Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

Massive Mobilizations Across Nation

October 15, 1973
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Throughout the U.S. hundreds of thousands of Jews high-geared mobilizations this weekend to collect money to aid Israel and to hold demonstrations in solidarity with Israel. The largest turnout was in New York where more than 100,000 people participated in a rally sponsored by the 74 constituent agencies of the Greater New York Conference on Soviet Jewry with the cooperation of the American Zionist Federation. Israeli Finance Minister Pinhas Sapir addressed a large gathering of Jewish leaders in New York called by the United Jewish Appeal and the Jewish Agency’s Acting Chairman Leon Dulzin met with Jewish leaders in the city.

The crowd of 100,000 at City Hall spontaneously burst into the Hatikva as Israeli Foreign Minister Abba Eban concluded his address in which he called on “our Jewish brethren to give a display of solidarity” with the Israeli people. He stated that “What we seek is a victory for peace.”

Eban asked the people assembled outside City Hall, “What is that Israel wants from you? Israel wants your love and solidarity,” the Foreign Minister answered his own question. “Do we have your love and solidarity?” Eban asked the crowd. “Yes,” everyone replied in unison. Then Eban stated solemnly, “If we do, we shall come out of the darkness to a resplendent dawn.”

The Israeli diplomat declared “There are only two ways, negotiation or war. If they wanted to talk, we would have. Since they chose to shoot, we resorted to action.” The crowd cheered the Foreign Minister after every statement. Signs proclaiming “Solidarity With Israel” and “Israel Must Live” were carried by many of the demonstrators. Eban stressed that Israel “shall be victorious in that fight.” But he also said that Israel does not accept the strange doctrine of unilateral war enunciated by the Arab aggressors and “insists on hitting back.”

Sen. Jacob Javits (R NY) called on the United States to Immediately send arms to Israel. He said, “I have every faith that the United States will provide it (the arms), but when?” The assembled crowd shouted, “Now, now, now.” Javits agreed and said, “We must send it just like the Russians have.” Javits commended Israeli courage saying, “I don’t know of a single incident, where men and women have been more brave. We are a sober people, and we always like to assess what we have.” Javits also warned that the U.S. should not be intimidated by Arab threats of withholding oil supplies. He reminded the people that the oil is “common heritage and doesn’t belong just to the Arabs.”

Mayor John V. Lindsay also stressed that the U.S. should not be intimidated by threats of retaliation. “Israel’s survival is linked to America’s,” he said. “It’s not a question of race and religion, but the common bond of freedom-loving people everywhere.” Lindsay also called on the U.S. to “provide the essential arms and material to guarantee the integrity of this sacred land.”

Rabbi Israel Miller, American Zionist Federation president, declared that the Arabs “must be convinced not only by military defeat, which we are certain will come, but by the united will of civilized humanity that the only path to peace is through serious, frank and direct negotiations. Israel’s goal must not be the return to the status quo ante. It is not just a cease-fire that Israel should demand. Too many sacrifices have been made, too many wars have been fought, too much blood has been shed.”

Congressman Hugh L. Carey (D NY), stated, “There must be a national effort centered on the pending trade bill, and any other pertinent legislation, to convince the Soviet Union that there cannot be any trade agreements, credit arrangements, or other U.S. concessions, as long as the Soviet Union persists in both discriminating against Jews wishing to emigrate, and in supporting international terrorism and aggression.” The Congressman further stated, “The Soviet Union, by encouraging, abetting, and supporting renewed aggression in the Middle East, has proved anew that detente is an empty, academic phrase sounding great but signifying nothing.”

As the demonstration was in progress, Arab supporters began their own rally outside the Municipal Building, just a few hundred yards away from the rally for Israel. Leaders of the Israeli demonstration urged people not to join the Arab rally. “Don’t give the newsmen something to talk about,” Stanley Lowell, chairman of the Greater New York Conference on Soviet Jewry, stated.

At the same time, there were massive demonstrations in more than sixty communities across the country. The theme was solidarity with Israel and world Jews. The participants included public officials, civic leaders, the clergy and Jewish leaders who expressed interfaith solidarity in support of Israel.

Candlelight walks, silent vigils, campus rallies took place in cities including Los Angeles, Atlanta, San Francisco, Washington, Detroit, Boston, Nashville, Dallas, Baltimore, Wilmington, Sacramento, Philadelphia, Miami, and in New Brunswick and Camden, N.J.

Recommended from JTA