Dinitz Urges Patience with Slow Progress Toward Mideast Peace

Simcha Dinitz, Israel’s Ambassador to the United States, has urged the world not to grow impatient with the slow progress toward peace in the Middle East. “Shortcuts are dangerous in politics, just as in traffic,” he told the delegates to the 78th annual meeting of the National Conference of Jewish Communal Service here yesterday. “Israel must build a nation while protecting a State.” Dinitz stressed, “and if we grow impatient, peace and security are endangered.”

The Israeli envoy declared that the main obstacle to peace is the refusal of the Islamic world to recognize the independent Jewish State of Israel. This is in keeping with the Islamic world’s historic rejection of a non-Islamic community in its midst, Dinitz said. He pointed to the current situation in Lebanon as the inevitable outcome of this attitude. He said that because the Arabs are not prepared for peace “the Arab-Israel dispute cannot be settled by instant solution, and wishing it does not create a new reality.”

Addressing an earlier session of the meeting, Rabbi Joseph B. Soleveitchik of Boston, a leading Orthodox scholar and professor of Talmud and Jewish philosophy at Yeshiva University, stressed that Jewish law emphasizes and harmonizes the dual nature of man “as an individual and part of a collective.” Forming a community is not enough. “To be a member of the community is to assume responsibility for others,” Rabbi Soleveitchik said. He also observed that “prayer must find its full realization in action. A prayerful community rises to a charitable community where prayer is translated into action.”

William Kahn, executive vice-president of the Jewish Community Centers Association of St. Louis, was elected president of the NCJCS.

NEXT STORY