities

October 9, 1973
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Jewish communities throughout this country and Canada and abroad launched all-out efforts to come to Israel’s defense by mobilizing their financial and ideological resources. Emergency meetings and massive demonstrations in this country and abroad were held yesterday and today involving hundreds of thousands of people including thousands of non-Jews. Phone calls jammed switchboards in Jewish and Israeli offices in major cities in this country and abroad with people volunteering to go to Israel to help on the war fronts, to donate blood and to ask how they could be of help in their own communities.

The basis for the multi-faceted activities was underscored by Israeli Foreign Minister Abba Eban who characterized the attack by Egypt and Syria against Israel as “one of infamy, and it is no accident that I use the term that was used during Pearl Harbor.” Speaking to Israeli correspondents at the Israel Mission to the United Nations, Eban declared that “it is blasphemous and sacrilegious to choose this Day of Atonement to launch a war.” Denouncing Arab claims that Israel had begun the hostilities on Yom Kippur, the Israeli diplomat charged that this was heaping lies on calumny.

Crowds estimated as high as 60,000 massed in Dag Hammarskjold Plaza opposite the UN yesterday afternoon in an emotional outpouring of support for Israel. The rally, called by the American Zionist Youth Federation and other organizations, brought out throngs of young and old who carried placards, chanted and shouted, “We will never let Israel down.” A police officer assigned to the UN told the JTA the crowd was the largest he had ever seen in front of the world organization.

Jewish leaders addressed the gathering, as did local political figures including New York’s four mayoral candidates. Mrs. Charlotte Jacobson, chairman of the American Section of the World Zionist Organization said her office was besieged by persons wanting to donate blood for Israel’s wounded. At one point the chant went up. “Dollars for Israel” and thousands of persons, hands waving bills, surged toward organizers carrying collection boxes.

Earlier yesterday about 40 Arabs demonstrated across the street from the Israeli UN Mission and were confronted by about 100 Israelis and their supporters. Police kept the two groups apart as each side hurled epithets across the barriers. About a dozen members of the Jewish Defense League attacked the Arabs at one point but were dispersed by police who escorted Arab demonstrators to the nearest subway station and arrested one Arab and seven JDLers. Later in the day, a large group of Jews demonstrated in front of the Egyptian Mission to the UN.


An emergency meeting of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, attended by nearly 300 Jewish leaders from across the country, yesterday heard Israeli Foreign Minister Abba Eban say that the end of fighting between Israel and the Arab states that attacked it “must be inseparably linked with the restoration of the previous cease-fire fine.”

Eban called for a “momentous and impressive demonstration of Jewish solidarity and Jewish indignation.” He assured the Jewish leaders that the Jewish community could have “absolute confidence” that Israel did not start the fighting. Jacob Stein, chairman of the Presidents Conference, replied that the American Jewish community “stands ready today to respond to any challenge put before it, ready to come to the aid and assistance of Israel no matter what the effort and commitment required.” Mel Dubinsky, a national chairman of the United Jewish Appeal and president of the United Israel Appeal, told the meeting that the American Jewish community must be prepared to raise $100 million within the next week.

Stein sent a telegram to Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger urging U.S. support for Israel and pledging the Conference’s support for Dr. Kissinger’s efforts to restore peace to the area and to bring the parties into negotiations toward a permanent, mutually agreed peace.


In Montreal more than 6000 Jews gathered in the Queen Elizabeth Hotel’s grand ballroom while hundreds more jammed the hotel corridors and overflowed into the street last night as Canadian Jewish leaders urged their government to condemn “the unprovoked attack by Egypt and Syria.” The rally was organized by the Canadian Zionist Federation. Henry Steinberg, chairman of the CZF board who presided, declared; “Yom Kippur 5734 will live in infamy, but Jews will not be threatened and Israel will not be engulfed and will not be overcome.”

In Buenos Aires thousands of Jews marched down the main avenues of the city to gather in front of the Libertad Street Synagogue and later before the Israeli Embassy in an expression of solidarity with Israel. Overflow services were conducted at the synagogue where, after prayers for Israeli soldiers on the fighting front, a statement was read on behalf of the DAIA condemning the Arab aggression.

In Paris more than 30,000 people marched through the streets despite a downpour for 12 blocks toward the Israeli Embassy. Israeli Ambassador Asher Ben Natan told the marchers that “Even while the fighting goes on, hundreds of Soviet Jews have arrived in Israel.” Throughout the day Jews and non-Jews called at the Israeli Embassy to offer money, blood plasma and drugs to the Israeli army. Hundreds more came to volunteer to join Israel’s armed forces.

In London offers from volunteers, some non-Jewish ready to go out and fight for Israel, poured into the Israeli Embassy all through the day. There were also offers from people who wanted to donate blood for transfusions, offers of medical equipment, and offers of financial help.

In Johannesburg thousands of persons, especially youths, crowded into the offices of the Zionist Federation volunteering their services. The volunteers were told that Israel had not yet requested any manpower assistance but their names would be kept on file. Leaders of the Board of Deputies and the Zionist Federation and rabbis issued a statement expressing South African Jewry’s complete solidarity with Israel.

STATEMENTS from Jewish leaders throughout the world and more rallies issued over the weekend will be carried in Wednesday’s bulletin.

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