Menu JTA Search

Allon Ends Mexico Visit; Praises Jews for Devotion to Tradition

Israeli Foreign Minister Yigal Allon concluded his official visit to Mexico last week by meeting with young Jews, holding private talks with some 50 Jewish communal leaders and addressing a public meeting attended by about 2000 members of the Jewish community. In his address to the Jewish community Thursday night on the eve of his departure to Guatemala, Honduras and Costa Rica, Allon praised the Jewish community for its devotion to Jewish tradition.

He said he found adherence to tradition stronger here than in other communities where assimilation is increasing. Allon stated that the strong tradition of Mexican Jewry was a source of strength to Israel. The Israeli leader said that the Arabs had launched a drive against Zionism because a movement for anti-Semitism would be difficult to mount. He said the fight against this drive must continue. He also stated that most of the problems between Mexico and Israel had been resolved during his visit here.

On Wednesday, Allon, his wife, Israeli Ambassador and Mrs. Hanan Aynor, the Minister’s advisors and some members of the press were flown by Presidential plane to Yucatan where they toured the ancient site of Mayan culture and were shown a documentary film dealing with Mayan culture and history. Allon commented that it is necessary to know the history and culture of a people in order to understand them.

ISRAEL’S VIEWS NOW UNDERSTOOD

Later, speaking informally to reporters, Allon commented:”Since my hosts were kind to me and gave me the full opportunity to exchange views in a relaxed and friendly way, the trip helped bring to the Mexican authorities Israel’s point of view.” He said the Israeli Cabinet was now trying to see if the Arabs will agree to negotiate an agreement on “the termination of war.” He said one issue that has to be resolved is the “definition of Palestinians.”

Allon said his Mexican hosts were “trying to convince us” to give the Palestine Liberation Organization a chance to change its policy away from terrorism. He said he believed there was now an understanding on the part of the Mexican officials on the question of Zionism. He emphasized the potential for economic, scientific, cultural and agricultural exchanges between Mexico and Israel and said discussion would continue on all these matters.

The Israeli Foreign Minister is scheduled to go to Washington March 12 for a meeting with Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger before returning to Israel.

NEXT STORY