JERUSALEM (Dec. 19)
An audience of 3,000 that included many prominent Israelis, among them Nobel Laureate S.Y. Agnon, attended a rally here last night of the new “Movement for a Whole Eretz Israel,” and heard an equally distinguished group of speakers urge permanent retention by Israel of all territories captured during the Six-Day War. However, opposition to the “movement” has also developed.
Among the speakers last night were Mrs. Rachel Ben Zvi, widow of Israel’s second President, Yitzhak Ben Zvi; Dr. Haim Yahil, head of the Government’s and Jewish Agency’s Center for the Diaspora; and Brigadier Gen. Abraham Yoffe, a division commander in the Sinai peninsula during the June war. General Yoffe drew cheers when he declared that the cease-fire lines afford Israel security along her borders for the first time in 19 years, in contrast to the pre-June boundaries which were “a nightmare.”
In Tel Aviv, the head of the operations branch at Israel’s General Headquarters told a group of Hebrew University graduates in that area that Israel “will stay where we are” with respect to the present boundaries and will “bring in more Jews.” General Ezer Weizmann said that “the present situation provides us with an unusual opportunity to consolidate the State for the Jewish people and to prevent future wars.”
But a group of Israeli university professors here announced formation of a committee to oppose the “Movement for a Whole Eretz Israel. A spokesman for the new group said it would publish a statement of policy within a few days. The scholars contend that unilateral annexation would endanger peace and jeopardize the Jewish character of Israel and its humanitarian and democratic nature. The group includes Professors Gershon Sholem and Ernst Simon, and writers Nathan Schacham and Matti Megged.