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November 16, 1984 - Image 11

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1984-11-16

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS Friday, November 16, 1984 11

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"Many poor and the few rich was
the cause of endemic instability"
in the Mideast.
Inter-Arab rivalries also proved
to be a menance in the Mideast,
Blum said. He added that 32 wars
were currently in progress in the
Middle East. "The Arab-Israel
conflict, of course, is an outgrowth
of these inter-Arab rivalries."
"Israel serves as a uniting fac-
tor, at least outwardly, to the out-
side world. It is an effort at unity
that does not exist." The only
thing that unites the Arabs, he
implied, was their hatred of Is-
rael.
Referring to the Palestinians,
Blum said the Arabs themselves
had "deliberately kicked out the
Palestinians." He said that the
Arabs treat each other with
hatred, and if this is how they
treat each other, what can we ex-
pect?"
Blum blamed the Soviet Union
for much of the Middle East un-
rest. "The Soviet Union is respon-
sible for every conflagration in

our region since the 1950s," he
said, adding that the Soviets
armed, trained and financed the
"so-called Arab regimes and the
PLO.
Summarizing, Blum said the
basic cause of Mideast unrest is
the "unwillingness, the inability
of the Arab world to come to terms
with Israel's existence.
"Unless there is a change of
heart in the Arab world we will
not achieve a real peace in Our
region.
Blum said that Israel had no
"territorial ambitions" in Leba-
non, and was only asking for "a
calm and secure bogler between
Lebanon and Israel."
The Technion benefit, celebrat-
ing the 36th anniversary of the
Detroit Chapter and the 60th an-
niversary of the Technion, also
was the occasion to announce a
gift to the university of $400,000
from the Skillman Foundation of
Detroit to establish an academic
Skillman Chair.

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Israel envoy's job 'not easy'

Being the Israel Ambas-
sador to the United Nations
was not easy, according to
former envoy Yehudah Blum.
Interviewed last week by
The Jewish News prior to his
appearance at the annual
benefit affair for the
Technion-Israel Institute of
Technology, Blum said that
although the job was not an
easy one, he was never frus-
trated by the constant anti-
Israel nature of the UN dur-
ing his six-year tenure at the
world body.
"Frustration is a function
of expectations. The level of
my expectations was rather
low. I couldn't get frus-
trated." Blum terminated his
diplomatic service earlier
this year when his contract
expired.
Asked if he ever felt iso-
lated at the UN, Blum said he
did not. "I had many friends
even among the representa-
tives of nations who do not
maintain normal relations
with Israel," he said.
Blum added, however, that
the odds were always against
Israel at the UN. Owing to
the number of Arab states, Is-,
lamic 'countries and others
who shared the anti-Israel
hatred, "the stakes are over-
whelmingly against us at the
UN. Every anti-Israel initia-
tive, no matter how unrea-
sonable, is assured 65-70
votes to start with."
Were any of the Arabs or
Third World delegates
friendly out of the public eye?
According to Blum, no. "They
wouldn't want to be seen
meeting with Israelis or talk-
ing with Israelis. Part of that
syndrome is that they are af-
raid of each other; they are
looking over each other's
shoulders."
Told that one of his pre-
decessors had suffered heart

attacks owing to the constant
pressures and anti-Israel
harassment, Blum remarked
that his health was not af-
fected. In fact, he said, his
pulse and blood pressure im-
proved.
"My objective has always
been that I shouldn't get ul-
cers, but my enemies should
get them."
He showed disdain for the
world body, and played down
its importance in regard to
Jewish history. The Jewish
people will exist long after
the UN. From the point of
view of Jewish history, the
UN is merely a footnote."
Blum was asked to respond
to the outcome of the U.S.
elections held two days before
the interview. He was hope-
ful that President Reagan
would continue the friendly
atmosphere already estab-
lished during his first term.
On the Israel economy,
Blum said the inflation rate
in the Jewish state was esti-
mated to be much higher
than the reported 450 per-
cent. He said it was more like
500 to 1,000 percent, but "of
course, it will come down, but
we will have to take some
painful measures."
Asked if Israel had any
other friends in the UN be-
sides the U.S., Blum said
Canada is Israel's second best
friend in the U.N., owing to
its voting record. Among Is-
rael's greatest enemies, Blum
said the East Germans "were
the most virulent against Is-
rael."
Was he disgusted by the
world body when he left his
post?
"When you go to the zoo
and a beast bears his teeth,
are you afraid? No, because
he is behind a cage. The U.N.
is a zoo. It is a circus."

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