Menu JTA Search

Eban Condemns Demonstration Against Award Given to Reagan for Israel Aid

Israeli Foreign Minister Abba Eban sharply condemned yesterday a demonstration Saturday night by radical Jewish students who protested the presentation of Israel’s Medal of Valor to California Governor Ronald Reagan. Addressing a meeting of more than 1,000 young Jews who had visited Israel this summer, Eban said the demonstration “was a discourtesy to the State of Israel.” Eban told the young people, which included several of the protesters, that Reagan had been honored for his contribution to Israel, not for his political views. The two, Eban said, should be divorced from one another. He said there were ways in a democracy to voice protest over an elected official and that is in the voting booth.

In his address to the young people, Eban expressed confidence that the cease-fire along the Suez Canal would be maintained. “Neither we nor the Egyptians have any interest in the resumption of hostilities,” he said. Commenting on the resolution by the United Nations Security Council declaring invalid any changes by Israel in the status of East Jerusalem, Eban declared that Jerusalem has been in better hands under the Israelis than under anyone else. “Jerusalem is one of the more peaceful cities in the world,” he said. Focusing again on the Security Council, Eban stated: “For the Arab states it is like a trial jury stacked with uncles, brothers and sisters. No one can take it seriously.”

During his address Saturday night at the Israel Bonds Organization dinner at the Century Plaza Hotel, Eban said he would go before the UN General Assembly on Thursday to “offer many alternatives to the Arab governments and particularly the chief Arab government, the Arab Republic of Egypt.” Asked by one of the young people at yesterday’s meeting to comment on Israel’s internal problems, Eban focused on the religious question. “The Orthodox community needs a more humanistic outlook on halacha,” he said. Eban noted that this was necessary in order that the problems of the Israeli people might be solved on a more individualistic basis.

NEXT STORY