Dayan Calls for Aliya; Says Vietnam Disaster Means U.S. Foreign Policy Will Change Significantly
Menu JTA Search

Dayan Calls for Aliya; Says Vietnam Disaster Means U.S. Foreign Policy Will Change Significantly

Download PDF for this date

Former Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Dayan last night urged “young Jews come to Israel and live with us.” He said if they went to Israel they could write their “page of Jewish history.” Dayan spoke to an overflow crowd of some 4000 people at the New York Hilton Hotel in a program sponsored by the American Zionist Federation highlighting an intensive nationwide campaign by the AZF to promote Jewish immigration to Israel.

Dayan said that those who complain about conditions in Israel should come there and change them. When asked by a member of the audience, which included people of all ages, whether he wanted only young people as immigrants, Dayan replied, to a round of applause and laughter, “I have studied this audience carefully and I see that you are all young.” But in his remarks he stressed that Israel needs people of high intelligence, good education and technological skills.

At the outset of his talk, Dayan took note that yesterday marked the end of the American pres- ence in Vietnam. He said this means a significant change in American foreign policy because “I think the American Administration and people will think twice before they commit themselves to other countries. They will commit themselves only to those countries who help themselves first. Dayan noted that Israel was in this category but declared Israel has to do more for itself not only militarily but also economically, financially and technologically.


On the breakdown of Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger’s talks between Israel and Egypt, Dayan said he was more optimistic than most that there would be no war. He said experience in four wars and the negotiations after them have taught him to put his faith into what was actually happening rather than in written treaties.

He said because of this he was pleased by Egypt’s plane to reopen the Suez Canal and the return of the civilian population of one million persons to the canal area and the willingness of Egypt and Syria to renew the mandate for the United Nations forces. He said he does not believes a peace treaty can be signed but that the Arabs are ready for “a no-war treaty.”


But Dayan said Israel must also create “facts” by Jews settling in Yamit, Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria. A questioner noted that he was a member of a garim (group) sponsored by the Association of Americans and Canadians for Aliya which plans to settle in Yamit, a Jewish city proposed by Dayan for the Gaza Strip, and wanted to know whether this area would ever be given to Egypt. “If you do not come and people will not live in Yamit” then it might be lost to Israel, Dayan noted. But “If you come it will be a city in Israel.”

Asked about the possibility of a Palestinian state on the West Bank, Dayan said it was his personal opinion that it would never materialize because the Palestinians don’t want it. He said they are and want to be citizens of Jordan. Dayan stressed that he believes Jews can live on the West Bank and not push Arabs out, and the Arabs can remain Jordanian citizens if that is their wish.

When several young men shouted from the audience, “Not one inch.” the slogan of those against the return of any territory to the Arabs. Dayan replied: “In order to say this thing you have to live in Israel. If you want Israel to fight ware come over and do it.”

Mrs. Faye Schenk, AZF president, noted that several hundred members of the audience had made the commitment to move to Israel this year and told them “by your very act you occupy a preeminence” in the American Jewish community.


Dr. Yacob Tabac, a professor of chemistry at Baruch College, who will emigrate to Israel this summer, said Americans go on aliya for many reasons but perhaps most significantly because “they cannot any longer bear the thrill in the joys of Israel vicariously, to suffer its sorrow at a distance, to criticize helplessly, to share its struggles on every front in their minds and with their pocketbooks alone.”

Noting the difficulties in settling in Israel, he advised potential olim: “You must decide that one of the most important elements in your life is living in Israel. Once this decision has been made, all the problems fall into proper perspective and their solutions are suddenly in reach,” Rabbi Herschel Schacker, chairman of the AZF’s Aliya Committee, said Israel needs more than money, concern, support and solidarity, “Israel needs us,” he declared.

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund