Attitude of Palestinian Arabs Toward Israel Changed by Jordan Strife

The Mother Superior of a convent in East Jerusalem discussed the attitudes of Palestinian Arabs toward Israelis here today and asserted that the recent civil war in Jordan may have been a “turning point” but whether for good or ill remains to be seen. Mother Aline, who is on sabbatical leave from the Ecce Homo Convent on the Via Dolorosa, addressed a press conference at the New York offices of the American Jewish Committee. He said that “until the civil war, a Jerusalem Arab was able to live his daily life without feeling that he had to take a position on the political conflict. But the majority of Arabs living in Jerusalem are Palestinians and they all have friends and relatives in Amman. They were challenged by the brutal and cruel facts of the civil war, and they have realized that they cannot be neutral.” Mother Aline said that Jerusalem Arabs were now facing up to the possibility of a separate Palestinian state. “Whether that state will be friendly to Israel will depend on many questions, one of which is the degree of respect and friendship that can be engendered between Arabs and Jews,” she said. The French-born Roman Catholic nun has been making contributions in that direction since she first came to Jerusalem in 1952. Shortly after the Six-Day War she established an ulpian at her convent to teach Hebrew to Arabs, Arabic to Israelis and both languages to Christians.

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