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U.S. Mizrachi Convention Told of Religious Freedom for Arabs in Israel

Dr. Joseph Burg, Minister of Social Welfare in Israel, told the 54th annual convention of the Religious Zionists of America here, that “Christian and Arab citizens of Israel are enjoying complete religious freedom and cultural autonomy in their varied Spiritual practices. All restrictions on the movement of Arabs in Israel have recently been rescinded.”

Mr. Burg said that “the Government of Israel is erecting schools of all kinds to meet the needs of Arab and Christian children. The Government is also subsidizing the construction of religious institutions for Arabs and Christians. The standard of living of Israel’s Arabs are far superior to those who live in neighboring Arab countries.”

The Israeli Minister also said that “the Arabs of Israel are being trained to become productive and well-adjusted citizens of Israel by being offered medical, technological, and scientific courses on all levels of competence. It is to be hoped that the second generation Arab will surmount the still lingering prejudice of his family and become a fully dedicated, hard-working, and understanding citizen of Israel.”

Mr. Burg, who is also a prominent leader of the Religious Zionist Party in Israel, pointed to “Israel’s incredible achievements in fostering a whole network of religious institutions, such as vocational schools, daily adult educational facilities, religious settlements on the exposed fringes of the border areas, and university schooling. The Religious Zionists in Israel have set up a unique type of school combining the elements of manual and vocational-type training with intellectual studies, to make the graduate a competent and informed citizen of the state.”

He urged “the firmest typed unity” between Israeli and religious American Jewry. “This united force will bring about a greater understanding in building the State of Israel as the showpiece of moral value in the world,” he said.

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