A church call to halt Israeli aid
The two top officials of the United Presbyterian Church called on President Reagan to halt military and economic aid to Israel, Monitor contributor Tracy Early reports.
Moderator James Costen of Atlanta and Stated Clerk William Thompson of New York said in a letter to the President, ''Our government's well-intentioned goal of making Israel secure has created a military power which is now lashing out at its neighbors without regard to consequences for itself, American concerns, or world peace.''
The officials said their church ''continues to support the state of Israel, its right to exist within secure boundaries, and its right to live in peace with its neighbors.''
Because the slaughter of the Palestinians was ''carried out by so-called Christian Phalangists,'' they said, all Christians should ''respond with sorrow because the Christian name has been defamed.'' But they went on to say that ''Israel's support of the Haddad militia'' and its occupation of the area raised questions as to the level of the Begin government's responsibility.
''We call on you, therefore,'' they said, ''to take the necessary actions to halt military and economic aid to Israel until such time as the government of Israel is prepared to withdraw - not just from west Beirut, but from all of Lebanon - and to start meaningful negotiations for a diplomatic solution to the problems of the area.''