THE JEWISH NEWS
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THE BIG CATCH'
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Israel's Role in Solving Refugee Problem
-t•-idst an agonized posit:or: caused by
territories, Israel :las planned ass . ..stance to
reftigees. A project incorporat ir:to the
Rehabilitation and Developme.nt Of the Arab
Refugees conducted with a SIO.V./0.-
Trastee Fund - that has just been an-
nounced by the Israe.: gover- r.rnent. This fur.ci
inte.nde.id to provide economic and educa-
tional irnproverr.ents ^ 10 Arab refugee
camps in territories under Israel'_ jurisdic-
tion in Judea. Sarr.aria and the Gaza Strip.
by experts_ the special fund
w111 improve pt:blic .servIces-
electr . c , ty r-urr.--7, water. sewtige. facilitles
education - a: :ristitut:ons and
welfare pro;erts and ent ,i -lrage
owned ind ..i:tr.c.ts
It is r",••..atise if drarnat:c
tr, negate the Arab pt,tentate:'
as a pc,I:tita:
cf the fatt
against and harrn: the ref'.1-
The Cnited Nations Relief and Works
Agency -CNP.WA. now apportions aid tr., a
large number of refuge.e_is v.ho had left their
homes in Israel e5 we.11 as refugees by birth
—the description given to descendants of ref-
ugees. The problem for Israel is posed by
the need to find a solution for refugees under
its administration. and there is recognition.
as Cabinet Minister Shimon Peres stated in
a speech to the Knesset, of the moral. politi-
cal and economic responsibilities involved
in such a task. Peres stated in the course of
his Knes:et declaration with regard to the
Arabs in 19 refugee camps on the West, Bank
and in the Gaza Strip:
There exist at the present in our territory
three standards of living: that prevailing in
tnere ha -.e
Gaza—with a total annual per capita income of
100 dollars, that prevailing in the west Bank —
250 dollars per capita per annum, and that of
Israel, including Israel's Arabs--with up to 1,7;00
dollars per capita per annum.
It would appear that one of the conditions
required for decent co-existence - between the
two peoples is assured coexistence in the econ-
nomic sense. It is in the interests of Israel that
the standard of living in the West Bank, and
certainly In Gaza, should rise at the most reason-
able pace possible.
Intensification of agriculture, industrialization
and the raising of productivity—and in its wake,
the level of service—will serve the inhabitants
of the areas and will increase the will to create
conditions of partnership and peace, in spite of
the waves of hostility and war.
The refugees, certainly those who wish to do
so, should be enabled to earn their own livelihood.
It is up to Israel to make jobs available for
those seeking work as well as to create new oppor-
tunities for work, in addition to expanding the
scope of vocational training and increasing the
pace of education.
Where the inhabitants ask for their housing
to be Improved, the possibility of complying with
the request would be examined, and an attempt
made gradually to transform the camps, or part
of them, into hetter dwellings. This can be accom-
plished, in the first stage, by providing running
water in the homes, installing electricity, under-
ground sewers, laying roads, apart from the
improvement of the houses themselves.
People who so desire should be allowed to
settle permanently outside the camps. Centers of
industry and handicrafts should be established
close to the homes of the refugees.
More detailed plans are in various stages of
study and will be tabled in the Cabinet in the
In any rase, I can say with a clear conScience
that Israel aspires to create a society where there
is na hardship, penury or ostraci,m of any kind-
histcrical, social, national or geographical.
And in spite of the difficulties and the war,
we shall pursue a policy under which those who
have suffered as a result of the wars, or as a
result of the irres-poasible adv-ice of their leaders,
wal not become eternal victims.
Israel's des:re to help soive a very serious
problem is evident here. For an understand-
ing of the problem. this additional factual
quotation frc.rn Peres' speech is vital:
The UNRWA director's report to tbe last
_ 21 Assembly of the UN gave the total num-
ber of aU the-se categories of refugees as I.M5,074.
Tbe director had reservations concerning the
accuracy of the records. owing to the non-record-
ing of deaths and the eristence of fictional
Undoubtedly. also, the records do not deduct
all the refugees Isles have long since ceased being
refugees by virtue of their full absorption in
According to UNRWA, there was the following
approximate number of refugees at the end of
As a complementary work to "Israel Year Book 1970" which was
June, 1369: in Judea and Samaria, 240,000; in reviewed in The Jewish News on May 15, "Israel Government Year
the Gaza Strip. 2'75.1}}0. Total--515,000.
Book 5730" assumes marked significance.
In other words, some 25 per cent of the total
The added value lies in the fact that the government book. pub-
number of refugees is in the West Bank, Gaza lished by the Keter Publishing House of Jerusalem for the central office
of information of the prime minister's office, contains the data that
However, not everybody who has been defined is often sought about the various departments of the Israel govern-
as a refugee lives in a refugee camp. UNRWA
ment. The cabinet is listed, the names of the people who make up the
itself estimates that only a minority—some 40 staffs of the various ministries are available here and all the basic
per cent—live in camps.
information about banking, education, the police, the post office is
The seriousness v.ith •.thich Israel tackles provided in this thorough compilation of the government's functions.
