Eban Says World Jewry Remiss in Helping Israel Bear Its Burdens

Former Foreign Minister Abba Eban said this week that world Jewry has become remiss in helping Israel bear its many burdens. For the first time in the history of Israel, diaspora Jewry has not done enough for Israel, the former diplomat, now a Labor member of the Knesset, told the closing session of a 10-day United Jewish Appeal study mission here. The mission, representing the top leadership of the Rochester, N.Y. Jewish Federation, was headed by Dr. Morris Shapiro and Bert Rapowitz.

“Israel is not going to disappear or die,” Eban said, but, he cautioned. “Our greatest danger is that the Jewish people should lose the conviction of our eternity.” He said Israel’s continued survival “lies in the nature and depth of Jewish solidarity” because “Israel, alone in the Middle East, does not possess the rationale for stability. We are an island in an ocean of hate.” Israel’s “demographic drought” is “the single source of our vulnerability. Three million pairs of shoulders are not enough to sustain the burden of Jewish destiny,” he said.

QUESTIONS ROLE OF SOLIDARITY RALLIES

Eban questioned whether solidarity demonstrations for Israel in various parts of the world were a prelude to concrete action or a substitute for it. “Is this not the easy way to express solidarity with Israel?” he asked. He charged that there is no involvement on the part of world Jewry with Israel’s demographic predicament, and even in the economic arena, money raised for Israel does not amount to even 10 percent of Israel’s annual requirements.

“The economic arena is one way in which more concrete involvement can come to expression. What is lacking is a commensurate pace of effort and sacrifice between the two sides of the Jewish people,” Eban said.

He suggested that every increase in taxes in Israel should be met by additional efforts by Jews overseas. “U.S. Jewry should keep pace with Israel in the rate of extended burdens.” Eban said.

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