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Peace is Important ‘but Survival is Paramount,’ Ambassador Rabin Declares

May 1, 1968
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Gen. Yitzhak Rabin, Israel Ambassador to the United States, declared in an Independence Day speech here last evening that for Israel “peace is important but survival is paramount.” The ambassador, who was formerly Chief of Staff of Israel’s armed forces, addressed a mass public meeting at the Palestra of the University of Pennsylvania in his first appearance in this city since taking up his duties in Washington. The meeting was organized by the Philadelphia Committee for Israel’s 20th Anniversary comprising 50 local and national Jewish organizations.

Ambassador Rabin was greeted by Mayor James H. J. Tate at Philadelphia International Airport where crowds estimated in the thousands were on hand to see him. At a reception in City Hall that followed, the Ambassador received greetings on behalf of Philadelphia’s Jewish community from Sylvan M. Cohen, president of the Federation of Jewish Agencies of Greater Philadelphia. In his address, before an audience estimated at 10,000, Gen. Rabin stressed Israel’s quest for peace, but, he insisted, it must be a genuine peace which would bring about a basic change in the relations between Israel and its neighbors. “However much we want peace, we cannot be sure that it will be achieved in the near future,” he said. “If the Arabs do not want a genuine peace, why should we give up a single inch of territory? With all our might we long for peace. But our survival and development must be paramount.”

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