In a detailed and carefully worded statement, leaders of the Washington Jewish community have expressed support for some aspects of President Reagan's Mideast peace plan but sidestepped comment on his crucial proposals on the West Bank and the future of Israeli settlements there.
The cautious response to the plan by the Jewish Community Council of Greater Washington, an umbrella organization of more than 200 local Jewish groups, reflects the general reaction of national Jewish leadership, which also has seen merit in Reagan's initiative with some reservations.
The council's statement is significant not only for its meticulous approach, but also because it emerged after a lengthy meeting of 50 members of the Council's board and thus reflects a consensus of Jews in the Washington area, according to Michael Berenbaum, the council's executive director
The three-page letter sent to Reagan this week said that after "close attention and painstaking discussion" of what it called "a historic address with rich and complex ideas," the council expressed its "support for much of what you said."
The Jewish leaders were pleased by Reagan's reaffirmation of the United States commitment to Israel's security; by the rejection of a Palestinian state in Israeli-held territory and of a role for the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in peace negotiations. They also welcomed the fact that the president was no longer "requesting Jewish settlers . . . to abandon their homes or dismantle their communities."
The Jewish leaders expressed "concern" over "the change of America's role" in going public with specific negotiating positions before getting Israeli approval in private.
On the president's call for a freeze on Israeli settlements on the West Bank, the Jewish leaders said they felt this question should be part of future negotiations between Israel and its Arab neighbors.