JERUSALEM (Jan. 31)
Justice Minister Haim Zadok expressed the belief today that the French release of Palestinian terrorist Abu Daoud will result in the “tightening of the struggle” against terrorism in many countries.
Speaking to the 300 Jewish leaders from the United States and Canada participating in the 1977 Prime Minister’s Israel Bonds Conference. Zadok said Israel is pleased with the vigorous reaction of the United States and other countries, many of them close friends of France, to the release of Daoud.
“We cannot reverse the process and bring Abu Daoud back to France.” Zadok asserted. “But we have no reason to be dissatisfied with the reaction of the world public opinion and public opinion in France to France’s action in letting Daoud get away.”
The Justice Minister warned Arab countries not to mistake the current internal disputes in Israel as a sign of weakness. He said Israel is going through a period of national reappraisal and soul-searching intensified by its economic and social problems. But, Zadok stressed, Israel is a democracy where “internal differences, rivalries, squabbles and recriminations are there for all to see.” He added that in an election year this becomes particularly acute.
Referring to the recent cases here of corruption and embezzlement, Zadok stressed that no country is immune from such developments and Israel “is no exception and not all of us are paragons of virtue.” But he said the true test of a democratic society is not “whether cases of corruption and embezzlement occur, but how the authorities react and what they do to investigate every suspicion, to bring the accused to trial and to punish him if he is found guilty.” The Prime Minister’s mission ends tonight with a dinner hosted by Premier Yitzhak Rabin.