NEW YORK (Sep. 30)
Israeli Foreign Minister Yigal Allon strongly defended Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger against charges that the Secretary had impeded aid for Israel during the Yom Kippur War. Speaking last night to an overflow audience of young American Jewish leaders at the Israel Consulate, Allon, who is also Israel’s Deputy Premier, said no one was “more instrumental than the American Secretary of State” in ensuring U.S. political and economic support for Israel.
Allon, who is here as the head of the Israeli delegation to the United Nations General Assembly and who is due to mount a vigorous campaign against the inclusion of the “Palestine Question” on the Assembly’s agenda as a separate item and the presence of the Palestine Liberation Organization at the session, is scheduled to meet tomorrow with Kissinger.
Responding to questions from the audience about published reports regarding Kissinger’s attitude toward Israel. Allon stressed that “there is no American diktat” and “no American pressure, at least for the time being.” He noted that “this does not mean we have to accept every view.” adding that differences between Israel and the U.S. are discussed as between friends. But he indicated that if major differences arose, Israel would take its case to the American people.
The Israeli official said he had no objection to Kissinger enjoying the confidence of the Arabs since this gives him leverage to act as a mediator between the two sides in the Middle East conflict.
WARM WORDS FOR JACKSON
Allon also labeled as a “lie” reports in the American and Israeli press that Kissinger had demanded that efforts to aid Soviet Jews to emigrate be dropped in order for Israel to get U.S. aid during the Yom Kippur War. He had warm words for Sen. Henry M. Jackson (D.Wash.) who. he said, was “loved” in Israel for his efforts to help Soviet Jews. Allon noted that the discussions now going on between the Administration and Congressmen led by Jackson on the issue of Soviet emigration would have beneficial results for Soviet Jews.
The Foreign Minister quipped that in the Knesset the opposition seems to include Jackson as one of its members and talks of Kissinger as if he was a member of Premier Yitzhak Rabin’s government. “We don’t want to lose either Henry.” Allon said. “We need both.”
With Israeli Ambassador Simcha Dinitz at his side. Allon praised him as a “very able emissary in Washington” who “is doing a very good job.” Noting that Dinitz has also been criticized for his part in the Yom Kippur War diplomacy. Allon said that “if to establish good relations in Washington” with the Administration and Congress is wrong, then Dinitz could be criticized.
NEED FOR JEWISH EDUCATION IN THE DIASPORA
Allon, who had requested the meeting with the young leaders in order to discuss Israel-diaspora relations, ranged over a wide gamut of issues, but stressed the need for Jewish education in the diaspora. He said this generation of Jews aged 18 to 50 has been “given the tremendous responsibility for the continuation and preservation of Judaism as an idea and the Jewish people as a nation.” He noted that in Israel “our first and foremost allegiance is to the Jewish people.”
Allon criticized American Jewry for not providing adequate Jewish education. “What disturbs me most is the lack almost of Jewish education for Jewish children.” he said. He noted that in countries with small Jewish communities such as Australia. South Africa and Venezuela, 90 percent of the Jewish children attend Jewish day schools. He said this was not true in the U.S. which has the largest Jewish population in the world. He said Jewish education was needed “for the preservation of the Jewish people.”
The Israeli leader said that in order to keep Israel strong world Jewry must provide Israel with political and economic support and encourage immigration to Israel. He said of the three, aliya is the most important. “We suffer many shortages,” he said. “The greatest shortage of all is of Jews.” Allon was introduced by David Rivlin, Israel’s Consul General in New York.