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Jewish Groups Urge State Department to Issue Warning to Syria

January 24, 1967
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Three national Jewish organizations — The Union of American Hebrew Congregations, The Central Conference of American Rabbis and The National Council of Jewish Women — today called upon the United States Government to warn Syria to stop its aggressive acts against Israel.

In a telegram to Secretary of State Dean Rusk, signed by Rabbi Maurice E. Eisendrath, president of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, and Rabbi Jacob J. Weinstein, president of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, the Reform leaders expressed “deep concern at the increasing violence and danger in the Middle East.”

“Neither the United States nor the United Nations has the moral right to expect the State of Israel to accept continuing bloodshed and mounting assaults on its right to existence,” they said. They considered recent Syrian campaigns of terror as a “blatant violation of armistice agreements and an open contempt for the United Nations.” They felt “that all nations in the Middle East must respect the borders and the right to life of all neighbors.”

The Reform leaders blamed the current crisis on “failure by the United Nations to act on earlier complaints and the Security Council’s one-sided condemnation of Israel,” adding: “We regret the Israeli raid on Jordan of Nov. 13 but we feel there is a limit to provocations which any nation can tolerate.” They asked Mr. Rusk to use his good offices to “warn the Syrian Government against further assaults on the integrity of Israel and the lives and property of Israeli citizens.”

The National Council of Jewish Women, warned that there is danger of “a full-scale war” in the Middle East and urged the U.S. Government to act quickly “to end the continuous acts of terrorism and aggression in the Middle East.” It also urged that the U.S. “stand ready to assist in direct negotiations for a permanent settlement of the disputes.”

“We also suggest that the Soviet Union, a powerful influence in the area, be invited to participate in peace efforts,” The Council leaders declared. They called on the U.S. Government to issue “a clear expression of condemnation against the Arab countries which refuse to observe United Nations armistice terms.”

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