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Israeli Jews and Arabs Urged to Cooperate to Develop the Country

February 17, 1981
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Former President Ephraim Katzir has urged Israel’s Jews and Arabs to work together to develop the country since the fate of both groups is linked to the fate of the nation. Katzir spoke to some 500 Jews and Arabs at a Mapam-organized convention last Saturday here aimed at improving Jewish-Arab relations in Israel.

Victor Shemtov, Secretary General of Mapam, said the meeting was called in response to “warning signals” of mounting tensions between the groups. He cited as examples expressions of racial hatred, an anti-Arab report prepared by a senior Interior Ministry official, and a statement attributed to Minister of Commerce and Industry Gideon Patt telling Arabs who were unhappy in Israel to “take a taxi across the bridge to Jordan.”

The meeting ended with the establishment of an Arab-Jewish Public Council and the scheduling of a larger convention this spring.

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