Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

Schindler Warns About Khoumeini

February 5, 1979
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The threat of a Moslem “holy war” against the United States and Israel by the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khoumeini in his drive to seize power in Iran underscores the identity of interest between Washington and Jerusalem in the Middle East, Rabbi Alexander M. Schindler, president of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations (UAHC), said here last night Addressing 600 delegates to UAHC’s Pacific South-west regional convention, Schindler said:

The essential role which Israel plays in the defense of American strategic interests in this inflammable part of the world is underscored by Khoumeini’s latest statement. It is time for the White House to recognize publicly that stability in the Middle East lies not in one-man dictatorships but in democratic governments. It is time for the White House to act on the premise that Israel’s strength and security must be the highest goal of American policy in the Middle East, not only because our ally Israel needs it but because our country’s security requires it.”

Schindler said he was “deeply disturbed” by the danger that a Khoumeini government might turn into a supplier of weapons to the Palestine Liberation Organization. He noted that Iran possesses 78 top-secret-F-14s along with Phoenix missiles, advance electronic systems and other weapons, part of the $8 billion worth of arms sold to the Shah by the U.S. in recent years.

“If Khoumeini establishes his Islamic republic, ” Schindler said, “some of these arms could wind up in PLO hands, particularly in view of Khoumeini’s anti-Israel attitude and pro-PLO position.

Recommended from JTA