"I believed at the time, and I still believe, that the refugee problem, or part of it, can be solved with reparations," he says. "At the time I came to Ben-Gurion and told him that we had to find ways to pay reparations to the refugees. Ben-Gurion told me that he didn't believe that they would agree to accept reparations. I told him to let me try. An examination we conducted indicated that the property of the 1948 refugees was estimated at the time at $2-$3 billion. We made contact with the Americans, who informed us that they would be willing to share in the payments. Meanwhile Ben-Gurion resigned and Eshkol replaced him. After he had become settled in the job, I went to Eshkol with the idea that we would work to pay reparations to the Palestinian refugees. He looked at me and said in Yiddish: 'Bist meshugga geworen' - You've gone crazy. I imagine that the sum of $2-$3 billion scared him. That was the end of the story."