Zionist Leaders Assail Arab Summit
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Zionist Leaders Assail Arab Summit

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Two Zionist leaders expressed grave misgivings today over the implications of the Rabat decision for peace efforts in the Middle East. Commenting on the recognition by the Arab summit conference in Rabat yesterday of the Palestine Liberation Organization as the sole representative of the Palestinian people, Mrs.Faye Schenk, newly elected chairman of the American Zionist Federation, said it “constitutes a setback for Secretary Kissinger’s efforts, a setback for those moderate Arab forces who are not bent on Israel’s destruction, and most ominously a major setback for peace in the Middle East.”

Dr. Joseph P. Sternstein. president of the Zionist Organization of America, said the development in Rabat “unmistakably signals a rejection by the Arabs of any intention of working seriously toward a negotiated settlement.”

Mrs. Schenk called on “American Zionists, and indeed upon all friends of Israel in this country, to be vigilant and alert to the implications of this development and to inform the American people of the true nature and intent of the PLO as it itself has frequently stated: The establishment of a PLO-dominated state between Jordan and Israel is but a first step in a master plan calling for the destruction of the State of Israel.”

Sternstein observed that “The Arabs know beyond doubt that Israel cannot possibly accept the establishment of PLO dominion over any area of the West Bank. This decision has done a grave disservice to the Palestinian people and has erected further barriers to the possibility of any just and lasting peace in the Middle East,” he said. He added that under the circumstances, “Israel has no choice but to stand firm and proceed to take the steps necessary to provide for her security.” He also suggested that Israel “must now intensify her efforts to engage the Arab population indigenous to the West Bank in dialogue” for an understanding that provides for expression of their Arab national identity and “for the realization of Jewish historic rights to settlement in the area.”

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