Dultzin Claims Debate on Territories in Israel Gives Comfort to Arabs

Arye Dultzin, Treasurer of the Jewish Agency in Jerusalem, said here last night that the current discussion in Israel regarding the future of the administered territories is giving aid and comfort to the Arabs He characterized the discussion as an exercise in futility and a form of national masochism.

Dultzin, who heads the Liberal Party in Israel and is the president of the World Union of General Zionists, was in Montevideo to address a meeting of the General Zionists and a separate meeting of Keren Hayesod.

Addressing some 150 people at the Zionist meeting, Dultzin observed that the discussion about the territories is taking place in a vacuum. “No one of our neighbors is asking us what we want to return or what we want to retain,” he said. “The discussion is purely an internal one and has not enticed a single Arab leader to react to the various views. Even the position of Mapam and Yitzhak Ben Aharon has not evoked any favorable response among our neighbors.” Ben Aharon, a leading Israel “dove,” suggested recently that Israel should consider withdrawing from part of the administered territories even without a general peace settlement.

Dultzin noted that while the discussion until now has been a theoretical one, it has, nevertheless, given the Arabs aid and comfort because it presents Israel as a divided nation. He contended that the real driving force of those who favor a return of the territories is not that of borders but the fear that Israel may lose its Jewish character with the presence of so many Arabs within its present borders. But, he said, this fear is groundless because the historic character of Israel and the continuing immigration assures Israel its Jewish character.

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