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Katzir Tells Jewish Agency Delegates He is Encouraged by Reports from Washington

President Ephraim Katzir said tonight that he was hopeful and encouraged by reports from Washington of the strengthened American-Israeli understanding. It was Katzir’s only reference to current political affairs, in his speech at the opening session of the Jewish Agency’s fourth annual Assembly. He promised the 300 delegates they would hear “more of this” from Premier Yitzhak Rabin. He praised Rabin “for his efforts and his dedication.”

Katzir said that Jews have survived by living in the long terms of history, despite the sorrows and troubles of so many periods. “The faith and moral strength of Jews throughout the ages will not, and cannot, be allowed to desert us who are the generation that has seen the greatest collective tragedy and the greatest collective redemption,” he declared. He quoted the late Premier Moshe Sharett who once observed that Israel’s “capacity for action” was one of the products of Jewish history. It was this capacity for action, Katzir said, that was precisely what the Jewish Agency has demonstrated during the 27 years of Israel’s existence. He said that “In these days when so great a part of Israel’s resources must go to security, it is unbelievably fortunate that you have accepted a major responsibility in the fields of education and community development.”

The President concluded his remarks by quoting another former Premier, Golda Meir, who said to Jewish leaders in 1948, “We will do the fighting by ourselves. The measure of your help will decide whether we win or lose.” Referring to the present, Katzir said “What this fourth Assembly of the Jewish Agency decides this week will determine to a large extent whether we, the entire Jewish people, will win or lose our battle for a just peace and a noble future.”

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