Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

Presidents Conference Wants Ford to Prohibit PLO Office in Capital

December 2, 1976
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

President Ford was urged today by the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations to prohibit the opening of a Palestine Liberation Organization office in Washington. In a telegram to the White House, the Conference voiced “profound dismay” at a State Department comment last week that there was no way to prevent the PLO from opening an office in Washington as long as it complies with regulations.

The telegram signed by Rabbi Alexander Schindler, chairman, and Yehuda Hellman, executive director, said “In the interest of public safety, and the cause of peace in the Middle East, our country must not permit killers of Jewish children and the assassins of American diplomats to open an office in Washington, D.C. Surely there is a law or principle of law that can be invoked to protect the American people from the criminal conspiracy that constitutes the PLO. We urge you therefore to issue instructions prohibiting the PLO from opening an office in Washington.”

The Presidents Conference telegram quoted a statement from Robert L. Funseth, State Department spokesman, that “from a foreign policy point of view, we do not believe it is a propitious moment for the PLO to open an office in Washington.” Commenting on the statement, the telegram said: “In our view it is not a question of What is ‘propitious’ but rather what is the principle involved in permitting an avowedly terrorist organization to open a headquarters in our nation’s capital.”

Recommended from JTA