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American and Israeli Young Generations Drifting Apart, Eban Says

Minister of Education Abba Eban, who knows America well after years of service there as Israel’s Ambassador to Washington and to the United Nations, warned here last night that the younger generations of both Israel and the United States are drifting apart. He was one of the principal speakers at the “dialogue” being conducted here between 500 representatives of the American Jewish Congress and top Israelis.

Mr. Eban said that “the beginning of wisdom” for Israel, in her relationships with world Jewry, especially American Jewry, involves the abandonment of “the premature and illusory pose “of absolute self-reliance. ” Instead, he held, Israel should stress “the unfinished character of her major problems.” All Israel actions and utterances, he stated, “ought to be directed toward evolving and strengthening the equal partnership” between Israel and Jewries abroad.

Mr. Eban suggested that Israel develop a new outlook in regard to American Jews, warning that Israel should “stop lecturing American Jewry about its insecurity.” What should worry Israel, he said, is “not American Jewry’s desire to ‘intervene’ in our affairs, but its occasional signs of disinterestedness and apathy. Generations are growing up in Israel and in American Jewry which are becoming alien and foreign to each other, sharing to memories, cherishing no common dreams. “

New thinking is needed on both sides, said Mr. Eban. If the Jewish consciousness in American Jewry is sharpened, he stated, “a measure of immigration to Israel may be the natural result. But such immigration will not be fostered by irascible complaints about its absence or by diminishing the historic dignity of American Zionism. Young American Jews will not be held within the magnetic field of Jewish solidarity unless they become intimately involved in Israel’s culture.”

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