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Israel’s Cabinet Calls on Jews to Defend Their Lives and Honor

The Cabinet issued a sharp statement today in the wake of the weekend’s fatal bomb blast outside a Paris synagogue, declaring “the right and duty of Jews to defend themselves, their lives and their honor. ” Cabinet Secretary Arye Noor would not say precisely what this call meant, or whether it was directed at French Jewry as a distinct group within the broad body of French citizenship.

The Cabinet statement was proposed by Premier Menachem Begin, Noor said, and was accepted unanimously after some changes had been worked in during the discussion. Apparently there was a suggestion that the French government be directly and explicitly criticized, but Begin and the Ministerial majority turned this down.

STATEMENT BY THE CABINET

The statement read: “The Government of Israel expresses its honor at the bloody attack on a synagogue in Paris, the murder of three passersby and the wounding of many others. We participate in the grief of the bereaved families and send get-well wishes to the injured. It should be noted that the terrorist organizations that operate in France and other European countries collaborate with the Arab murderers organization calling itself ‘PLO.’

There is no distinction between anti-Israelism or anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism which brought down disaster and shame on all of mankind. The years of the 1930s and the 1940s must never return. It is the right and duty of the Jews to defend themselves, their lives and their honor. We are sure that all free men of goodwill in France will support them. Every Jew, everywhere — the gates of Eretz Israel are open to him. There he can live as a free man.”

ADDITIONAL CALLS FOR SELF-DEFENSE

Meanwhile, the Histadrut Executive today called on French Jewry to defend itself against the eruption of anti-Semitic activities which culminated in Friday night’s outrage. The French authorities were urged to take all measures needed to apprehend and bring the perpetrators to trial.

The World Union of Herut sent a cable to the French Embassy in Tel Aviv protesting against the inability of the French police to defend Jewish citizens against the new eruption of anti-Semitism. The cable charged that the hostile attitude of the French government toward Israel and its indirect support of terrorism has created the conditions in which anti-Semitic elements can freely carry out their murderous acts.

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