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Kahane Announces Drive to Have Congress Reject U.S. Personnel in Sinai

September 3, 1975
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Rabbi Meir Kahane, the head of the Jewish Defense League, announced today the start of 10 days of intensive lobbying to have Congress reject the proposal to have American technicians man early warning systems in the Sinai. Kahane, who stressed he is opposed to the entire agreement initialed yesterday by Israeli and Egyptian officials, noted that since Israeli approval was conditional on the Americans being in the Sinai, its defeat by Congress would kill the entire agreement.

Kahane said JDL members have left for Washington and would aim their lobbying first at members of a House International Relations Subcommittee that plans to hold hearings on the agreement around Sept. 10 and the members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. But eventually, all members of Congress will be reached, he said.

The JDL leader said that the lobbying will focus chiefly at two groups in Congress, those like Sen. George McGovern (D.SD), who are opposed to American involvement overseas, and those like Sen. Henry M. Jackson (D. Wash.), who strongly support Israel and fear that having Americans in the Sinai would lead to increased Soviet involvement in the area.

Kahane said he would ask both the House subcommittee and the Senate committee to allow him and other “Jewish activists” to testify against the agreement. Kahane, who is serving a prison sentence at a federal detention center in Manhattan, said he has asked prison authorities to allow him to go to Washington for a day “on the grounds of potential death in the Jewish nation that is my family.”

Kahane said he opposed the use of Americans in the area because the presence of any superpower will escalate any conflict in the Middle East and because it sets a “dangerous precedent” for Israel to allow “her defenses to be manned by strangers.” He said he would not oppose the use of U.S. troops in the Middle East if the Soviet Union or any other major power sent their troops in first.


The JDL leader also announced a “March on Washington” in front of the White House Oct. 5, called by the recently formed Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Activist Organizations which, like another new group called American Jews Against Ford, is seeking to get American Jews and non-Jews to work for President Ford’s defeat in 1976 and to support the opposition in Israel to Premier Yitzhak Rabin’s government. Neither group has any links to any major American Jewish organization.

While Kahane was holding his press conference here a simultaneous conference was taking place in Washington where a group of Jewish clergymen and fundamentalist Protestant ministers were issuing similar statements and “Biblical historical reasoning” for their demand that Israel not be “gerrymandered out of the hands of the Jewish people.”

CORRECTION: One of the figures given for results of a public opinion poll in Israel on attitudes toward the Sinai accord, published in the JTA Bulletin Aug. 29 for “no opinion” was listed as 17% The figure should have been 7%.

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