Eban Proposes Worldwide ‘congress of Solidarity with Israel’

Israel’s former Foreign Minister Abba Eban proposed today that the Israeli government and major Jewish organizations around the world organize a “Congress of Solidarity With Israel” during the early part of 1975 which, among other things, “could also develop ideas and projects for strengthening Israel in face of the forces which threaten its security and honor.”

The Israeli statesman and member of the Knesset who is completing a term as professor of international affairs at Columbia University, made his proposals at a meeting of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. He observed that “since the signing of the Syrian-Israeli disengagement agreement in June, 1974, the peace effort has lost momentum and no new progress has been recorded.”

Eban said that Israel should “not hesitate to return to the Geneva conference” which held its brief opening session one year ago. Comparing the Geneva format to the United Nations, Eban said. “This is a more favorable arena for Israeli diplomacy than the wider parliamentary framework in which we are hopelessly outnumbered and in which decisions can be taken without our consent.”

Eban also suggested that “Israel should Inaugurate a discussion on the principles and conditions of a peace agreement with her neighbors.” The major issue, he said, “is not what Israel is going to do about withdrawal but what we are going to do about peace.” He said that “despite the tumult and vulgarity of Arafat’s appearance (before the UN General Assembly) it is still possible that the Palestinian Arabs will find a more rational and realistic way of expressing them-serves. To insure this should be a primary aim of Israel’s national policy.” Eban declared.

CONGRESS SHOULD INCLUDE DIVERSE INDIVIDUALS

The former Foreign Minister elaborated on his proposal for a Congress of Solidarity With Israel and spoke at length of what he described as the “somber sense of solitude and insecurity” that grips the Israeli nation and the entire Jewish community. Eban said that the Solidarity Congress should be comprised not only of Jewish representatives and personalities but also of parliamentary committees, friendship societies, intellectuals, scientists, trade unions and labor leaders, industrialists, religious groups of all denominations and friends of Israel connected with the information media.

“An inaccurate view of Israel’s condition.” he warned, “has a negative effect on prospects for peace in the Middle East. It is therefore important to bring Israel’s place in world opinion to objective illustration. I do not believe in demonstrative occasions as a way of life, but in the deep psychological crisis which has now come upon us. there is a need of a new and dramatic assertion of Israel’s resilience, of her national destiny and her universal vocation.” Eban concluded: “Our task as leaders is not to speculate fatalistically on the date of the next war, but to recapture the lost momentum toward dialogue and peace.”

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