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Italian Statesman Says Israel’s “strongest Aspiration” is Peace

Israel’s “strongest aspiration” is to make peace with the Arabs, Randolfo Pacciardi leader of the Italian Republican Party, declared here today following his return from a study mission to Middle East capitals, including Jerusalem.

Pacciardi, who undertook the tour at the behest of Premier Amintore Fanfani, who is scheduled to visit Cairo later this month, said that Premier David Ben Gurion, “Israel’s brilliant leader,” is willing to undertake great financial sacrifices to help resettle the Arab refugees and perhaps would agree to “take back a few tens of thousands” within the framework of a general peace settlement.

But, the Italian statesman continued, Mr. Ben Gurion does not believe in the mass return of the Arabs who, finding their old lands gone, would be forced to lead a pioneer’s life. He reported that the Israeli Premier had again ruled out a return to Israel’s borders as outlined by the United Nations partition decision of 1947.

Pacciardi expressed the belief that Israel could support twice its present population, but did not see that the Jews living in countries where they are treated as equals would come to Israel to lead “a hard Messianic life.” Only new persecution or discrimination would add heavily to Israel’s population. He spoke glowingly of Israel’s “unimaginable effort of reconstruction” and its “marvelous” and modern conceptions.

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