Former Israel Premier Yitzhak Rabin said here that Israel is the strongest military power in the Middle East, but that “right now we have problems in Lebanon.”
Rabin, addressing more than 500 leaders of Jewish communities from the United States, Canada, South America, Europe and south Florida at an international dinner marking the beginning of the 1984 State of Israel Bond campaign, stated that Israel faces the problem of security on its northern border.
“The government of Israel and the government of the United States wanted the people of Lebanon to decide their own fate and future by themselves,” he said. “For that, it was necessary to withdraw all foreign forces in Lebanon, including the PLO, the Syrians, the Israeli army and the American marines. But we failed. We didn’t achieve our goals, The United States decided to evacuate the marines from Beirut and I look upon this positively because it means the end of illusions and it means that our goals are now obtainable.”
Rabin declared: “We have never asked an American soldier to shed one drop of blood for the defense of Israel.”
Rabin said that Israel is looking for the continuation of the peace process with the most important issue being how to make Israel stronger economically and more important in the world community. “We hope the Lebanese situation will be off the agenda of the Middle East in the near future. It will be better for all of us and it will bring a warmer peace between Israel and Egypt, and Israel and her other Arab neighbors,” he said.
WE SHALL OVERCOME… DIFFICULTIES
Brig. Gen. (Res.) Yehudah Halevy, president of the International Israel Bond Organization, said that he was an immigrant to Israel many years ago and only because of the opportunities in the Jewish State was he able to achieve an education at Bar Man University and to achieve greatness as a general in the Israel Defense Forces.
“I am a unique product of the success of Israel and tonight I report to the shareholders and tell them that we shall overcome whatever difficulties we have and we are marching forward,” Halevy said. “Our weapons are skilled people and our Jewish values and our sophisticated weapons are the loyalty of the Jewish people the world over.”
Claude Kelman, chairman of the executive committee of the Israel Bond Organization in Europe, speaking in French, noted that the European Jews, especially those in France, are dedicated to the economic support of Israel and have devoted themselves since the end of the Holocaust to ensuring the future of the Jewish homeland for our children and grandchildren.
David Hermelin, national campaign chairman of the Israel Bond Organization, who served as chairman for the international dime-at the Fontainebleau Hilton Hotel, announced that “more than $15 million in Israel Bond sales was achieved” at the international dinner here last Thursday.
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.