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Peres Says Solidarity of Jewish People Important for Israel

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Shimon Peres, the leader of Israel’s opposition Labor Alignment, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency here today “the government of Israel and the American Administration are watching very carefully the reaction of American Jewry towards the policies of the Administration in the Middle East.

Peres, who is in Montreal for the launching of the United Jewish Appeal campaign, said: “I do believe that the solidarity of the Jewish people is extremely important for the State of Israel.”

Peres, said he thinks the government of Premier Menachem Begin “should be given a chance to negotiate its own way. I would not jump to conclusions. By and large, it is a negotiation between responsible countries which are deeply convinced of the necessity of peace. Deep in my heart I’m convinced that Jewish feelings and commitments won’t be influenced by the ups and downs of political negotiations.”

On the question of President Carter’s call for a Palestinian homeland, Peres said “I am encouraged by his decisiveness in favor of peace but I am puzzled and opposed to his position on a Palestinian homeland.” But Peres said he remains optimistic that peace can be achieved.

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