Eshkol Sees Courage in Israeli Avoidance of Counterattack Reprisals
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Eshkol Sees Courage in Israeli Avoidance of Counterattack Reprisals

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Premier Levi Eshkol has stressed in two weekend speeches the themes that the Arab attitude toward Israel was changed, and that “it takes courage not to make war immediately on being attacked,” The second theme was in explanation of the present Government policy to exercise restraint in the face of continuing El Fatah guerrilla raids into Israel, with strong Syrian backing.

In an address at a farewell dinner for the 200 members of the 12th annual United Jewish Appeal mission, Mr. Eshkol emphasized that President Habib Bourguiba, of Tunisia, was not the only Arab leader who has recognized Israel’s existence. The Premier added that the realization that the Arab countries must learn to live with Israel “has started to penetrate the thinking of a number of Arab leaders.”

Max Fisher, of Detroit, UJA general chairman, pledged at the dinner that American Jews would “do everything in their power in 1967 to try to avert the danger of two Israel’s” — a normal society, and an underdeveloped one. The mission, which has just completed a 12-day tour of Israel, was entertained at the dinner, given by the Premier, in the presence of a half dozen Ministers, American Ambassador Walworth Barbour, Chief of Staff Itzhak Rabin and other Israeli officials.

Mr. Eshkol said that, though he was “not eager for war,” it took “more courage not to reply immediately” to severe provocation, but that Israel could not tolerate further aggression from Syria. He said that, “though it is not difficult for the situation to deteriorate into war, we have to be strong enough to try out all other means.”

Mr. Eshkol told the UJA mission, led by Mr. Fisher, that the UJA could help speed the winning of peace in the Middle East by speeding the absorption of Israel’s newcomers, particularly from Asian-African countries. He praised the UJA for establishing its new Israel Education Fund — a special campaign outside the regular drive which, in two years, has provided nearly $14,000,000 for the erection of 29 high schools, youth centers, libraries and other educational institutions. These, for the most part, are being built in Israel’s immigrant development towns, where Mr. Eshkol said, they will serve to help young immigrants of Asian-African origin bridge the “cultural gap” which now separates them from immigrants of European and Western origin.

The American Jewish leaders attending the farewell dinner, in addition to Mr. Fisher, included Edward Ginsberg of Cleveland, Israel Fink of Minneapolis, and Jack D. Weiler of New York, all UJA national chairmen; Rabbi Herbert A. Friedman, UJA executive vice-chairman; Louis Broido, of New York, chairman of the Joint Distribution Committee; Albert Parker, of New York, and Phillip Stollman, of Detroit, members of the UJA executive committee; Mrs. Jack Karp, of Los Angeles, UJA national women’s division chairman, and Mrs. Harry L. Jones of Detroit, national vice-chairman of the women’s division; and Gottlieb Hammer, of New York, executive vice-chairman of the United Israel Appeal.

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