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Toon Warns Israel to Be Flexible on Security Needs; Says Anti-israeli Backlash Possible in U.S.

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Ambassador Malcolm Toon has warned Israel that it must be as flexible as its security needs permit lest Americans come to feel–rightly or wrongly–that the Israeli government is stubborn in its response to American interests in the Middle East. Toon expressed his views in an interview in “Migvan,” a periodical published by Belt Berl, the ideological institute of the Labor Party headed by former Foreign Minister Abba Eban.

The U.S. envoy was responding to a question as to whether there was danger of anti-Semitism in the U.S. in reaction to Israeli policies. He said that anti-Israel feelings could develop and that some elements in the U.S. may hold Jewry responsible for Israeli policies they believed ran counter to U.S. interests in the region.

He stressed, however, that U.S.-Israel relations were based on mutual principles. ideals and interests but he would not specify exactly what those interests are. Ambassador Toon said, In reply to that question that he believed it was in America’s interest for Israel to be a free, independent state and since that was also Israel’s national interest, it covers everything.

Toon warned, as reported by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency yesterday and by Israeli news media today, that Israel should not expect as much economic aid from the U.S. in the future as it presently receives.

He explained that the aftermath of the Vietnam war and the internal problems that have developed in the U.S. have brought about changes in American thinking on foreign aid. Americans are more concerned now with domestic issues. he said. However. Toon stressed that the U.S. did not expect Israel to pay for the modern armaments it needs and that it could continue to rely on the U.S. for military support.

Toon said he believed that Israel was capable of attaining economic independence, though it was not an easy task. He said some of the economic measures taken here in the last few years were leading Israel in that direction.

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