Diaspora Jews Told Not to Worry About Diverse Statements on Mideast by Israelis

Yakov Aviad, Israeli Deputy Consul for Political Affairs, said today that diaspora Jews should not worry about the diversity of Israeli leaders’ statements on the Middle East because “these voices are all very clearly talking about peace.” Mr. Aviad, who addressed the National Council of Jewish Women, did not refer specifically to any particular Israeli leaders, although later, in agreeing with Defense Minister Moshe Dayan that the Soviets were a greater threat to Israel than the Arabs, he called the General “the great military expert.” The Arabs, he added, should only have such public “discussion” of these vital issues. The Deputy Consul, who once served as secretary to Israel’s first president, Dr. Chaim Weizmann, and whose father was Dr. Yeshayahu Aviad (Oskar Wolfsberg), Zionist leader and Israeli diplomat, told the Council that the Palestinian refugees were being “treated as a pawn” by the Arab governments, which are “not ready to accept Israel on the map.” The tragedy of the refugees, he said, is that although “much more has been done for them than for any other refugees in the world…, a billion dollars has been spent without solving the problem.”

The reasons, he explained, are that the $1 billion has not been concentrated on resettlement and that in the same period $20 billion has been spent on arms by all parties. Mr. Aviad noted that the Arabs in the Israeli-administered West Bank have doubled their income and increased their gross national product by 20 percent in three years. He added that they were actually receiving more free education than those in Israel proper, and emphasized that the West Bank-Israel border was an open one and that Jordanian laws and officials in the West Bank have been retained. The Deputy Consul took a middle-road view toward young anti-Israel Jews, saying: “We don’t like the attitude of the New Left, (but) we have to know the language these kids speak. The most important part of the task is to know our part of the story…Let’s make it our business to know…On the whole these youth are not a sick youth. I think we have to go at them and tell them ‘These are the facts.’” Mr. Aviad predicted that there would be “a couple or three generations before real peace,” but added: “That’s one of the realities of our life. We know that…Every step has been a step closer to it.” Arab hatred of Israel runs “very deep,” he conceded, but it was not “unsurmountable.”

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