Autobiography of Herbert W Armstrong - Volume 2
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Autobiography of Herbert W Armstrong - Volume 2

Chapter 76

May 28, 1971 July 1971

May 28, 1971

Dear Inner Family of Co-Workers:
   I am able, now, to disclose to you privately and confidentially the almost unbelievable manner in which giant doors have been opening before me. As you know, one after another, the doors have opened for personal meetings with presidents, kings, prime ministers and many other high government officials, in many countries around the world.
   As I wrote you a month ago, all of a sudden this great Work has been catapulted onto a new and high plateau! It has been moved into a totally new phase.
   So many high-level personal conferences could not have opened to one in private life, in so short a time, by mere happenstance. I could not have planned them and brought them about if I had tried! As I now disclose these astonishing circumstances, I think you will see the providential guiding Hand maneuvering them!
   As I mentioned in my previous letter a month ago, the Work of necessity had to begin by reaching the grassroots the masses of the common people the ruled. We now are reaching more than 150 million of them. Think of it! that is one in every twenty-three of all the people on earth, or one in every sixteen persons above age fourteen.
   But we have reached the point where it has now become necessary that we reach also the rulers those in the very top echelons of power in the world. Because, whether we have realized it or not, this Work is the greatest, most effective activity on earth for world peace!
   Actually this new phase in the Work began about three years ago.
   Here is "Coincidence" #1: The wife of our office manager at Bonn, West Germany, happened to show a copy of the 1966 Ambassador College year book The Envoy to an industrialist friend in Brussels. He was much impressed by the book, and the high character of Ambassador students, reflected in their photographs and action shots. This industrialist happened to be a personal friend of King Leopold of Belgium. He asked if he might show The Envoy to the King. The King was quite impressed, and said he would like to meet the founder and Chancellor of this unique high-character educational institution.
   His request was passed on to me through the manager of our Duesseldorf office. That was the first I knew of this. Through the Brussels industrialist a meeting was arranged.
   That is how the first such meeting came about. On my first visit, the King asked me to come again. During the past three years a cordial and warm affection has developed. And also a fifty-fifty collaboration in scientific expeditions between King Leopold's Belgian Foundation and Ambassador College.
   Now, "Coincidence" #2: In September, 1968, our Dean of Faculties wanted Ambassador College to conduct an archaeological project at a location in Israel. I was personally not interested in such a project. But I consented to visiting Jerusalem to see whether permission could be granted from the government authorities.
   He found Dr. Mazar at the time in charge of the most important "dig" so far undertaken, starting from the south wall of the Temple Mount. Three major United States universities had sought participation in this outstanding project. All had been rejected. But Professor Mazar offered a fifty-fifty joint participation to Ambassador College! ... About mid-October (1968) I did fly to Jerusalem to look over this project. The "dig" had been begun a few months before. I met Professor Mazar and inspected the project.
   It was much more impressive than I had expected.
   I began to realize the scientific and educational value to Ambassador College. A luncheon was held in a private dining room in the Knesset the government's capitol building. Present at the luncheon were five high-ranking officials of both the university and the government.
   It was a most memorable luncheon. The favor we were given in their eyes the warmth of their attitude toward us was inspiring, astonishing, and most unusual. The Israeli Minister of Tourism and Development, Mr. Moshe Kol, proposed that we build an iron bridge that could never be broken between Ambassador College and Hebrew University. After two and a half years that "iron bridge" has been greatly strengthened.
   I did not make final decision, however, at that time. We agreed to meet again in Jerusalem on December 1, for final decision. Meanwhile, Dr. Mazar, with Dr. Aviram, Dean of the College of Humanities at the university, came to Pasadena, and visited also the Texas campus, to look us over. They liked what they saw. And on December 1, at the official residence of Israel's President, Zalman Shazar, we made the joint participation official.
   I did not learn until later that we were actually clearing away the decay, rubble and debris some fifty to sixty feet high over the very spot where prophecy says the returning Messiah Jesus Christ is to rule the whole world. Tremendous things have happened in this relationship since.
