Former Foreign Minister Abba Eban of Israel said here yesterday that “American Jews are making practically no contribution to help Israel’s demographic drought” by aliya, that they engaged in demonstrations as a substitute for solidarity and that they could do better in their financial support of Israel.
Eban voiced his criticism, in an address to 2000 delegates attending the biennial convention of the Women’s League for Conservative Judaism at the Concord Hotel here. He said the degree of solidarity of world Jewry, especially American Jewry, with Israel and its goals was central to Israel’s capacity to remain strong and negotiate peace.
Eban said that in the area of aliya “American Jews are making practically no contribution to help Israel’s demographic drought. We in Israel are simply not enough to insure our security our culture, our industrial potential.” He observed that American Jewish support through “demonstrations are not enough,” adding that “sometimes they are used as a substitute for solidarity.” He acknowledged the financial support rendered Israel by American Jews but observed that “not one percent of the resources of American Jews goes to Israel annually.”
Eban told his audience, “We in Israel cannot bear our burdens alone. What we have created in Israel we have created together with you and it is you who must help us sustain our burdens.”
DEVELOPMENTS IN THE MIDEAST
Speaking on the Middle East situation, the Israeli diplomat said there was a disposition on the part of some Arab states and Israel to explore an overall solution to the Mideast conflict in 1977. But he indicated that progress, if any, would be made only with the good offices of the U.S., which alone possesses the capacity for mutual communication with the parties concerned. He warned that a diplomatic vacuum invites military activity and therefore the friends of Israel should welcome the exploration of peace prospects.
Eban outlined areas of mutually acknowledged harmony in the vital interests of the U.S. and Israel. Among them, he said, are strong commitments to democracy and pluralism. He said that the U.S.-Israel partnership would remain strong despite attempts on the part of some to disrupt that relationship. He concluded his address on an optimistic note. “We are a people with a future even greater than its past,” Eban declared.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.