Eban: Israel Needs Jewish Unity for Israel to Maintain Mideast Balance

Former Israeli Foreign Minister Abba Eban, citing the “partnership role” of B’nai B’rith in the birth and infancy of Israel, last night made an impassioned appeal for “the union and solidarity of the Jewish people in the preservation” of his country.

Speaking to some 800 persons at a public session of the B’nai B’rith International Board of Governors meeting at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel, Eban declared that “Israel, alone, cannot maintain a balance in the Middle East; Israel, with the support of all the Jewish people, can.”

Eban called on the United States to help maintain stability in the Mideast by continuing its special relationship with the Jewish State. This relationship, he said, has served to counterbalance the tremendous resources of the Arabs, and “while it has not secured peace, it has helped to avoid war.” But, he cautioned, peace will not come by “documentary dictation.” It can “only evolve” step by step.

Eban, who is touring the United States as a special emissary of Premier Menachem Begin, warned against returning to the pre-1967 boundaries. “You do not achieve peace by reconstructing the very same conditions that produced a war,” he stated. He charged that the media, especially the New York Times, with inaccurately reporting a divisiveness between Jerusalem and Washington–”There is no divisiveness”–and urged Israel’s friends to “maintain reticence” so as to permit “true negotiations” to take place.

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