World Affairs Council Hears Sharett’s Views on Arab Refugees

Moshe Sharett, Foreign Minister of Israel, speaking before an overflow audience of the World Affairs Council today, stressed once again that in the interest of the Palestine refugees themselves it is imperative that they be resettled in the countries where they now reside.

Mr. Sharett pointed out that it would be suicidal folly to attempt to restore the situation that existed prior to Israel’s war of liberation by returning Arab refugees to Israel. He said that over 300,000 Jews had come to Israel from Arab and Moslem lands and thus put into motion a sorting out process which would in the end bring greater stability to the whole area. The Foreign Minister once again repeated Israel’s offer to pay compensation for abandoned land.

In a 35-minute address the Israel Foreign Minister reviewed the progress made in the Jewish State over the past four years and pointed out that the most important element in Israel’s life today is production. He went on to describe agricultural developments, industrial expansion, and progress along social and cultural lines and wound up by stating that Israel’s basic foreign policy platform consists of four characteristics: first, democracy; second, social, cultural and economic progress; third, assistance from the democracies of the world; and fourth, link with the Jewish people.

The Foreign Minister said that the fourth item was by far the most important basis of Israel’s stability. He ended his address by stating that Israel was dedicated to the preservation of peace and could serve as a cultural and political bridge between the Occident and the Orient.

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