   So that is the manner in which this vitally important leap forward in the Work was started. We have been given very great favor in the eyes of both government and university chiefs in Jerusalem!
   Now, "Coincidence" #3: After our midOctober meeting in Jerusalem in 1968, ... I caught a Pan Am round-the-world plane for Hong Kong and Tokyo, for conferences with advertising officials of Reader's Digest. We had begun purchasing double-page advertising space in many editions of their magazine around the world. Arriving Tokyo airport, we were met by our ... Chairman of the Department of Asian studies at Ambassador ....He was acquainted with Prince Mikasa, brother of Emperor Hirohito. Unknown to me he had shown the 1966 Envoy to the Prince, and the Prince had expressed a desire to meet me ....The Prince had asked me to be his guest at luncheon the following day ....We also were introduced at that time by the Prince to his very charming and lovely wife.
   This first meeting with Prince Mikasa has led to other important meetings. I did not visit Tokyo again until last September. But when Prince Mikasa learned I was coming, he, his wife and daughter planned a dinner in my honor. Also he arranged for a meeting with some sixty leading professors from various Japanese universities, which he invited me to address.
   The meeting with Prince Mikasa has led to a number of things vitally important to the Work. It is paving the way for opening the Work in Japan on a big scale. And unlike all other nations so far, we are starting in Japan from the top down and reaching the 100 million Japanese people as a whole will come later, hopefully by midyear.
   It led to further contacts with the most important educators in Japanese universities. Perhaps the highest ranking educator in Japan is Dr. Nobumoto Ohama, former president of Useda University. His reputation is worldwide in educational circles. He is to speak at Ambassador College in Pasadena this coming September.
   Incidentally, these meetings are beginning to result in bringing many world leaders to Ambassador College to speak before our students.
   Also my acquaintance with Prince Mikasa led to my forty-five-minute private conference with Prime Minister Sato in December. Privately and confidentially, Mr. Sato requested me to go to Okinawa in February (the tension was too hot to go on the December trip). And I did go. This has already been reported in The Plain Truth.
   I think it pertinent to say to you, here, that private meetings with heads of state on this high level are something vastly different than a handshake with a crowd of tourists or, for that matter, even magazine or newspaper correspondents. A magazine correspondent or editor may, on occasion, have a private conference with a head of state. But he does not meet the ruling official on an equal level.
   An interesting example of this, was an incident that occurred during a reception at the residence of the United States Ambassador of Nepal this past February ....I had just returned from a visit with King Mahendra at the palace. We were hosting a dinner for important local men and their wives at the hotel that evening, but stopped off at the reception to which we had been invited.
   The Ambassador in Kathmandu happens to be a lady, and her husband is Ambassador Ellsworth Bunker at Saigon U.S. Ambassador to South Vietnam. He and his four or five chief assistants were in Kathmandu for the weekend.
   On learning that we had just come from meetings with the King, and with the Crown Prince the evening before following meetings with President Giri of India, and Prime Minister Golda Meir of Israel and on the previous trip with Prime Minister Indira Gandhi of India at which time King Leopold was traveling with us and that two days later we were to have a private meeting with the King of Thailand (Siam) this government official looked puzzled, and asked, "Well how in the world do you do it? We've been trying for six months to arrange meetings with some of these people, and yet we haven't been able." And they had the power and prestige of the U.S. government!
   I couldn't tell him how I arranged these meetings because I didn't! Could you believe a Higher Power than the United States government opened these doors?
   I had been invited to visit Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, and visit King Mahendra, because my good friend Dr. Singh, official Secretary to President Giri of India, had wanted me to do so, and unrequested by me, had arranged it.
   And that was "Coincidence" #4. And at that "chance" meeting with Ambassador Bunker he urged me to see him at his embassy in Saigon. And that was "Coincidence" #5. That has been reported in the May Plain Truth ....
