Menu JTA Search

Dinitz Urges Jewish Unity

Simcha Dinitz, Israel’s Ambassador to the United States, last night called on Jews everywhere to “use the time” gained by the Israeli-Egyptian agreement on the Sinai “to bring the strong unity of the Jewish people into reality.” He said “Jews have to learn to live Jewishly not only in an emergency” but all the time.

Speaking at a dinner of the American Friends of Haifa University attended by some 300 persons at the Plaza Hotel, Dinitz urged strengthening Jewish identification, especially in the United States “the greatest Jewish community in the world” through education, visits to Israel and aliya.

Charles J. Bensley, president of the American Friends, presented Dinitz with the group’s first Carmel Laureate Award, Elie Wiesel, the author and a professor at City College of New York, received the University of Haifa’s Jewish Heritage Award which was presented him by Nathan S. Ancell, chairman of the Haifa University’s Board of Governors.

Dinitz said the Egyptian-Israeli accord was a risk but stressed that Israel has to take risks for peace because it has to be able to tell the next generation who may have to fight wars to defend Israel that “your government has done everything possible to prevent war.”

CAN’T KEEP SAYING NO

The Israeli envoy again repeated his often expressed assertion that Israel was not pressured into signing the new accord with Egypt. He noted that Israel said “no” to the U.S. in March when it fell its security would be threatened by the proposed agreement. “But one does not make an ideology out of saying no,” he said. Dinitz said that the United States is Israel’s one friend, and since Israel has asked the U.S., to consider Israeli interests it is legitimate for the U.S., to ask Israel to take into account American interests.

Eliezer Rafaeli, president of Haifa University, said his university which was becoming the cultural center for northern Israel, was striving to “bridge the gap” through its various programs between Sephardic and Ashkenazic Jews and between Jews and Arabs in Israel. He said in order to solve Israel’s domestic problems, Israelis who are willing to sacrifice their lives for their country must be “ready to sacrifice less than life.”

NEXT STORY