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Presidents’ Conference Honors Israel Minister Herzog

The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations met today here in special session to tender a farewell to the Israel Minister in Washington, Yaakov Herzog, on the eve of his departure for Canada where he is taking up the duties of the Ambassador of the State of Israel to that country.

Summing up his impressions after two and a half years of diplomatic service in Washington, Ambassador Herzog said: “In the post-Sinai period, U.S. -Israel relations have been marked by growing understanding and cooperation. Temporary problems which have arisen from time to time, have in no case left an enduring scar on the basic friendship. One gains the impression that Israel has come to be recognized as a permanent factor in the Middle East–its survival is no longer in question, while its regional and international status enshrined a contribution of significance for stability, peace and human progress.”

Speaking of the spiritual relationship between American Jewry and Israel, Mr. Herzog said: “The age-old debate between Babylon and Jerusalem has been resumed. While American Jewry has not accepted homecoming as a means of its survival. It recognizes Israel’s revival as the central Jewish experience in our time. The theme of redemption can be the basis of a constantly deepening spiritual relationship for the common Jewish destiny. It is the hallmark of the new epoch of Jewish history now beginning to unfold.”

Ambassador Herzog emphasized the challenge facing the Presidents’ Conference in respect to these ideals. Label Katz, the incoming chairman of the Conference, lauded Mr. Herzog and his work in Washington “as a brilliant contribution towards modern Israel’s diplomacy” and he wished the outgoing Minister success in his new mission as Ambassador to Canada.

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