Eshkol Greeted by City, Province, Government in Montreal; Sees Pearson Today
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Eshkol Greeted by City, Province, Government in Montreal; Sees Pearson Today

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Leaders of Canadian and local Jewry joined ranking representatives of the city, province and the Federal Government today in greeting Israel’s Prime Minister Levi Eshkol, who had come to Montreal on his four day visit to Canada. He is scheduled to meet in the capital, Ottawa, tomorrow, with Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson.

Arriving on schedule, at 11 a.m., at the international airport, Mr. Eshkol, accompanied by his wife, was greeted, in addition to officials of the various levels of government, by Michael Garber, president of the Canadian Jewish Congress; Allan Bronfman, president of the Canadian Friends of the Hebrew University; and Sam Chait, president of the Federated Zionist Organization of Canada. Present also were Israel’s new envoy to Canada, Ambassador Aryeh Eshel, and other members of Israel’s diplomatic and consular missions to Canada. Mr. Eshkol addressed the Jewish gathering at the airport in Yiddish.

After a reception at City Hall, headed by Mayor Jean Drapoau, Mr. Eshkol presented to the city, on behalf of his Government, the Israel Pavilion which had been one of the highlights of the recently closed Expo ’67 here.

This evening, Mr. Eshkol attended a dinner of the Israel Bond Organization here, at Shaar Hasho mayim Synagogue, where leaders of the Bond Organization in this city and in the Commonwealth pledged continuing support for Israel’s economic development.

This evening, he was the principal guest and speaker at the Golden Jubilee convention of the Hadassah-WIZO Organization of Canada (WIZO stands for the Women’s International Zionist Organization). Honored guests at the event included also the top leadership of the Canadian Jewish Congress, the Federated Zionist Organization of Canada, and the Allied Jewish Community Services of Montreal, the central fund-raising body of the Jewish community here.


Friday, Mr. Eshkol stepped out of an Air Canada plane at an ice-covered Toronto airport, to receive a heartwarming welcome from hundreds of Toronto Jews and several hundred Toronto Jewish school children who had braved the cold to greet him. Representatives of the Commonwealth Government, the Province of Ontario and the City of Toronto were also on hand to welcome the Israeli leader and his party. The Canadian flag and Israel’s Star of David were displayed together at the airport. Mr. Eshkol greeted the school children in Hebrew and said he hoped they would consider visiting or living in Israel.

Answering questions at a press conference at the Toronto airport, Mr. Eshkol said it had not been in his plans to raise the question of military aid from Canada and acquisition here of jet planes, but said he would be glad if the question were brought up.

In replying to questions about President de Gaulle of France and his recent expressions regarding Israel, Mr. Eshkol said that he would like to see Gen. de Gaulle end the embargo he had imposed on arms shipments to Israel, and release the 50 Mirage-V jet fighter-bombers that Israel had bought and had paid for in cash.

Mr. Eshkol was taken from the Toronto airport to a reception given by Prime Minister John T. Robarts, of Ontario and Lieutenant Governor Earle Rowe. Later he and his party were guests at a reception given by Mayor William Dennison of Toronto. The Israeli prime minister told his hosts he was happy to be on Canadian soil, and expressed deep appreciation to Prime Minister Pearson for the invitation. He strongly commended the Canadian Jewish community.

In a statement at the John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, before his plane left the United States, Mr. Eshkol said he was “deeply convinced” of President Johnson’s “friendship and his understanding of our problems.”

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