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Lessing Rosenwald Wants U.S. to Stipulate Conditions of Friendship to Israel

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The Government of the United States ought to insist, as a condition of American friendship, that Israel concentrate on building not a “Jewish” nationalism but rather an “Israeli nationalism,” confined to its own borders and inclusive of its own Christian, Moslem and Jewish population, Lessing J. Rosenwald, president of the American Council for Judaism, today told a meeting of some 200 clerical, professional and business men of the Quill Club of New York.

“We contend that the political representatives and institutions of Israel can speak for its own citizens only and can in no way speak for or represent us, who are Americans of Jewish faith,” Rosenwald said. He stressed that he was not referring to legitimate expectations of humanitarian assistance such as that American Jews would help finance the immigration of Jews from Europe’s displaced persons camps to Israel, or contribute to the emergency aid which these immigrants will need after their arrival in Israel in order to find places in the economy of their new homeland.

“But what we are on guard against,” Rosenwald pointed out, “is that present efforts do not exceed humanitarian support of this character. Pressures for an international loan, more favorable boundaries, de jure recognition, and arms and munitions of war go beyond the bounds of humanitarian services.” They are problems which are “the inevitable and legitimate” concern of the State of Israel, its government, and its citizens, he said, adding that “American citizens have no more right to participate in the political life of the State of Israel than of any other foreign state, except through the proper agencies and procedures of the government of this country.”

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