NEW YORK (Nov. 2)
Israeli Agriculture Minister Ariel Sharon called on American Jews last night to invest in Jewish settlements in “Judaea, Samaria, Gaza and Galilee” to bolster Israel’s response to the dangers that, he said, surround it. For Jews to live in those areas, “is safer and stronger than any guarantee,” he declared.
Sharon, an outspoken advocate of massive Jewish settlement in the occupied territories, addressed some 450 people gathered at the Roosevelt Hotel here to inaugurate the “International Conference for P.E.A.C.E.” The name is an acronym for “Preventing the Emergence of Another Arab Country in Eretz Yisrael — Judaea Samaria and Gaza.”
Sharon called on American Jewish communities to adopt settlements in those territories, all of which except Galilee, lie outside Israel’s 1967 borders, to help them establish industries and to “send volunteers, even for a short time. I come here to urge you to act, to do things today, now,” he said.
JEWS MUST PROTECT ISRAEL
Sharon told his audience, composed largely of supporters of the ultra-nationalist people faction in Israel, Rabbi Meir Kahane and the Jewish Defense League, that Israel stands in serious danger. “Israel is the heart of the Jewish people” and its responsibility is to defend and protect Jews anywhere in the world. Therefore, “if Israel will be harmed, all Jews will be harmed,” he said.
Sharon remarked pointedly that he would say nothing about the American Presidential elections this Tuesday. But he warned the U.S. not to interfere in problems and questions related to Israel’s security and existence. “We have the right to handle these problems as we see fit,” he said. “We live there and we face the dangers.”
WARNS OF SOVIET STRATEGY
Sharon also warned of “aggressive Soviet strategy” in the Middle East. He claimed the Soviets have already poured some 2800 sophisticated tanks, hundreds of jets and missiles, artillery and other armaments into the region, aimed at gaining control of its oil sources and thereby dominating the free world. He alleged that America’s weakness was demonstrated by not having an answer to this threat.
Sharon claimed the Iraqi-Iranian war was a direct threat to Israel. He said Iraqi soldiers and planes are already in Jordan, although in limited numbers. He warned that if Iraq gains control of Iran’s oil sources it will be the second oil power in the world after Saudi Arabia. He also claimed that Iraq is likely to have a nuclear weapon in 3-4 years and “these developments are most dangerous to Israel.”