Jlc Urges Israeli Govt. to Halt New Settlements

The Jewish Labor Committee called on the government of Premier Menachem Begin today to halt the establishment of Jewish settlements in the occupied Arab territories because “new settlements at this time cannot be anything but inimical to Israel’s security” and they have “thrown Israel’s supporters into disarray.”

The statement, released by Jacob Sheinkman, president of the JLC, noted that the organization “is strongly committed to a secure Israel, militarily able to defend its population against hostile neighbors so long as this need exists.” It pointed out, however, that “It is the view of the majority in the Israeli Labor Party that such security is aided by the maintenance of a limited number of defense settlements in specific areas, distant from populated Arab communities.”

The JLC observed that “While not evaluating defense settlements as such, it is clear that the creation of these settlements at this time has thrown Israel’s supporters into disarray and serves no immediate defense purpose. The repeated assertions of the intention to populate the West Bank with settlements has played a major role in turning away the sympathies of liberal minded Americans who were among Israel’s staunchest allies and has undermined our credibility in defending the policy of the Israeli government,” the JLC said.

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