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Rabin; Cease-fire Line Best Defense Line Israel Has Ever Had; Arab Military Capability at Lowest Poi

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Yitzhak Rabin, Israel’s Ambassador to the United States, said here that “Israel has never had it so good” in terms of its military position and in international relations. In an assessment of Israel’s current military situation and the future of the Middle East, Rabin told 1800 delegates attending the 41st General Assembly of the Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds that the present ceasefire line is “the best defense line Israel has ever had.”

Rabin noted that the Arab countries, disunited and internally split, had reached their “lowest point of military capabilities to operate effectively against Israel.” He added that “incidents” on the Golan Heights and along the Syrian and Jordanian borders continue, but these are “incidents,” not full-scale war.

“We believe,” Rabin said, “that because of the present strength of Israel, the strong support Israel is receiving from the United States and the Soviet withdrawal from Egypt, that the military threat has been reduced, although not eliminated.” Total peace, he declared, “will come when our Arab neighbors become reconciled to Israel as a free and independent State with defensible borders.”

U.S. – ISRAEL RELATIONS ‘IN GOOD SHAPE’

Rabin said that the terrorist acts menacing Israeli and Jewish officials and institutions throughout the world are signs of desperation and an indication that the Arab governments are incapable of waging an effective military struggle against Israel. Noting that the terrorists were forces to conduct a campaign far from the area of actual conflict, Rabin declared, “We will have to cope with these insane atrocities.”

The Ambassador said that relations between Israel and the U.S. were in “good shape,” adding, “I do not believe we have many disagreements with the United States, some, but not many.” He refrained from discussing the U.S. Presidential election campaign.

Turning to the question of Soviet Jewry, Rabin noted, “In the past two years more Jews from Russia have come to Israel than in the previous 22 years. The door of the Soviet Union has been opened slightly. But the courage and determination of the Soviet Jews themselves made their release in the present numbers possible.” Concluding, he declared: “To be sure, there are the present ransom policies and other limitations, but the present trend cannot be turned back. We must help them because they deserve it.”

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