FLORENCE, Italy (Oct. 10)
Mayor Gershon Agron of Jerusalem, addressing a Congress of Mayors of World Capitals from 37 countries here, declared that Israel hoped its Arab neighbors would “see the benefits” of peace and pledged continued good treatment of minorities in the Jewish State.
Describing Israel’s situation as one of blockade, siege and boycott, Mr. Agron declared that “this state of things is no more natural than it is desirable. We hope that better councils will prevail and that our Arab neighbors will see the benefits, wisdom and justice of opening the roads leading to and away from their territories. But we cannot mark time while our neighbors cogitate in anger. We believe that our ideas of social co-existence will not be confined within our borders but will spill over to our neighbors and cousins.”
Describing Israelis as a “people schooled in suffering,” Mayor Agron said that they were bound to be more jealous of other people’s rights, National or religious minorities within our boundaries, whether Moslem or Christian, will never have cause to complain of ill treatment or discrimination.”
The Mayor also alluded to the Holy Places in Jerusalem and said, “The Christian sites which fell into our keeping in our part of Jerusalem when the country was forcibly partitioned are a sacred trust, which no Israel Government will ever neglect or disregard. As Mayor of New Jerusalem, it will be my solemn duty to see that the places sacred to Christianity will be safeguarded as never before.”