Miller Calls for Counterattack to Combat Arab Propaganda; Tekoah Warns Israel Faces Public Relations

Rabbi Israel Miller, president of the American Zionist Federation, called yesterday for “a single, well planned and amply financed counterattack to combat the lies that are being accepted by the American public as a result of the propaganda emerging from the Arab capitals, from their diplomats at the United Nations and from their Embassies and Consulates throughout the country.” Rabbi Miller, addressing more than 200 Zionist and non-Zionist organizational and communal leaders at an AZF-sponsored Leadership Seminar, said the campaign should be mounted by “all American Jewish organizations.”

It is essential, he said, because Israel is “seriously in danger of losing the battle of propaganda in the United States now being waged by the Arab states on the question of Middle East peace.” Rabbi Miller also noted that “the thousands of Arab students on campuses throughout the country are being successful in their efforts to portray Israel as an imperialist aggressor that is stifling the liberationist forces among the Palestinians.” The AZF leader also urged a full-fledged educational program to tell the true story of Israel’s fairness in dealing with Arabs in Israel as well as in the administered territories.

Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Yosef Tekoah, told the Leadership Seminar that Israel faces serious public relations problems in the United Nations and before world opinion concerning the status of Jerusalem, the Arab refugees and the general problem of Middle East peace including the reopening of the Suez Canal. He said Arab propaganda attempts to depict Israel as the aggressor when actually it was attacked and has suffered from aggression.

Tekoah said Israel is being asked not to do anything to change the status of Jerusalem when in fact it was Jordan which changed the status of Israel when it refused to accept the United Nations partition plan and joined in the war against Israel in 1948. “The UN is asking us not to change what was basically an illegitimate status” In Jerusalem, Tekoah said, He observed that one of the most serious public relations problems Israel faces is to convince the world that Zionism, which gave birth to the Jewish State, is a national liberation movement and one of the oldest.

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