   And when you realize the doors have opened before me for eight such meetings in six months, you can believe it has been a series of providential or miraculous circumstances!
   "Coincidence" #6: I will take space to tell you of just one more. On our December trip, King Leopold accompanied us from Brussels to Athens, New Delhi, India, Singapore, and Djakarta. At Djakarta, my planned visit with President Suharto had to be postponed because the King of Thailand (Siam) was there on an official state visit. This required President Suharto's entire time. He had scheduled a meeting with King Leopold (who was on a private, nonstate visit, with us), for the following Monday, and wanted to see me then. But I had meetings scheduled in Manila and Tokyo, and was unable to remain over that long.
   But a special dinner was held on Tuesday night in Djakarta, attended by six or eight of the chief officials under President Suharto, and their wives. That night I was simply too exhausted to attend the only such appointment on any of these trips I was unable to attend. My elder daughter has been accompanying me, since there have been many such occasions, and she takes her mother's place as my hostess.
   At this banquet, my daughter became acquainted with Mrs. Sunirat Telan of Bangkok, who had accompanied the King of Thailand on his state visit. Mrs. Telan owns the Rama Hotel in Bangkok, besides at least two more skyscraper hotels, and some large Thai industries. When she learned from my daughter that we had never visited Bangkok, she insisted that we simply must see Bangkok on our next tour, in February. She wanted to host a dinner in my honor, and wanted me to meet the King.
   And that chance meeting with my daughter is the manner in which the one and a half-hour visit with the King of Thailand, this past February, came about. I did not seek it I was invited! ...
   One thing more I will tell you, then I must not make this letter longer.
   Last November King Leopold, his wife, Princess Liliane and daughters the Princesses Daphne and Esmeralda visited us in California. They were dinner guests in my home. After dinner that evening the King and Princess Liliane asked for a private talk. We excused ourselves from the other guests and retired to a private room.
   Then in subdued, solemn and hushed tone they told me that, after World War I had ended, the King's father, King Albert, had visited one of the battlefields. He was appalled, and emotionally sick at heart at the realization of the human slaughter that had occurred there. It moved him deeply. He had one of the iron cannonballs remaining on the field melted and cast into four watch cases pocket watch size to encase four fine watches. It was his intention to present these to the four men whom he felt had made the most significant contribution toward world peace.
   World War I was the war supposed to "make the world safe for democracy" the war to end all wars! King Albert therefore felt the chief generals and French Premier contributed most, and gave one watch to Field Marshal Foch, Supreme Commander in Chief over all allied armies. The second watch was given to General Pershing, Commander in Chief of all United States forces. The third went to Georges Clemenceau, Premier of France during World War I. King Albert apparently found no one he felt qualified for the fourth watch. It was passed on to his son, King Leopold to give.
   In solemn and subdued voice the King said he felt the fourth watch, in a red leather case now showing age, should go to me. Both the leather case and the watch are embellished with a gold design with a royal crown in the center.
   I feel it was the very highest honor the King could have paid anyone. Whatever contribution to world peace I may have made you have shared with me, and it has not been through war, but through education, teaching millions worldwide the way to peace! And I believe King Leopold feels, and that he saw here, that we have set an example by the real peace that we do have on our three campuses! He has visited both the Pasadena and English campuses.
   Co-Workers, something very great is being accomplished through this great Work, in which you and I are both privileged to be Co-Workers. It is a greater power working through us that is producing peace, and happiness, and abundant well-being in ever-increasing thousands all over the earth! And truly, this Work is leading the way into world peace!
   This greater power is opening more and more important doors for finishing the Work for this age. I am walking through them in faith and confidence. My life is dedicated to this Work, and doing my part diligently. But it takes your part, too and the whole Work can go only as far and as fast as you do yours.
   The financial condition, the past year, has been very serious. I feel we are slowly on the upswing once again. We have weathered a very serious financial storm our rate of gain the past two years has been slowed but the Work has survived, even grown slowly, and now it needs seriously the biggest push we can give it. Let's make every sacrifice to give it the big push! God bless you for your part I am very grateful and I must remind you the need is now very great.