The editor of the government year was Reuven Alcalay and the
the issue was further indicated by the cabinet
English editor was 3fordekhai Nurock.
minister who has been placed in charge of
After listing the complete government roster, this volume com-
conducting the 510.000.000 Trustee Fund
mences with the text of the address to the Knesset, Dec. 15, 1969, cf
propose when he stated:
Prime Minister Golda Meir. It contains a review of her government's
An overall solution--political, economic and
position and is followed by a statement of principles of her new
social--would call for conditions and means, over
government, presented on the same day to the Knesset.
a short period, which are not at the disposal of
By including a complete list of the members of the present Knesset,
any one country, and certainly not at the disposal
immediately after the set of principles, the reader has an opportunity
of a country which is under siege.
to acquaint himself with the government policies and the men and
Despite all these difficulties. I believe that, women called upon to implement it.
being the only government responsible for these
This is, indeed, a book about a well-functioning government, and
areas, we ought to find ways of alleviating the the regulations, including the duties of the office of President Shneur
hardship of its inhabitants.
Zalman Shazar, are clearly defined.
Since I was charged by the Prime Minister
The reviews of government functions are so thoroughly pre-
with co-ordinating activities in this sphere, I
sented here that hardly a detail is missing. For instance, in the
have bad the opportunity- of visiting many of these
presentation of the functions of the ministry of health the concerns
camps, of talking with their inhabitants, men,
of Israel over the conditions in the land are so up-to-the-minute
women and children, and with their leaders—
that they contain such sections as "Environmental Sanitation" and
"Prevention of Air Pollution and Protection Against Radiation."
These people raised a series of demands which
There are important chapters on tourism and communications and
appear logical, and to which the government of a valuable "Story of El Al."
Israel will be able to accede once the working
The thoroughness of this compilation lends it considerable impor-
plans for the coming year are concluded.
tance as a fact-offering book which will be found of great value to Jews
And it is appropriate, before we state these and non-Jews who seek information about Israel and its government.
demands in detail, to point out that improvement
of many of them has already taken place.
'Israel Government Year Book'
Filled With Valuable Facts
Creativity Peace, Defense
Marks Israel Youths' Story
\Vhat Israel aims to attain in this fashion
is much more than all the Arab states have .
done. Israel has contributed towards UNRWA
support, while not a dime has come for relief
There is a lesson for the elders as well as the young in Israel's
of Arab refugees from their own kinsmen.
desires for constructive labors in a book for children, "Five Young
The Israel program indicates a desire to Heroes of Israel," published by Shengold.
be a participating factor in solving a serious
Shoshanah Spector authored this interesting story and the fine
problem. It recognizes the problem. It asks illustrations are by Aharon Shevo.
for realistic approaches to the issue. The!
In this tale, the young Israelis, Moshe, Hanna, Carmi, hleir and
problem can be solved, unless there is a de-1 Shoshanna, are alert to what is happening in their kibutz. They study
termination to perpetuate it as a means of j well, they take a deep interest in the agricultural life of their settlement
destroying Israel. This Israel will not permit. 1 and assist the elders in creating a wholesome life in their midst.
It is all written in the spirit of Israel, with a desire for peace and
And if it is perpetuated the sufferers mainly
But the youngsters are aware, also, that their parents are fight-
will be the Arab refugees themselves. In this amity.
ing to preserve their existence, that they must always be on. guard
fashion grave harm is being done by Arabs to 1 against any effort to destroy their liberties the institutions they had
their own kinsmen.
established, the life around them.
So--out of a desire to be of help they leave the kibutz and go to the
Normalcy in Israel
area where there are soldiers to protect them.
They dream of the Maccabees and they aspire to a role that will
enable them to be of assistance to their people.
Naturally, there is tension among the parents when the youths
vanish. But the desire to be cooperative is eventually rewarded with an
appreication for the interest the youngsters show in their kibutz, in their
The climax is on Hanuka and the parents, after the presentation of
the traditional gifts to the children, express their appreciation and one
of the parents in this kibutz overlooking the Sea of Galilee delivers a
In spite of the tensions and the dangers
life goes on in Israel. Thousands of students
will be there as guests for the summer.
Cultural activities are on the increase. There
are concerts and book fairs.
Our Israel correspondent, Moshe Ron,
gives an interesting account of life in these
"hot days." Arabs are evidencing their ap- speech:
"I think we ought to thank our children. They gave us and our
preciation of gains they have made under kibutz
most wonderful Ilanuka gift of all--the feeling that
Israel's administration and the Jews in the depend the
on them to grow into fine, brave young men and women, who
Jewish homeland are carrying on a life of love not only their families
and their kibutz but also their country—like
normalcy regardless of the threats to their the Maccabees of long ago."
And while the emphasis is on the Maccabees it is expressed in the
Would that their neighbors had already sense of self-protection, with a desire to avert destruction, not as a
learned what a paradise life can be under striving for war but as a hope to end it. There is a lesson in this story
also for Israel's antagonists.
peaceful conditions for all