‘middle East Peace Not As Remote As Generally Thought,’ Eshkol Says
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‘middle East Peace Not As Remote As Generally Thought,’ Eshkol Says

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Prime Minister Levi Eshkol told the World Affairs Council of Los Angeles that “Israel has still a great deal to do, but I think we have given the Jewish civilization a new lease on life and a new vitality.”

He stressed to the assembled 1,000 community leaders, Jewish and non-Jewish, that Israel was “not an anti-Arab country.” He said Israel sought peace and cooperation and that there was no issue between Israel and the Arab countries which could not be settled. He predicted that Middle East peace was “not as remote as is generally thought.”

He said the disturbances in the area were actually due to an attempt to impose “a single standardized hegemony.” He added that the road to peace in that part of the world depended on recognition of the right of diverse states to exist. He stressed that there was no reason to view the Middle East as “a blind alley,” adding that “the only inevitability that we admit in the Middle East is the “inevitability of peace.”

Mr. Eshkol described his talks in Washington and travels across the United States and said that he had been “deeply moved” by the expressions of friendship “for my country.” He was welcomed by Mayor Samuel Yorty, who presented him with the key to the city. Stanley Mosk, State Attorney General, made welcoming remarks on behalf of Governor Brown. The Attorney General emphasized the identity and friendship of California with Israel.


Addressing this afternoon thousands of Los Angeles Jews at an enthusiastic reception given him by the board of the Jewish Federation-Council here, Premier Eshkol called for immigration to Israel and for study of Hebrew. “We should like you to help build our population and our country,” he said. “We in Israel feel there is one Jewish people the world over.” He told of his “pride and joy” in hearing Hebrew spoken by local children who greeted him. He issued a call for the study of Hebrew not only by children but also by parents.

Mr. Eshkol, visibly moved by the reception, went to the microphone and joined in the singing of “Heiveinu Shalom Aleichem.” Expressing enthusiasm over Los Angeles Jewry, he said that Israel needed aliyah of such people because of the “knowledge, daring and spirit in which your community is so rich.”

Previously he toured the Universal City movie studios where he was greeted by film stars Gina Lollobrigida, Barbara Stanwyck, Robert Taylor and Rock Hudson. They and movie executives expressed friendly interest in Israel and Mr. Eshkol invited them to visit the country and to make films there. He also told the Motion Picture Association that Israel would welcome activity by the film industry in Israel to develop the Israeli cinema potential. He said this was a medium which could do much in enlightenment and education.

The Premier left Los Angeles this afternoon for Chicago where he will get an honorary degree from Roosevelt College. He will then proceed to New York City and will attend the commencement exercises of Yeshiva University where he will be given an honorary degree. Instead of returning to Israel aboard the S.S. Shalom as originally planned, Mr. Eshkol will fly via El Al to Switzerland for a few days rest and will then proceed to Israel.

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