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Begin Urged to Be Guided by Politics, Not Mysticism at Camp David Summit

September 1, 1978
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Annette Dulzin, wife of World Zionist Organization and Jewish Agency Executives chairman Leon Dulzin, has made a public appeal to Premier Menachem Begin to “be guided at Camp David and thereafter” by “your political talents and personal courtesy” rather than “mystical imperatives.”

In an open letter to be published in tomorrow’s Jerusalem Post, Mrs. Dulzin explains that she herself thinks that Begin’s attitude on Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip “is ill advised and in the long run dangerous for Israel. (But) you and your followers passionately believe that you are right, and those who think can never persuade those who believe.”

Mrs. Dulzin makes no reference to her husband in her lengthy letter and it is clear that she expresses her own views only. She takes the Premier to task for his representation of central aspects of Israeli policy, among them the territorial issue, the Lebanon crisis and the attitude to the Palestine Liberation Organization.

On territories, she recalls that William Quandt, chief strategist in the White House on Arab-Israeli affairs, had once asked her “whether people here, like myself, who opposed the government’s attitude towards the terrorists, would go to the barricades on this issue.” Her reply had been that they certainly would not–since their opposition, unlike that of the anti-Vietnam war camp in the U.S., was not based on moral grounds but on severely practical political considerations.


Continuing, Mrs. Dulzin, writes: “So it should be made clear, first of all to you, that we are indeed united behind you. You and your colleagues do not seem to be fully cognizant of this fact, as witness (Finance Minister Simcha Ehrlich’s unfortunate remark, qualifying the Peace Now movement as one smacking of a putsch.

“While I do not agree with your statement, made in answer to Mr. (Michael) Sacher (a leading British Zionist), that every Jew shares your sentiment towards the West Bank–I certainly do not–I do agree with you to the extent that my objections in no way constitute a moral repugnance or difference in principle…it is political not moral issues that are at stake, and the former should be clearly enunciated, without bringing in extraneous issues…to mast Americans, indeed to most people everywhere, the Bible is not a geopolitical document….”

On the PLO, her criticism is that by harping on its terrorism, the government was in effect giving the organization legitimacy were it to desist from terror. The stronger argument should be that the PLO simply doesn’t represent the Palestinian people, Mrs. Dulzin observed.

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