WASHINGTON (Aug. 1)
Prime Minister Indira Ghandi of India said that Israel’s difficulties were due to the Jewish State being created in the Middle East to solve the problem that had existed in Europe. Answering questions after a speech last Friday to a National Press Club luncheon, Mrs. Ghandi said the only way for Israel to assure its existence is to negotiate peace with its Arab neighbors.
She said she had been “sympathetic” to the suffering of Jews during World War II. She said that before the war she had frequently spoken out against the treatment of Jews by Nazi Germany, and said that she had frequently been a lonely voice in this cause because others saw Hitler as a means of stopping the spread of Communism.
Mrs. Ghandi claimed that before the establishment of Israel, Jews, Christians and Arabs had lived peacefully together. She said by trying to solve the problem of the Jews in Europe, a new problem had been created in the Middle East. She noted that India, at the time the United Nations was discussing establishment of a Jewish State, had suggested a federal system. The Prime Minister made no mention that at the same time the subcontinent of India was divided into two countries because Hindus and Moslems did not want to live with each other.
She deplored the large number of lives lost in Lebanon by what she claimed was due to Israel’s military actions. She said she had written to Presidents Reagan, Leonid Brezhnev of the Soviet Union and Francois Mitterrand of France because she believed these leaders had the influence to do something about the situation.