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Israel’s Stand on Russia Must Hinge on Treatment of Jews, Dayan Says

Agriculture Minister and Mapai leader Moshe Dayan told a meeting of the Mapai Young Circle today that Israel’s relations with the Soviet Union “must be based on the Russian attitude toward its Jews” and that he was opposed to efforts to improve relations with Russia because “of the worsening situation of its Jews.”

General Dayan, asserting he was speaking as a Mapai member and not as a Cabinet Minister, said he did not agree with those who believed that Israel-Soviet relations had improved. He added that the deterioration of the position of Soviet Jewry was a more determining factor than diplomatic or cultural gestures. He mentioned as an example the fact that the recent publication in Russia of Hebrew songs translated into Russian were not to be found in Soviet bookstores.

Touching on security and political questions, he said that the December “summit conference” of Arab League countries at Cairo had again placed Israel at the top of the list of Arab unit causes. He said the Arabs were determined to attack Israel “although we don’t know when.”

He said the French flirtations with the Arabs had not changed Israel-French friendship but that he felt that France was not prepared to do for Israel in the future everything it had done in the past because “conditions have changed.” Finally, he said, the efforts Israel has poured into Africa “may prove useless. We may face disappointments there.”

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