Visit with Prime Minister Golda Meir - June 1971

   Is it significant of this time, that growing girls and young women are reflecting increasing qualities of leadership, while young men are evidencing less and less?
   Every college president, I am sure, has become painfully aware of this modern trend. The young people born since World War II are, indeed, a new breed.
   Today three nations, one of them modern Judah, are ruled by woman Prime Ministers. They are Mrs. Golda Meir, Prime Minister of Israel; Mrs. Indira Gandhi, Prime Minister of India second largest population in the world and Mrs. Sirimavo Bandaranaike, Prime Minister of Ceylon.
   In the past few months I have had personal meetings with two of these ruling women Mrs. Meir and Mrs. Gandhi. Each told me of the overwhelming problems that beset her. It seemed to me that these problems are too stupendous to have to come crashing down on the shoulders of a woman.
   Never before has the whole world been embroiled in such weighty, apparently unsolvable problems. It is indeed a frightening world in which we live today. The fact that these are women of exceptional abilities does not lessen the burden.
   I have said before, and I say again, Jerusalem is destined to be the focal point the nerve center of world news from here on out. And on the human level, the destiny of the Israeli people is presently in the hands of a woman.
   What are the crushing problems that confront her?
   What kind of woman is Mrs. Meir?
   I am able to answer both questions much more intelligently since spending forty-five minutes with the Prime Minister in her executive office last February 7. She told me her problems, and how she views them. And after this personal contact, seeing and hearing her at close range, I understand much better than before what kind of woman she is.
   Of course I was previously aware generally of Israel's problems. But I had not previously seen them through her eyes, as she views them. Also I had observed Mrs. Meir in extended television interviews, as have millions of others. But seeing her in person, chatting with her, listening to her in real life, gave me a much clearer perception of her as she really is.
   In one sense Mrs. Meir is most certainly no ordinary woman. Yet, paradoxically, that is because she is, after all, such an ordinary woman. She is small of physical stature. From having seen her many times on television, I had expected to see a taller woman. But in character and ability she is of unusually great stature.
   Without apology to anyone, I have to attribute to this so common, yet so uncommon a woman, humanly, the quality of greatness, such as is possessed by so very few if any men in public life today.
   Emphatically, that is not flattery. I never flatter.
   Why do I attribute the almost non-existent quality of greatness to Mrs. Meir!
   Because she is humble. Because she is just an ordinary, plain, down-to-earth, unpretentious homespun woman and mother. She puts on no airs. She makes no effort to impress anyone. No pretenses. But to lead His people Judah, the Eternal God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob has bestowed on this daughter and mother in Israel an exceptionally intelligent, capable, balanced and understanding mind.
   She has that rare quality of seeing things precisely as they are. Her vision is in sharp focus. Her mind pierces through the extraneous and confusing details to the central important point. She remains unconfused by the labyrinth of branches and twigs, and has the trunk of the tree in clear view.
   One man, well experienced in worldwide political affairs, said "the subject of world peace is a very complicated one." I was very happy to observe, in our conversation, that it is not at all a complicated subject to Mrs. Meir. To her, peace is a very simple matter if leaders and their peoples were willing to have it. For forty years I have been presenting the subject to the world as a very simple one. There is a cause for every effect. The way of life that will cause peace is what I term very simply as the "give" way; and the world insists on living the "get" way.
   I was quite impressed by the fact that when speaking of soldiers risking their lives for her country, this woman sees them through a mother's eyes. Yes, Mrs. Meir is common clay a mother, a former Milwaukee, U.S.A. school teacher who loved and taught children. Yet at the same time she is a capable executive of firm purpose and uncompromising, unbending will against what she sees is wrong. For with all her common, down-to-earth qualities is joined the quality of firmness and determination ...
   But now, what did she say? What happened in our meeting?
