Israel is America’s Best Friend in Near East, Blaustein Reports; Apprais for U.S. Aid

“Israel is the best friend America ever had in the Near East,” Jacob Blaustein, president of the American Jewish Committee, told a press conference this week-end upon his return from a visit to the Jewish state. He expressed confidence that the vast majority of American Jewry will continue “to recognize the necessity and the desirability of helping to make Israel a strong, viable, self-supporting state” and will do its full part in helping achieve that objective “for the sake of Israel itself and the good of the world.”

At the same time, Mr. Blaustein called upon President Truman to extend his “point-four” program to Israel, emphasizing that the people of Israel are building a real democracy. “For America and the other free democracies it is of enormous significance to have in Israel not only a democratic form of government but a way of life that is based on democratic and humans values,” he said.

Lauding Israel Premier David Ben Gurion as “truly a great man,” Mr. Blaustein said that President Chaim Weizmann, with whom he conferred in Switzerland, authorized him to say that he wholeheartedly concurs in the clarification by Premier Ben Gurion of the relations between American Jewry and the Jewish state and with the philosophy which Mr. Ben Gurion developed in a statement in Jerusalem at a luncheon in honor of Mr. Blaustein. The main point of that philosophy is that the allegiance of American Jews is owed to America alone and that the Jews of the United States–as a community and as individuals– have no political attachment to Israel.

Mr. Blaustein declared that he was profoundly impressed by the progress made in Israel since his last visit, 18 months ago. He asserted that the “incredible increase” in population–over 70 percent since the establishment of the Jewish state–is largely responsible for the economic problems facing Israel. However, he expressed the opinion that “with their rare combination of idealism and rcalism, the Israelis will continue to tackle their problems vigorously with their usual energy, resourcefulness and common sense.”

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