Leaders of major American Jewish groups expressed strong support yesterday for the Israeli Cabinet's 16-to-1 vote to accept the report of the inquiry commission into the Beirut massacre, characterizing the action as an example of the strength of the nation's democratic government.
Rabbi Alexander M. Schindler, president of the American Hebrew Congregation, called the decision "the logical conclusion of a painful but necessary process. It confirms the health and vigor of Israel's commitment to moral decency. And it confirms the principle that Israel, like America, is a democracy where the people rule supreme."
"The report itself has been hailed as an extraordinary manifestation of the vitality of Israel's democracy," said Henry Siegman, executive director of the American Jewish Congress. "Far more significant, however, is the courage and determination of Israel's government to accept and implement the commission's recommendations.
"We fervently hope that yesterday's action of the Cabinet will put an end to the deep partisan emotions that have gripped Israel in the wake of the report's issuance," Siegman said.
In a telegram to Prime Minister Menachem Begin, leaders of the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith said they "salute the moral rectitude of the people of Israel and their determination to defend the principles of freedom and justice despite the pressures and animosities of a world marked by hypocrisy."