Hillel Jerusalem Testing Ground for Arab-jewish Relations
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Hillel Jerusalem Testing Ground for Arab-jewish Relations

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Jerusalem was depicted yesterday as a testing ground for Arab-Jewish relations that, will have a great bearing on whether or not Israel can eventually co-exist with its Arab neighbors.

Police Minister Shlomo Hillel addressing the Jerusalem Economic Club, said that never before in Israel’s history have Jews and Arabs lived so closely together and in such large numbers as in Jerusalem since the Six-Day War. “The closest we came is Nazareth, but we didn’t succeed there,” he said.

Hillel disclosed that among the 130 East Jerusalem Arabs serving as full members of the Israeli Police Force, there were several officers who had Israeli policemen under their command. These Arab policemen hold Jordanian citizenship as do almost all East Jerusalem Arabs, he said, “I don’t ask them if they like the political situation. I presume they don’t,” Hillel said. But when the political situation is resolved, the day-to-day-relationships that have developed will provide the basis for real co-existence, he added.

Hillel said that relationships between Jews and Arabs in Israel, proper immediately after Israel’s independence in 1948 were marked by fears and tensions which only gradually worked themselves out. He said the lessons learned in this evolving relationship have enabled Israel to deal naturally with the Arabs in East Jerusalem and the administered territories after the Six-Day War. He said that the new relations now being worked out in East Jerusalem will determine “our ability to live with Arabs across the border.”

Hillel, who is the government’s unofficial liaison with Jerusalem and West Bank Arabs, expressed the hope that an Arab candidate will stand for election to the Jerusalem City Council this year.

Hillel said that some 23,000 Arabs have been permitted to return to the administered territories and East Jerusalem since the Six-Day War, most of them under the family reunion plan. For the past three years, virtually no Arab has emigrated from the West Bank, the first time since the second World War that substantial emigration from the West Bank has stopped. Hillel said.

Edward Trepper, son of former Red Orchestra chief Leopold Trepper, said today in Jerusalem that he would not end his ten-day fast at the Walling Wall until Soviet Communist Party Secretary, Leonid Brezhnev ends his two-day visit to France. Tropper is protesting against the refusal of Polish authorities the issue an exit visa to his father.

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