   It has been custom for thousands of years to present a gift when visiting a king or ruler. I presented Mrs. Meir with an original crystal sculpture, made exclusively for her by Steuben. She seemed very pleased with it, commenting that she did not deserve something so beautiful. She had received other pieces of Steuben one from Governor Nelson Rockefeller of New York ....
   Mrs. Meir was already well informed about Ambassador College, and our joint participation in the great archeological project, and also in Mr. Kol's international youth movement.
   I asked Mrs. Meir what Ambassador College could do to promote peace and understanding in the Middle East.
   The Prime Minister then spoke at some length in answer to my question.
   "What Israel wants," she said, "is really quite simple. It's as simple as two plus two equals four. Yet other nations and other peoples seem to be able to understand Einstein's theory of relativity more easily. What Israel wants is peace, and this seems to others to be so very complicated."
   Mrs. Meir said that Israel must remain free and independent within secure borders in order to continue to provide a haven for all Jewish people.
   "We must be free," she continued, "to provide a place for people who have been persecuted throughout the world for so many centuries. Only Israel has been willing to receive with open arms so many people from so many places. In the last fifteen years Israel has received more than 800,000 people from the poorest areas of Africa and Asia. They were people who were ill-fed, ill-clothed, illiterate, in poor health. Some actually came from dwelling in caves in Libya.
   "And yet," she explained, "with such human material, Israel has been able to create useful citizens. They have now learned a new language. They have learned to live in a modern society. They are now well fed, reasonably well clothed, gaining education. Their children will be even better educated, more useful to themselves and their new homeland country, and will live fruitful and fulfilled lives."
   When these people destitute refugees arrive in Israel, they are immediately housed and cared for. I learned a good deal about this program on my second visit to this remarkable new country in 1966. These poverty-stricken newcomers are given jobs. Often they have to live in tents at first. But they are paid, and given instruction on saving a portion of their wages. In a reasonably short time they are able to move into a house or flat. As I now remember it, they can buy their own flat on the installment plan, and it is to a considerable extent subsidized by the government. Some are taken into a kibbutz.
   Mrs. Meir made a special point of another astonishing achievement.
   "An extraordinarily high infant mortality rate plagued these immigrants before their arrival in Israel. There was a correspondingly high death rate of mothers in childbirth. But now one may contrast those figures with what is one of the lowest infant mortality rates and mother childbirth death rates in the world."
   Then she told us of the Israelis' ability and willingness to help their Arab neighbors. This small but remarkable nation now sends its experts and its technology throughout the deepest parts of Africa and to even more remote places in the world to help under-developed nations.
   "How easy it would be," she said earnestly, "to send the same teams across the border into Jordan, or across the canal into Egypt, and how much prosperity and happiness would be brought to this entire area of the world by peace ..."
   "We don't want to have to go on winning more and more victories," she added. "We only want peace ...."
   I would like to mention, at this point, that I feel King Hussein would gladly welcome such peace, cooperation and help in improving his people. Three times I have had appointments set up for a personal meeting with King Hussein. Each time a war incident prevented. Once he had unexpectedly been called away from Amman in an emergency. Another time, war conditions made it unsafe for me to go there.
   I have read King Hussein's autobiography. He was educated in England, and also in Cairo, as well as in Jordan. There is much to admire in him. He yearns to help upgrade his people and improve their status in life. Above all things, he is an Arab at heart, and that is the principal reason he went along with President Nasser in fighting against Israel. I personally feel Hussein would have been glad to make peace with his Israeli neighbors, and have entered a cooperative arrangement for the benefit of his people. But his dedication as an Arab, and the political pressures from Cairo and other Arab capitals, prevented. Hussein also is under constant pressure from within his own country ....
   What a deplorable tragedy that the whole world cannot now have the kind of peace, with prosperity and happiness that Prime Minister Golda Meir expressed a desire for each nation cooperating with its neighbor.
   But the reason is summed up in the biblical statement: "The way of peace they know not." There has, of necessity, to be a cause for every effect. There will have to be a cause to produce peace. That cause is a way of life.
