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Rivlin; Arabs Using Energy Crisis As a Weapon of Extortion

Ambassador David Rivlin, Israel Consul General in New York, charged that the Arabs were using the energy crisis as a form of extortion against the United States, Western Europe and Japan; Speaking last night on the nationally syndicated WEVD-Radio program hosted by columnist Victor Riesel, Rivlin said, “It is in the minds of the Arabs to use the energy crisis as a weapon. How far this can go, and how far the Arabs use of extortion will be tolerated by the super-powers, or whether they will yield to-four or five Arab countries, we will have to see.” He noted that the-governments of the affected areas were carefully watching the actions of the Arab governments.

Responding to a question from Riesel about the assassination of Israeli Military Attache Yosef Alon, Rivlin said that while the FBI and other agencies have not as yet come in with legal proof, “I speak for myself, and there is no doubt in my mind, that this was the work of Arab terrorists.” He recited statistics of some 84 attacks against Israelis or Israeli-property carried out by terrorists abroad and said: “We Israelis are bitterly disappointed at the way terrorists who are caught are released. These terrorists know that sooner or later they will be released by their captors and this gives them the greatest encouragement to carry out their vile and criminal acts.”

On the question of Soviet Jewry, Rivlin told Riesel that “there is no marked improvement” and rebutted Soviet propaganda claims of “mass discontent” of recent Soviet Jewish immigrants to Israel. Rivlin said, “We have absorbed some 55,000 Soviet Jews in the past 5 years. Of that number 100 to 120 have returned. But when 60-70 Jews returned to Vienna, the Soviets made big propaganda about this. We are disappointed when any Jews return from Israel be they Soviet, Americans or Canadians.”

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