Sees Russians, Arabs Envious of Israel’s Ability to Progress As Democracy

The thesis that envy of Israel’s ability to achieve social goals within a framework of freedom and democracy is behind Soviet and Arab hostility was presented here yesterday by an authority on Mideast labor affairs. Dr. John J. Flagler, director of labor education at the University of Minnesota, spoke at a regional conference on Jewish issues sponsored by the International Council of B’nai B’rith.

According to Dr. Flagler, the Israeli experience has irritated “hard line” Soviet ideologists by demonstrating that new states “need not resort to institutions of dictatorial government, suppression of civil liberties or the regimentation of populations” to raise living standards and “reduce the gap between haves and have-nots.” Russia and the “military juntas of the left and right that dominate most Arab regimes” are discomforted by Israel’s demonstration that democracy and social progress are not incompatible for newly emerging nations, he said.

The conference, attended by 200 delegates, was the first of a series throughout the country intended to stimulate public action programs in behalf of Soviet Jewry, Jews in Arab countries and Israel’s demand for direct negotiations with the Arab countries. Another speaker, Dr. Judd L. Teller, charged that Moscow was making scapegoats of Russian Jews as a “common enemy of all Russian peoples” in order to mollify other Soviet ethnic minorities that have become restive under Soviet efforts to “Russify” them.

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