   It is the way Mrs. Meir said she would like to see in practice with Israel's neighbor, Jordan the way of cooperation! It is the way of outgoing concern for neighbor equal to self-concern.
   For the past forty years I have taught that way. Thousands of lives have turned to it been changed and now set the living example of peace!
   Today in this great Work of which you and I are a part, we proclaim that way to 150 million people one in every twenty-three people on earth. Today on three college campuses we practice that way, and we are setting the living example of peace three campuses where there is radiating happiness, beauty, harmony, and no protest, riots or violence.
   Many are beginning to recognize that this is the most effective contribution toward world peace in active operation on earth today.

Mrs. Gandhi Tells Me of Her Frightening Responsibilities - July 1971

   One of the most horrifying calamities ever to visit masses of humans as one of numerous problems to solve has just fallen on the shoulders of a woman.
   The whole world was shocked as news headlines told of the mounting mass deaths caused by the cholera epidemic hitting victims from East Pakistan fleeing into India.
   Last December in my personal meeting with the Prime Minister of India, Mrs. Indira Gandhi told me of the crushing burden of the problems that are her responsibility. One of her most serious problems was that of the Pakistan refugees, then at the rate of about 1,500 per day, streaming across the border into India destitute, helpless, for her overburdened government to feed, clothe and house.
   Then, since my visit with her, the Pakistani problem erupted as if "all hell had broken loose." East Pakistan exploded into civil war. The refugee problem was increased to an overwhelming extent. Then, late May, the cholera epidemic started, spreading to a gigantic calamity in early June. On top of this, the monsoon rains broke over eastern India June 5. By that time Indian estimates were that the spread of cholera had already killed 5,000 refugees in India who had fled from East Pakistan.
   Mrs. Gandhi had flown promptly to Calcutta to obtain first-hand information on the raging epidemic. She had appealed to other nations for help. Medical aid was being air-lifted to Calcutta and Eastern India from Britain, the United States and other countries. On June 5th three Indian States, Meghalaya, Tripura, and Assam, sealed their borders against further refugees. Inside East Pakistan, with no medical aid, conditions were reported worse. Huge refugee camps were quickly organized to prevent spreading the cholera epidemic into Calcutta and other cities and towns.
   I happen to be writing this month's personal in Israel, where seventy-eight Ambassador College students have just arrived to spend the summer working on our huge archaeological project west and south of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. And this is as far east as I will go at this time. I have no desire to investigate personally the cholera area. Last night the International Cultural Center for Youth staged a special program to welcome the Ambassador students. Ambassador is a joint participant in this cultural center for youth as well as in the archaeological project. The center was founded by Minister of Tourism Moshe Kol and Eleanor Roosevelt. Tomorrow night is a special dinner in my honor being given at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem ....
   Last December, when I had the meeting with Mrs. Gandhi, rumors were rife about Mrs. Gandhi's "supposed" turn toward the left, and her "supposed" autocratic tendencies. I had been told I would find her cold, haughty and overbearing. The prediction was made of an impending clash between her and leaders of the conservative opposition.
   Quite the contrary .... We found Mrs. Gandhi very warm and cordial, with a charming personality and welcoming smile.
   And within a very few days after our visit she, in fact, dissolved parliament and announced that elections would be held forthwith. When we were passing through New Delhi again in February, she was away from the capital, campaigning shortly prior to the election, which she won with a landslide victory. Her power has been consolidated to a degree totally unexpected from her opposition.
   When she received us in her office at the Parliament in New Delhi, I presented her with a piece of Steuben crystal. Before I could open the distinctive Steuben red leather gift box, her face lit up with a happy smile, and she exclaimed: "Ah, a piece of beautiful Steuben." She said she had always admired Steuben crystal. Her father, the late Prime Minister Nehru, had received several gifts of this type of art. It is often given to heads of state ....
