JERUSALEM (May. 4)
President Ephraim Katzir, in an Independence Day message addressed to Jewish communities abroad, declared that while “the agenda of Israel’s unresolved problems is long…we are heartened and reassured by the recollection of those that have been solved” and “we dare to believe that even the problem of our relationship with our Arab neighbors will respond to good will and to the overriding need for cooperation and its human benefits.”
Katzir said that Israel believed this even “in a time marked by incitement within Israel and by tragic chaos and internecine hate in Lebanon, once the Middle East’s model of tolerance.”
Reviewing developments during the past year. Katzir noted that the “virulent attempts to disenfranchise Israel in the United Nations” culminating in representation for the PLO and the equation of Zionism with racism, engendered an “enraged reaction on the part of large circles in the intellectual elite of the free world and of Jewish communities, organizations and individuals throughout the world, transmuting rage into vigorous and fruitful cooperation with Israel.”
ZIONISM IS THE WILL TO LIVE
He observed in that connection that “the Jerusalem conference of Jewish solidarity was convened and was followed by numerous Jewish conferences and pilgrimage groups. These, on Israel’s streets and roads and in its assembly halls, have been the visible evidence of deeply moving, world-wide Jewish identification with the State and with the renaissance of our ancient people and culture, embodied in the State. Zionism has become the synonym for the modern Jews’ will to live,” Katzir stated.
He added that “the challenge of Jewish need in the Soviet Union and Arab countries continues to bind Israel and the Jewry of the free world in an alliance of effort and commitment. To meet this challenge, as also to strengthen and aid Israel, we rely increasingly on our own efforts. Let us, Israel and Jews everywhere, undaunted by difficulty, obstacles, ambiguity, assure the Jewish future and at the heart of it, Zion, ‘the house of our life,’” the President declared.
SOCIAL PROBLEMS MUST HE SOLVED
Continuing, Katzir said that it is the responsibility of the government and the public institutions to see to the just distribution of the economic burden and to solutions to the social problems of the State. The President called on the nation to deepen the sense of mutual involvement among all the citizens of the State and to act as one large family.
Referring to Israeli Arabs, Katzir noted that throughout the years, of existence of the State, great endeavors have been made to integrate the Arab citizens in the life of the country, despite the difficult circumstances forced upon us. In concluding his message Katzir called upon the neighboring Arab states to agree to a peace based upon mutual respect and relations of creative cooperation for the welfare and happiness of all the inhabitants of the region.