Carey Says Obstacle to Mideast Peace is Threat to Israel’s Existence

Gov. Hugh Carey of New York declared yesterday that the most serious obstacle to peace in the Middle East today “is the threat to the existence of Israel posed by the rhetoric and terrorism” of the Palestine Liberation Organization.

Speaking at the opening session of the 63rd annual convention of Hadassah, Carey denied that the Jewish settlements on the West Bank are an obstacle to peace. “The people of Israel have demonstrated time and time again their willingness to live in peace with their Arab brethren,” he said.

The Governor told the 3000 convention delegates that it was wrong to put the onus of accepting the PLO on Israel. “The governments of the Middle East have cynically supported the PLO as an instrument of terror, while failing to adequately feed, house, clothe, educate and employ the Palestinian people,” he said. “They have in fact incarcerated them in camps as a kind of captive terrorist army–and the bitter consequences of this policy are plain to see in Lebanon.” He said the burden for finding a solution to the needs of the Palestinians should “be laid on the doorsteps of the Arab lands surrounding Israel.”

Carey declared that the U.S. must support Israel as a democracy and “a model of peaceful development” and praised Israeli Premier Menachem Begin. Earlier in the day, Mayor Abraham Beame proclaimed Aug. 21-28 Hadassah Week in New York City.

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