In the Evans and Novak op-ed column of July 27, references were made to me (as chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations) and to the organization I chair. It is important that the conference and my positions be made clear.
The column incorrectly says that ''I agree with Ted Mann'' that the U.S. dialogue with the PLO in Tunis has '' 'proved to be valuable channel . . . to advance the peace process' and should be re-started as soon as possible.'' I hold no such view. The statement attributed to me is both mistaken and misleading.
Following the aborted May 30 PLO raid on the beaches near Tel Aviv, the conference called on the administration to suspend talks with the PLO because of its failure to condemn the attack and to expel Abul Abbas, who claimed credit for it. When the State Department did break off the dialogue, I welcomed this action in behalf of the Conference of Presidents. This view is held, in my judgment, by the overwhelming majority of American Jews. We also believe that on matters of Israel's security, it is not the purpose or responsibility of American Jews to tell Israel what policies it should follow. These life-or-death decisions belong to the government of Israel.
Further, the column inaccurately links my views on aspects of U.S.-Israel relations and the peace process with those of Theodore Mann and Henry Siegman. This linkage does not accurately reflect my opinions or the consensus of the member organizations of the Conference of Presidents.
The reported allegation that I (or the conference) fear telling the Israelis the truth about the Israel-U.S. relationship is absurd on its face. The implication of such a statement is that the Israelis exist in some sort of communications vacuum and have to be told by bystanders about the status of their relationships with other nations.
The Conference of Presidents is hopeful that the peace process will be able to move forward to achieve a just and lasting peace between Israel and its Arab neighbors.
SEYMOUR D. REICH Chairman, Conference of Presidents Of Major American Jewish Organizations New York