Leaflet Conflict Outside Yard Centers on U.S. Aid to Israel

Opponents and supporters of American aid to Israel this week competed for attention at Harvard, distributing leaflets in and just outside the Yard advocating their positions.

Members of the Harvard-Radcliffe Zionist League (HRZL) yesterday passed out pamphlets entitled "Israel Represents Our Best Interests in the Middle East" in response to leaflets with the heading "Should the Reagan Administration Support Israel?" which a group calling itself the Committee of Concerned Americans (CCA) distributed Monday and Wednesday.

That leaflet criticized assistance to Israel, saying "unconditional U.S. aid to Israel has not succeeded in promoting either peace or U.S. objectives in the region. Instead, U.S. aid has subsidized Israeli policies that are stumbling blocks to peace."

Tuesday night, HRZL called an "emergency meeting" at which members drew up their pamphlet. Rona G. Shapiro '83, a HRZL member, said yesterday. Peter A. Bronstein '82, also a HRZL member, said "the anti-Israel pamphlet presented an incomplete and distorted view of the Mid-East situation. We decided to inform people how important Israel is to American foreign policy."

A HRZL member who asked not to be identified said yesterday that CCA representatives distributing the anti-Israel pamphlets refused to answer any questions about the nature of the committee or about the substance of the pamphlet. The leaflets' only identification is a Cambridge post office box number.


A Cambridge post office official said yesterday that the CCA box is in the name of Emile Durzi. Durzi, a Cambridge resident, said yesterday he was aware of the Committee adding. "I support the group very much," but he denied any connection with the organization or its members.

When told the post office identified him, Durzi said, "I am in charge of their post office box."

In a telegram sent to The Crimson last night, a spokesman for CCA said. "We, at the present, don't see the need of a discussion. The leaflet is clear, accurate and just."

No officially-recognized undergraduate Arab student organization exists at Harvard. Bishara Bahbah, a second year graduate student of government who is organizing the Harvard Arab Students Organization, said he was unaware of the committee. "It's nice to see this point of view publicized, but if we were involved, the leaflet would have said so," he added.

James E. Cohen '83, head of the HRZL, information branch, said CCA members also passed out the leaflets, which contained a chart linking Isracli arms to "repressive regimes," at MIT. Boston University. Northeastern, and at the Government Center in Boston. Cohen said, one CCA member told him he was paid to leaflet.

The HRZL leaflet defends Israel as "the only Democracy in the Middle East," and includes a map of the "Arab League" surrounding Israel, with the caption "Who Threatens Whom?" Judy Cohen, assistant director of Harvard-Radcliffe Hillel said HRZL will distribute another leaflet this week refuting specific points in the committee publication.

Leonard P. Zakim, New England regional civil rights director of the Anti Defamation League, said he was "confident that the American people and students can see through these propaganda attempts."

HRZL members expressed concern, however, that the committee's campaign may affect public opinion. Peter A. Bronstein '82, who distributed HRZL leaflets, yesterday called the committee literature "deceptively well done."

The University received some complaints about the committee's leaflets Thomas H. Howe, assistant dean for student affairs said yesterday. He added, however, that because the leafletters stood outside the Yard, they fell under Cambridge jurisdiction. "We told them that, distasteful as the thing was, we couldn't do a thing about it."

Zakim said the anti-Israel leafletting by the committee is "the first of this type we've seen in a long time.