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Professors, Including Leading Doves Issue Statement Supporting Gov’t

A group of Hebrew University professors–including many leading “doves” who have often criticized the Israeli government for inflexibility, issued a statement today which accuses the Arabs of seeking to annihilate Israel and seems to support now, in the light of hindsight, the government’s policy of not budging until peace. The statement declared.

“The Arab doctrine of prior agreement by Israel to withdraw from territory is illogical and unacceptable. Everyone of us is wholly convinced that our very existence today…to with stand the Egyptian and Syrian assault and turn it back; is due to the fact that this doctrine was rejected by us (Israel). The way that the Egyptian and Syrian attack was prepared and launched must convince the world that this rejection was thoroughly justified.”

Continuing, the statement noted: “The Egyptian and Syrian attack on the Day of Atonement has led us to the painful conclusion that the policy of the present governments of the Arab-states is to go to any length in order to destroy the existence of Israel.” The statement concluded by calling on all free men “to insist on the overriding duty of the Arab states to recognize Israel’s right to exist in peace and to demonstrate that by agreeing immediately to meet the representatives of Israel for discussion and negotiations.”

Signatories included Shlomo Avineri, Gershon Sholem, Ernst David Bergmann, Samuel Eisenstadt, Saul Friedlander, Yehoshafat Harakabi, Yehishua Prawer, Michael Rabin, Nathan Rotenstreich, Jacob Talmon and Ephraim Urbach.

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