NEW YORK (Oct. 7)
The withdrawal of the United States from the Big Four deputies talks until a rectification of the missile emplacements by Egypt takes place was hailed last night by Israel’s Foreign Minister Abba Eban as a vindication of Israel’s insistence that the cease-fire standstill accord was being violated. Mr. Eban told the more than 700 persons attending a dinner sponsored by the Greater New York Committee for State of Israel Bonds that despite Egypt’s perfidy in negating the truce accord, “tearing it up in front of our eyes.” Israel “is available for a new appraisal of elements in the Middle East,” that she is ready to continue the cease-fire indefinitely and maintains a flexible position on boundaries within the context of security and a lasting peace. But, he asserted, “peace is not compatible with the monstrous idea of divided cities.” The audience burst into prolonged applause when Mr. Eban vowed that “Jerusalem will never again be torn apart” and pledged that Israel would guarantee freedom of holy places to all people. Mr. Eban mounted an eloquent plea for the Jewish people in the U.S. to aid Israel financially at a time when she stands at the crossroad of “destruction or deliverance.” He warned that unless American Jewry aided Israel on an unprecedented scale, the military victories won by the gallantry of its young people and the tenacity of the Jewish people to survive would be squandered. “All previous goals are now irrelevant to the situation and to the needs of Israel,” he declared.
Mr. Eban’s plea met with enthusiastic response as $5 million in Israel bonds was sold. Abraham Feinberg, president of the Israel Bond Organization, said Israel can only rely on itself, “on the young men in the army and air force who are defending Israel and the safety and security of our country.” He said that Israel Bond Organization and the United Jewish Appeal have jointly promised Israel they will raise $1 billion for Israel’s defense needs. Mr. Eban declared that the “central theme of 1970″ is “Jewish solidarity and tightening intimacy between Israel and the United States.” He said it was illogical to think that the U.S. should show greater solicitude for Israel and her needs than the Jewish people. He warned that despite Israel’s military victories “the last sanctuary, the refuge of a people who already lost six million in an orgy of violence” in the inferno of Nazism, Israel remains an island in a sea of hostility, encircled by tanks, Soviet forces, a “stinging blockade,” and confronted by Arabs dancing in the streets “intoxicated with the idea that Israel must be destroyed.” The Foreign Minister said that Israel’s view, based on counsel by the U.S. and an international body of political forces, is “no withdrawal from our present boundaries without peace.” Israel, he said, will not return to the “territorial vulnerability of old boundary lines.” The frame of reference for Israel’s daily agonizing decisions, Mr. Eban observed, is: “Peace if we can get if or stand fast until we achieve it and meanwhile grow in our dynamism.” But, he added, there is a price for standing fast – the price of young blood being spilled.
“Does anyone,” Mr. Eban asked, “believe that if we withdrew from the present areas we would not be pursued to our most concentrated areas of population?” The devastation wrought in Jordan by the Palestinian guerrillas these past few weeks, he said, should be a forewarning of what Israel can expect if it loses its military superiority. Israel, Mr. Eban stated, is ready to discuss peace. “We have specific ideas about peace but lack someone to discuss it with and a table on which to lay down our proposals,” he said. Peace for Israel, he continued, does not mean humiliation of its neighbors but greater unity of all the people in the Middle East to tackle common problems. He noted that Israel had originally hailed the Nasserite revolution whose proclaimed objectives had been to end foreign domination, opening the Suez Canal to the world, and to eliminate internal backwardness. But these objectives, he said, came to naught and were subverted by Egypt’s embarkation on a war of attrition. He expressed the hope that Egypt’s new leaders would seek peace and added that it is “possible for political leaders to repeat mistakes but it is not mandatory.” The dinner, which opened the Fall campaign of the Committee, paid tribute to four prominent businessmen and their sons, all active leaders in the Israel Bond campaign in the New York metropolitan area. Before presenting the leaders with the annual Herbert H. Lehman award, William Goldfine, president of the Royal National Bank and honorary chairman of the Israel Bond campaign in New York City, said “there is no generation gap between these fathers and sons.” He said that in New York, Israel Bonds was 30 percent ahead of sale this year compared to 1969. “But in view of Israel’s needs we have to be 100 percent ahead.”