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Australian Premier Says Western Civilization is Indebted to Israel

Prime Minister Robert Menzies said yesterday that too many people consider Israel purely as a political entity, ignoring the fact that western civilization was indebted to its great history, culture and literature.

Sir Robert made the comment at the Menzies Library at the Australian National University after presentation of a set of books by Israel Ambassador David Tesher marking Sir Robert’s 70th birthday yesterday. The books comprised 30 works in 37 volumes ranging from a Hebrew translation of Shakespeare to art and warfare in Biblical lands.

Sir Robert said that the Israeli envoy “has reminded us today that we are not dealing with a political structure in Israel but with a people who have made and are still making great contributions to the activities of spirit and mind.” The envoy replied that Israelis regard Sir Robert as one of a group of statesmen who understood Israel and who had rendered Israel many important services.

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