A World at Peace

48th General Assembly
November 1965
San Francisco, CA

As heirs to a great Jewish tradition, we reaffirm our faith in man's capacity, as co-partner with God, to fashion a better world. We believe that in this age of thermonuclear weapons, man must put an end to war. We do believe that the children of God can create a process in which inevitable conflicts in a world of dynamic change can be resolved without resort to armed conflict. To strive toward such a world order, the delegates to the 48th Biennial Assembly of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, meeting in San Francisco, November, 1965:

  1. Reaffirm our belief in the necessity of co-existence of all nations and social systems. Co-existence requires a willingness to negotiate issues and to accommodate differences. We reject the false belief that negotiations need mean appeasement or surrender.
  2. Renew our commitment to the United Nations and to the need to strengthen this indispensable instrumentality of the family of nations. We believe that universal membership in the United Nations should be encouraged, thus opening new possibilities for improved understanding among all nations. In addition, we urge that the United Nations convene an early conference to consider revisions of the Charter so as to make the United Nations more responsive to the vast and profound changes which have occurred since its creation.
  3. Urge the United Nations to press for extension of the nuclear treaty ban to include underground explosions and to pursue, as an item of highest priority, a systematic, enforceable, general and complete disarmament. We endorse the purposes of the United States Arms Control and Disarmament Agency and we urge the strengthening and expansion of this important body.
  4. Appeal to the United States to take renewed leadership in calling for the pooling by all nuclear powers of fissionable material and knowledge in the pursuit of peaceful purposes under appropriate international controls.
  5. Warn with all solemnity against the danger of proliferation of nuclear weapons. We urge that the United States and Canada pursue the initiative in pressing for a program of inspected mutual military withdrawal and the development of a program leading to political settlements coupled with disarmament and disengagement steps. These should be linked with greater economic and cultural interchanges between eastern and western Europe, leading toward an all-European security system, guaranteed by the members of the British Commonwealth, European powers, the United States and the USSR.
  6. As representatives of a religious people within whom there dwells the deep hunger for peace among men and for whom a supreme value is the preciousness of human life, we are profoundly troubled and perplexed by the dilemma posed by the military, economic and political conditions surrounding the war in Vietnam. Along with the Central Conference of American Rabbis and other religious bodies in many lands, we are greatly distressed over the growing violence and the mounting loss of life of all the peoples involved. Faced with this dilemma, we call for an act of moral courage, and

    1. Ask the President of the United States, subject only to the requirements of the safety of our armed forces, to declare to the world that as of a given date, our armed forces will cease firing, our planes will cease bombing and that our representatives are proceeding forthwith to a designated neutral place prepared to meet with the representatives of the opposing forces in Vietnam and of the United Nations and to implement such declaration with a view toward finding a peaceful solution to the differences which have brought about this horrible conflict and to call upon the representatives of the opposing forces to join in this unselfish determination to demonstrate our commitment to peace in our time and for all time.
    2. Negotiate with any and all parties to secure a ceasefire and an agreement which will vouchsafe through the United Nations independence, freedom and self-determination for the people of Vietnam.
    3. Work with the United Nations to reduce the area of conflict by border control and internal policing undertaken by a multi-national force of the United Nations, and
    4. Enlarge grants by all nations of substantial economic and technological assistance to countries of southeast Asia, including North and South Vietnam. The effective joint cooperation already manifest in the Mekong Delta project suggests the great blessings which peace can bring to this area.

    We call upon the agencies of the Union to join with the like-minded religious bodies - Jewish, Protestant and Catholic, east and west -which share and have expressed these same moral concerns.

  7. Commend the increasing cooperation of all religious groups in pursuit of a just and peaceful world. The voice of faith, the message of salvation through righteousness, must again speak to a torn and separated mankind. Reaffirming our belief in the sovereignty of God over all humanity, we renew our pledge to join with all men of good will in achieving man's final opportunity for redemption: A WORLD AT PEACE.