   I then explained to the Prime Minister of the second most populous nation on earth that Ambassador College would like to send its television crew to do a television documentary on India. Mrs. Gandhi responded that she would welcome an Ambassador College television production on India. I had promised her that it would present India's problems fairly and honestly and in an educational manner.
   Mrs. Gandhi then expressed great interest in the Ambassador College agricultural research program at our Texas and English campuses. In answer to questions I explained at some length these activities and the gratifying results being achieved.
   I then asked the Prime Minister to tell us about India's problems and also her problems as Chief of State and of progress being made. She then spoke, uninterrupted (except by notes being handed to her by a secretary of the arrival of cabinet members for appointments with her). But she rejected interruption and spoke for the next twenty minutes in answer to my question.
   She explained first that India does have immense problems of every description. There are no problems confronting mankind that cannot be readily found without effort in India. But she was deeply concerned that journalists, television producers and commentators, and other writers and observers, fail to note carefully the way India is attempting to cope with, and improve, each of the problems. Also, they too often fail to report the progress that India has made during her brief history as an independent nation since 1947.
   Mrs. Gandhi explained that most of India's problems stem from immense population, its enormous birthrate and its agricultural resources or its lack of the same. For the sake of comparison, she noted India gives birth each year to a population equal to the entire population of Australia. India is making every effort to lower the birthrate, but education and time will be needed.
   There have been agricultural reforms. Much progress in agricultural production has taken place but there have been significant setbacks because of the natural elements. As irrigation becomes more widespread, many of the agricultural needs will be alleviated. In the meantime, India is grateful for the aid received from the U.S. and elsewhere.
   The Prime Minister was very much interested in Ambassador College's worldwide educational extension program, and she noted that the educational needs of India should be significantly helped by such a program. But that, again, much time would be needed to correct India's educational system. Efforts had been made to make education compulsory, but the means of enforcing the compulsory education were not readily at hand ....
   I mentioned, or possibly she noted independently, our association with Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and a brief discussion ensued about the kibbutz system. She seemed to suggest some interest in the adaptability of such cooperative efforts in India.
   Mrs. Gandhi said that India has been confronted with an ever-increasing problem of refugees from East Pakistan. These refugees were then coming into India at the rate of some 1,500 persons per day. Most of them find their way to Calcutta and make conditions there, already bad, increasingly worse. She called our attention to the increasing political and civil strife in East Pakistan and also Calcutta as a result of this refugee problem.
   Democracy, Mrs. Gandhi insisted, will prevail in India despite the rumors to the contrary. She said that she believed very strongly in democratic institutions herself and was confident that they had been successfully adopted by her people.
   I then alluded to the Palestinian refugee problem in the Middle East. I advised Mrs. Gandhi of Ambassador College's efforts to promote world peace and understanding everywhere and explained how Ambassador College had given assistance to the Jordanian Government refugee problem through the purchase of radio time. Also I advised the Prime Minister of our support of the International Cultural Center for Youth in Jerusalem where young Arabs and young Israelis are brought together and taught to respect the customs and traditions and individual differences of the other.
   I then explained that I had recently visited with Deputy Prime Minister Allon in Israel and that Mr. Allon had sent his very warmest regards to Mrs. Gandhi and expressed great admiration for her and her father, Mr. Nehru. Deputy Prime Minister Allon had asked me to convey to the Indian Prime Minister that he was deeply concerned that India did not have diplomatic relations with Israel and was, therefore, unable to learn firsthand about Middle East problems as viewed from Israel's vantage point. Mrs. Gandhi shrugged and explained why the government of India was unable to establish diplomatic relations with Israel. She expressed admiration for Israel as well as sympathy for Israel's difficulties, but she said her problems were very much complicated in relation to Israel because of Pakistan, which is a Muslim state.
   Mrs. Gandhi said that she had heard very nice things about Ambassador College and myself from President Giri and from her minister of information. She said that she would look forward with great interest to our articles about India, and to a World Tomorrow television production dealing with India's problems today. She then extended a warm invitation for us to return.

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Publication Date: 1987
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