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Jewish Groups Condemn Solidarity Day

November 30, 1978
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A delegation of high level B’nai B’rith leaders met for one hour today with Ambassador James Leonard, Deputy Permanent Representative of the United States to the United Nations, to express the organization’s concern with the “so-called International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.”

The delegation, headed by Seymour D. Reich, president of B’nai B’rith District 1, embracing New York State and New England, told the Ambassador the observance was a desecration of UN principles and a subversion of the Camp David peace process. The meeting took place a few hours before a demonstration was staged by Jewish and non-Jewish groups in Dag Hammarskjold Plaza opposite the United Nations to protest Solidarity Day.

Reich told Leonard that the chief moving force behind the Solidarity Day observance was the UN Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People which Reich called “merely an instrument of the terrorist Palestine Liberation Organization and, therefore, ought to be strongly opposed by all men of good will.”

Leonard reaffirmed that the U.S. delegation to the UN would not participate in any activities of Solidarity Day. He further noted that the U.S. had “strongly opposed” the creation three years ago of the Committee on the Inalienable Rights and the annual extension of its mandate. He added that the committee’s functions, including Solidarity Day, constituted “misuse of UN funds.”

The B’nai B’rith delegation urged the U.S. government to issue a “strong denunciation of Solidarity Day” to provide a “signal that would encourage the moderate force in the Arab world.” Leonard indicated the State Department was considering when and under what circumstances it should issue a formal statement on the Palestinian issue.

In a related development, Yehuda Blum, Israel’s Ambassador to the UN, responding to a reporter’s question on Solidarity Day, said: “The glorification by the UN of a terrorist organization bent on the destruction of a member state of the UN is not only a grave breach of the UN’s own charter. It is also a grave insult to the memory of the murdered athletes of Munich, of the murdered school children of Maalot and of the countless victims of these criminal elements in Israel and the world over. The UN has never had an international day of solidarity with the victims of terrorism. Yet it has seen fit to celebrate its solidarity with the terrorists themselves.”

Bnai Zion, the oldest American Zionist fraternal organization, today lowered the UN flag to half mast from its five-story building, the America-Israel Friendship House in Manhattan, as a symbol of mourning of what the president of the organization, Paul Safro, said was “the demise of the lofty principles set forth in the UN Charter.”

Mrs. Charlotte Jacobson, chairman of the American Section of the World Zionist Organization, declared in a statement issued today that “November 29, 1947 was one of the great moments in UN history, and will remain such regardless of efforts by the Arabs and their supporters to distort its meaning and betray its promise.

“Neither ‘Palestine Day’ nor ‘Palestine Week’ can obscure the greatness of what the UN achieved 31 years ago. And nothing that is said at the UN on that day or during that week will block Israel’s determination to find the road to peace,” she said.

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