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Peace Now Activist Urges Israeli Compromise, U.S. Jewish Dissent

March 17, 1988
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Israeli writer and politician Yael Dayan is urging American Jews to take sides in Israel’s internal debate on the future of the administered territories.

Otherwise, said Dayan, 49, daughter of the late Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Dayan, “I have to come to American Jews and tell them to compromise on everything they stand for in order to produce the facade of solidarity.”

Dayan, Brig. General (Res.) Giora Furman and Mark Rosenblum, director of North American Friends of Peace Now, spoke with reporters Tuesday morning.

Along with Menachem Brinker, a literature professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, they are trying to spread the message of the 10-year-old Peace Now movement, which calls for territorial compromise and mutual recognition by the Israelis and the Palestinians as a solution both to the present unrest and Israel’s long-term security concerns.

Their visit coincides with the talks in Washington between U.S. leaders and Israeli Premier Yitzhak Shamir, who is opposed to proposals calling for territorial compromise.

“There isn’t a unified Israel, and why should they (Americans) support everything but what they believe in?” said Dayan, a member of the Foreign Relations Committee of the Labor Party and candidate for the Knesset.

“There are two options, and Israel is facing them, the Jewish world is facing them, the State Department is facing them, Arafat is facing them. You take a position according to your political stance,” she said.

Dayan argued that Israelis who accept American financial support and political backing cannot demand an end to other forms of “interference.”

Beyond the question of taking sides, Dayan defended Peace Now’s position that Israel’s security needs can be reconciled with Palestinian self-determination.


She urged Americans to discount the claims of Shamir that relinquishing all or part of the territories would present a threat to Israel’s survival.

She said that argument “is really taking away our tremendous military achievement of ’67 and not counting the enormous development that we have undergone since then militarily.” Dayan served in the Six-Day War as an officer and war correspondent.

However, she also voiced regret that there is no Palestinian counterpart to Peace Now.

The Israeli movement had its greatest success in 1982, when its demonstration against Israel’s Lebanon war drew an estimated 400,000 Israelis to Tel Aviv.

Rosenblum said that Friends of Peace Now has a mailing list with 20,000 names and a list of donors that has increased from 6,000 to 10,000 in the past three months.

Besides arranging press briefings and speaking appearances for Dayan, Furman and Brinker, the group is collecting signatures for a petition urging 70 U.S. senators to sign a letter asking Shamir to accept a land-for-peace compromise.

Thirty senators signed the original letter, which was delivered to Shamir March 7.

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