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Rabin Says Present State of Affairs is Not Encouraging by Gil Sedan

Premier Yitzhak Rabin defined the conditions of a genuine peace within the Arabs last night but said the present state of affairs was not encouraging. Agreements with Israel’s neighboring states must include all controversial issues including the Palestinians and must include Arab acceptance of Israel as an independent, sovereign state capable of defending itself, Rabin told 500 delegates to the 10th biennial convention of the World Council of Synagogues representing Conservative Judaism

The convention, which opened officially today, will continue for three days of discussions and symposia. Participants include Conservative leaders from Israel, the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Denmark, Sweden, Greece, Argentina, Brazil, Iran and India.

Rabin said the Arab states would have to sign peace agreements with Israel that provide for open frontiers for commerce, culture and tourism. Peace without secure borders cannot be genuine, he said.

Justice Minister Haim Zadok, who is also Minister for Religious Affairs in the Rabin Cabinet, told the delegates that the Conservative movement must take a central role in bridging the deep differences in Judaism He said Israel needed the help of Conservative Jewry in solving the conversion controversy. “Actually, the conversion dispute is a marginal one,” Zadok said. “But typically of Jews, the question was blown up to the dimensions of a political problem which involves the ups and downs of coalitions. There is no doubt.” he said, “that conversion is a halachic term, but in the secular legislation of Israel one cannot grant one trend in Judaism privileges which another trend does not have.”

The Who is a Jew controversy, the quality of Jewish life in Israel and the diaspora and the religious and educational implications of the Yom Kippur War are among the subjects to-be discussed during the three-day convention.

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