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Eshkol Believes Russia May Relax Its Policy on Treatment of Jews

Premier Levi Eshkol said last night he was confident that internal changes in the Soviet Union, coupled with world pressures, would induce the Soviet regime to allow self-expression as Jews to Russian Jewry and to permit Russian Jews to maintain contact with world Jewry and to rejoin families in Israel.

He spoke at the festive opening session of the convention of the World Union of Zionist Socialist parties, which was held at Bet Berl near Kfar Saba. More than 200 delegates from 25 countries and more than 1,000 guests were present. Among the many dignitaries was President Shazar.

The Premier described the tasks of the Zionist movement today as the battle against “Jewish self-delusion,” the building up of Israel, and the strengthening of the spiritual basis of Jewries in other countries. Dr. Nahum Goldmann, who also spoke on Zionist activities lauded the improved attitude of Premier Eshkol’s Government toward the Zionist movement.

Anthony Greenwood, a leader of the British Labor Party, told the gathering that British Labor wanted friendship with the Arabs but not at Israel’s expense. He added that his party welcomed the talks last month in Washington between Premier Eshkol and President Johnson.

The British Labor Party leader, whose address was applauded frequently, said that neither Israel’s national water project nor its desalination experiments were a threat to the neighboring Arab countries. He asserted that real security for both Israel and the Arabs was in cooperation and development.

He said that the British Labor Party was distressed by the Middle East arms race and by the presence of West German scientists in Egypt, working on advanced weapons for the Nasser regime. He added that Russia helps the Middle East more by projects like the Aswam Dam in Egypt than by supplying arms to the Arabs.

Prior to the opening of the meeting, Former Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion met with a group of younger Zionist Socialist leaders from Britain who invited him to come to England to speak there. He promised to consider the invitation. Itzhak Korn, the Mapai general secretary, eulogized Meir Argov, the former general secretary, and Louis Segal, late general secretary of the Farband Labor Zionist Order.

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