WASHINGTON (May. 3)
Israel’s Premier David Ben Gurion alighted from an E1 A1 Israel Airlines Constellation at the U.S. military air transport service terminal here this morning, marking his first visit to the U.S. as Premier of the Jewish state and the first flight of a plane bearing the Star of David to Washington. The plans landed at the same runway used by President Truman, the late President Roosevelt, and high American officials.
The Israel Prime Minister pledged to the reception committee of American officials, Israel diplomats and prominent Jewish leaders that the people of Israel “are willing to defend human liberty at all times and with all our capacity.” He said “Israel is seeking to demonstrate to other lands in its region the effectiveness of democracy as a system of government and an instrument of national progress and welfare of the individual.”
Mr. Ben Gurion told the press that he brought to American “the warm greetings of the people of Israel and our gratitude for the unfailing sympathy of America with our efforts for independence and regeneration.” His wife stood at his side as they left the airport. A detachment of U.S. troops was on hand as a special guard for the Premier. John F. Simmons of the State Department protocol division greeted Ben Gurion on behalf of the Secretary of State.
PAYS SPECIAL TRIBUTE TO TRUMAN; ESCORTED BY POLICE MOTORCYCLES TO HOTEL
Asserting that the friendship between the U.S. and Israel “is rooted deep in common spiritual heritage, ” Mr. Ben Gurion paid special tribute to President Truman. He recalled Mr. Truman’s ” memorable support” and the support of the government and people of the U.S. in the rebirth of Israel. The Israel Premier said the U.S. made two vital contributions to modern civilization and named these contributions as democratic freedom and scientific progress. “By the use of these two instruments you have ensured the highest standard of living man has ever known,” he said. “The attainment of that goal by those methods is the task which we in Israel have set ourselves.”
Comparing the recent history of Israel with the early history of the U.S., Mr. Ben Gurion said that a ” spirit of pioneering is shared by both our peoples.” He emphasized that the “guiding purpose” of Israel is to provide a home for all Jews who come and that the Jewish state, like the U.S. in earlier days, has opened its gates and admitted 600,000 immigrants in the last three years.
“Israel is now confronted with the pioneering task of restoring its wastelands and bringing cultivation and progress to areas that have been derelict for centuries,” he declared. “We are now engaged in a constructive endeavor which will tax all our energies for a long time to come. We desire to restore to the Holy Land its former glory and to build a free and democratic civilization worthy of our ancient prophets and embodying the latest achievements of modern science.”
The Prime Minister’s party, consisting of four official cars, was escorted by a police motorcycle unit to the Shoreham Hotel where Mr. and Mrs., Ben Gurion will spend the next few days. While in Washington, the Israel Prime Minister will meet with President Truman, Secretary of State Acheson, Secretary of Defense Marshall, Presidential Assistant W, Averell Berrizan, and other government leaders. At his first appointment today, Ben Gurion was a luncheon guest of Assistant Secretary George McGhee at Prospect House where distinguished visitors are entertained by this government. He will lunch with President Truman at Blair House tomorrow.