Meshel Urges Israel-arab ‘bridge’

Yeruham Meshel, secretary-general of Histadrut, called on the two world superpowers to allow Israel and her Arab neighbors to build a “bridge of unity” in the Middle East. “Then you will see,” Meshel said, “Israel and her neighbors will create a strong and united front through the creation of a Middle East Common Market.” Meshel spoke this weekend at a luncheon meeting of the board of directors of the National Committee for Labor Israel. Dr. Judah J. Shapiro, president of the Committee, introduced the newly elected head of Histadrut.

Meshel told the organization leaders representing Labor Zionist, trade union and other supporters of Histadrut, that “Israel will never accept an artificial peace. It is therefore unfortunate that we have not been able to speak directly to the Arab states. After (U.S. Secretary of State Henry A.) Kissinger’s visit to Damascus, (Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei) Gromyko came to Syria and Israel felt an immediate change in the climate of relations.” He said that his message to American labor leaders and the U.S. Senators whom he is scheduled to meet this week will be “to use their influence to see that the superpowers do not interfere in peace negotiations.”

Meshel told the meeting that Israel relies “on the freedom loving people of the world to understand our problems and stand by us.” in particular, he added, Israel greatly appreciates the help of the American labor movement under AFL-CIO president George Meany “who again proved their friendship with expressions of aid during and after the Yom Kippur War. The beautiful blue skies over Israel are again clouded by war as the Soviet Union is pouring vast military supplies into Syria. Yet, it is possible to avoid another war, and if a lasting peace does come, Israel and her neighbors can enjoy tremendous progress by creating a strong united front in the form of a Middle East Common Market.”

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