Assistant Secretary of State Denies United States Pressure on Israel Government
Menu JTA Search

Assistant Secretary of State Denies United States Pressure on Israel Government

Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs George C. McGhee denied that the United States Government brought “special pressure” to bear on Israel during a conference in Washington last Friday with Daniel Frisch, president of the Zionist Organization of America, Mr. Frisch reported today at a meeting of the National Administrative Council and National Executive Committee of the Z.O.A. Some 250 leading Zionists were present at the two-day parley which concluded today at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel.

The conference also approved in principle a report by its president calling for a “revolution” in Jewish education in this country and in American Jewish community organization. The 20-page report also advised large-scale aid by American Jews to the middle class or “forgotten man” of Israel. The meeting also approved the naming of seven more members to the Executive Committee.

Mr. Frisch also declared that Mr. McGhee denied categorically that the American Government had asked “for the transfer of the southern portion of the Negev to the Arabs.” The meeting between the two men resulted from the Z.O.A. president’s protest to Secretary of State Dean Acheson that “neither the publicly stated policies of our Government nor the interests of peace and justice would seem to be served by any action which would reward the aggression of the Arabs upon the state of Israel.”

During the meeting with Assistant Secretary McGhee, the Z.O.A. president reiterated the sense of anxiety of the Jews of American at reports emanating from Tel Aviv and Washington that new American demands had been made on Israel for concessions on territory and refugees.


In setting forth his plan for a reorganized educational program, Mr. Frisch declared that “the cause of Jewish education in the United States has been lost by default. After a neglect covering two generations,” he warned, “we are now faced with a situation which, if permitted to continue, will encompass our disappearance as a distinct group in the United States.” As a beginning toward rectifying this situation, the Zionist leader proposed the mapping out, in consultation with all Jewish organizations, institutions and agencies concerned with the problem of Jewish education and culture in the United States, of ” a nationwide plan for carrying the Hebrew language and literature into every Jewish household throughout the length and breadth of this land.”

Rudolf G. Sonneborn, chairman of the Administrative Council, told the parley “that the Zionist movement must adjust itself to the existence of the Jewish state which has sovereign responsibility. It cannot continue to act as though the State has not yet come into being,” he said. “The Zionist movement, I am convinced, has a role to play, a role which shall strengthen Israel and enable it to achieve its program for the absorption of maximum immigration. We have a service to render, with political, economic and moral support.”

The seven members whose elevation to the executive was unanimously approved are Mendel Fisher; J.I. Caplan, and Carl Sherman of New York; Ben Friedman of Long Island; Samuel Jacobson of Chicago; A.F. Luntz of Cleveland; and Jack Verdi of San Francisco.

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund